ePortfolios: Resume 2.0?

I’ve been preparing to train our new crop of peer leaders, incredible students who will be working as mentors for incoming FYS students in the fall.  Part of their job will be to facilitate the create of “FYePortfolios” for FYS students.  We are encouraging first year students to begin to keep an online portfolio of their development as college students, and I will be training these peers on how to use wordpress to do so.

Doing this work has made me think about my own looming job search, and the way in which digital technologies can facilitate a much richer way of interacting with an applicant pool.  I think I may start my own ePortfolio, especially to showcase teaching and publication documents.  Rather than just describing some classroom activity in an interview, an ePortfolio could really make my teaching style come alive for prospective employers, I think.  It might take time for ePortfolios to really become a required part of the job application process, but it certainly can’t hurt to get ready. (On a related note, I’ve begun to think of this blog as a type of “targeted” ePortfolio – a learning portfolio and showcase portfolio that tracks my engagement with technology and also serves as an archive.)

For college students who are not yet on the full-time job market, ePortfolios can provide a way to reflect on their learning and progress, make connections across courses and between things they’ve done in high school and college or in two different courses or in school and out of school, and act as an archive of key documents.  It can also be exploratory; maybe blogging, compiling and curating will help people identify passions or career goals.  For the FYS peer leaders, we’d like them to have a personal blog, detail their campus involvement and provide information about themselves, but we are open to other uses/content.  One thing that’s been helpful for me is looking around the web for different types of ePortfolios, and I thought I’d share them with you:

Clemson University in South Carolina has a pretty expansive ePortfolio program, and has some interesting links in its gallery.  One student ambassador’s site has some good categories for possible peer leader pages (watch out, the Clemson fight song blasts from the home page!)

There are lots of ePortfolio initiatives happening right here at CUNY.  One thing I really like about the set-up at LaGuardia is that students have a tab for “courses” where they list all their courses and upload work they have done for that course will reflections.  I like the archival nature of that, and how it encourages a longer term view of coursework beyond the confines of a single semester.  NYCCT’s ePortfolios are very professional – I could definitely see them being brought up in an interview.

Penn State has a really big ePortfolio program.  In their gallery, they isolate especially interesting aspects of 3 student ePortfolios.  Take a look.

Anyone out there have an ePortfolio?  Did it help you get a job or have other benefits?  Any challenges we should look out for?

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One Response

  1. Yes, You are right, BUT, have you asked to see the ePortfolios of your incoming cohort? I believe that as much as the ePortfolio should be both needs driven (ie the need of the learner to demonstrate competencies) and process driven (ie the special interactions that the ePortfolio can especially support between peers, learners and practitioners) there is also a place for the ePortfolio to be demand driven.

    When I have asked practitioners if they have asked to see the ePortfolios of students in mainstream education, the usual answer is “Oh! I never thought of that.” Similarly, I believe that it is now time to really push for all employers to understand the various benefits of ePortfolios and to DEMAND to see the ePortfolios of our graduates. Perhaps this even requires support by our governments?

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