As more faculty adopt ePortfolio as a valuable tool for the students to succeed in the 21st century, it’s important to recognize the good work students have already accomplished. The following collection is a showcase of good work (and good work in progress) intended to serve as a demonstration of what students are doing, and a set of models for students still trying to embrace and work with their ePortfolios. Enjoy!
Leizel writes: I have always been cautious about staying organized, constantly frantic about losing papers, or not having the necessary ones. Coming into this English class, I was actually relieved and a little intrigued when I heard that we would have our own digital folders for all our work in the duration of the course. I had never heard of an ePortfolio, but after the explanation and set-up, I realized how easy it was to manage. No longer did I have to worry about printing hundreds of papers, misplacing any assignments, or forgetting where I put it on my computer – it was all going to be in the same place.
My ePortfolio was a place where I placed all of my journals, first and final drafts of essays, any responses, peer reviewing feedback, and any other work we may have completed in class. Having the ability to control the appearance and layout of my own space gave me a sense of freedom, instead of the typical 3 ring binders I have been used to. The website itself is super easy to navigate, even for a beginner like myself. Using the ePortfolio this semester has kept me extremely organized and I’m glad that I had the opportunity to utilize this tool. I now have a space where I can keep my files organized and be able to share them with ease.
Cali writes: This isn’t my first time using WordPress and I sincerely doubt that it will be my last. Technology is becoming or already is, a permanent fixture in our lives. That’s why I like that it’s become a fundamental piece in my English class. Printing is a dying art and it is time to adapt to a more advanced style of communication in the classroom. The internet has allowed us a faster, more reliable way of sharing knowledge and contributing ideas to a wider net of people.
For me, ePortfolio allows equal opportunity for everyone to say their piece, without the influence of others. Often in a classroom, there will be the select handful of students who speak and then the rest that remain silent. That is why I enjoy using an online format for communication in the classroom. Online postings tend to give individuals more confidence in what they are about to say. It allows them to say it more clearly as well, and eliminates most of the fear of rejection.
Abby writes: Over the course of this semester I used an ePortfolio to present my work. Using this form of presentation in the beginning seemed pointless. Why put my work on a website where anyone can see it? I thought it was strange who is going to want to look at a college students English assignments. Well, it has made me think once or twice about the quality of work that I am putting out! I tend to make sure I am happy with the quality and word choice I use in my assignments. Using an ePortfolio is a great way to preserve my work so I can see just how much I have progressed as a writer. It’s nice to have a space on the internet that I can call my own. I have the control to decide what I put out (for the most part) and how it will look. Having my work on an ePortfolio helped to define the difference between college and high school. In high school the people who saw my work were the teacher and maybe a friend or two. Now it feels more professional and anyone can see my work.
In a way, it brings things to a new level. I think an ePortfolio connects the dots between school and life after. Depending on my choices I could write and publish a scientific paper or not write another one in my life. Having this portfolio provides me an experience with publication of my works and having some sort of professional experience. I feel as though I am being set up to present my work in the future and I am being given a resource to consult a paper I wrote now or later on. I think ePortfolio is a great tool to use. I have learned a lot not only about myself as a writer, but what I am able to do as a writer. This is helping me to see just how far I have come and how far I can go.
Kenny writes: During this year we’ve used the ePortfolio to organize our work and distribute it to the professor. I’ve learned how the website works and how to make a website to work and look like I want it to. With college I think the use of the ePortfolio is used during all for years.
But with the future it could be used if I have my own business and I need to make a website for it. I could use that to distribute a background of me and some of my work. Mainly this ePortfolio is a way that I can show how my work has evolved from the begin of the semester to the end of it.
Lily writes: Throughout this course my classmates and I have been assigned to post all assignments to our ePortfolio that we made within the first week of class. ePortfolio is a program where you can keep all of your work in one place that showcases the important work that you have completed. It is also a way for the instructor or peers to have easy access to your work at all times. Using the system has allowed me and my peers to have a place where we can keep all of our work to look back on and be able to share it with others. Being able to look back upon all my work that is located in the same spot gave me the ability to look back to help with current assignments. Not only that, it showed me the improvement that I had made within my writing.
Looking into the future I see myself using ePortfolio for my other courses. I will use it as a place to keep all of my important work that I may need to use again or pieces of work that I am proud of. It will be a showcase for the hard work that I have done, and will be an easy portal for what I have to show. Being a fanatic about organization it has helped me to be very organized in a way you can’t do elsewhere. ePortfolio gives you the ability to create different folders, and use your creativity as an advantage. Being creative isn’t one of my strong suits, but I was able to be creative in designing my ePortfolio being able to make it look however I desired. The program also allowed for the use of comments on your work by your peers. Seeing admiring comments helped with being able to push me into working harder on my classwork. ePortfolio is something that I am glad I was introduced to, and look forward to using it for my future endeavors.
