Emphasizing the learning process that ePortfolios foster, Professor Chuck Hemard and several student ambassadors help us bust some myths about ePortfolios in this month’s WriteBites Online.
A natural outgrowth of Auburn University’s Writing Initiative, the ePortfolio Project is a campus-wide effort to support Auburn students as they create integrative, professional, outward-facing ePortfolios. What’s in it for students is a rich and potentially transformative learning experience as they synthesize and reflect on the experiences they have during their time at Auburn. This learning process is about much more than helping students get a job (though we certainly hope it helps, and Auburn students have told us that it has). To see examples of Auburn students’ ePortfolios, please visit our gallery of examples.
As Chuck suggests, the process of creating an ePortfolio begins long before students are ready to send their professional, outward-facing ePortfolio to internships, graduate schools, or potential employers. Students must document, archive, and reflect on their work—curricular, co-curricular, and otherwise—so the sooner the ePortfolio is introduced to students, the better.
Faculty members play a crucial role in the ePortfolio Project as they support students’ learning and development and help them represent that learning and development to professionals in their respective fields. Another key aspect, then, of the ePortfolio Project is the Faculty Cohort and the range of programs offered to support faculty as they implement ePortfolios in their courses and curricula.
The Office of University Writing supports the Cohort by offering workshops on topics such as reflective writing across disciplines, curriculum mapping, visual literacy, and others that Cohort members tell us they want or need. We also offer class presentations and consultations. We even have a grants program that offers a range of support to faculty as they work to incorporate ePortfolios into their courses and curricula; develop spaces to make this work possible; present on ePortfolios at conferences; and conduct research on ePortfolios.