Evan writes: After being introduced to ePortfolio, I will admit that at first, the idea of blogging on a regular basis did not appeal to me. However, reflecting upon the entire process now makes me realize that writing down my thoughts and keeping them all in one place proved to be a very valuable system.
The ePortfolio itself contains a variety of assignments, ranging from short responses about selected readings, to peer revisions, to rough and final drafts of term papers. The assignments that make up the majority of the blog are the journals- writing these may have been the most tedious of the assignments, but I did ultimately gain a skill after doing them. Writing them allowed me to practice summarizing both my own ideas as well as an author’s ideas in a concise, succinct manner, as we are generally restricted to a 300-400 word response. Ultimately, this is a valuable skill regardless of your major. I myself am studying pharmacy, but I felt that the process of learning to write successfully and keeping the written entries in one organized space is something I will be able to imitate down the road.
Elizabeth writes: Throughout this semester, each student in our class has put together an ePortfolio in which numerous journals and drafts can be accessed. In the beginning stages of putting this portfolio together, I didn’t fully grasp the point. After building upon the portfolio, it began to take shape. Using this platform not only enabled me to see all of the obstacles I have overcome, but it illustrated how my work has improved over this semester. When I look at my ePortfolio I feel proud. If we were to use blackboard, or another way of submitting work, it would make me feel less accomplished with the hard work I have been putting in. My ePortfolio makes me feel like I am framing the work I have done and makes me more apt to share it with others.
Jeffrey writes: With technology becoming ever more involved in student life, it is apparent there is a push to use less paper. Obviously being a student requires a copious amount of paper for printing, note-taking, etc. Not only is this harmful for the environment, but it can get difficult to deal with so many different subjects and storing information that you feel almost obligated to keep. Therefore, I find using an ePortfolio for my class this semester supremely helpful. Being able to post assignments rather than have everything printed out is just easier to me. Also, these projects are much different than other work in my classes because they are a piece that I created myself. Having this space that I can store all my completed projects is likely going to be helpful in the future. Either for some time when I might need to reference a writing assignment or just to look back on them and reflect.
Writing is a requirement of many fields including sciences. Going into this field, it is helpful that I can look back on what I have learned. Comparing my drafts to my final piece and remembering what the issues I had were can hopefully help me to continue to improve my writing. Also, having written several journals about ways to improve your writing, I can reflect on those as well if necessary. I feel that my ePortfolio makes me feel better about completing this course, given that almost all the work I have done is stored on it. It almost feels like a better tactic for many courses because all the information I have is stored somewhere I can’t lose it. After I have completed other classes, I tend to dispose of the papers from it as they tend to take up a good amount of space. Having the ePortfolio has not only allowed me to be more organized this semester, but also provides me with a place to store all my projects and information I have acquired from the course.
Cassia writes: As a student, my ePortfolio allows me to save my assignments in one convenient location. As a writer, it provides a creative platform to showcase my abilities. One of the greatest advantages of using an ePortfolio is the variety of organization options. I can organize my work however I need: by date, topic, or category. This allows for a neat, professional looking blog with quick navigation, as opposed to a chaotic pile of unidentifiable papers. Messy by nature, I find great value in this feature, as it has surely saved me from many grief-filled deadlines. Besides this academic advantage, using an ePortfolio is, well, fun. It provides an outlet for my creative side, allowing me to format the blog however I want; I can pick and choose the site’s colors, themes, and fonts, detailing and designing the page to my artistic liking. In this way, the portfolio is not only an electronic file cabinet, but also gallery for my writing.
Enjoying the ePortfolio is a good thing, but it’s not the only purpose of this semester long project; the skills acquired from creating and maintaining the portfolio are also important. I’ve learned to manage a blog from the admin’s perspective, and how to create a visually comfortable layout for the reader. I’ve learned to do my work in a timely manner, as the posts are time-stamped when published. And I’ve relearned how connected the web is; a complete stranger commented on one of my posts, which made me remember how nothing is completely hidden on the internet. It’s important to learn and understand these things, not only as a student, but also as a growing adult. Being able to say on a resume that I’ve managed a blog (albeit for academic purposes only) is an advantage. It demonstrates an ability to use blogging platforms at a higher level than others, and shows a creative discipline in publishing and communication. So, while the ePortfolio may only be a semester long project, it has provided me with skills that I will take beyond the classroom.
Jade writes: In taking English 110, it was part of the curriculum to post journals and homework in the ePortfolios. I found the ePortfolios very beneficial because all my assignments were in one place, organized and easy to access. Not only was the ePorfolio a nice way to keep track of all the assignments, but it was also a great way to create something of your own. Posting journals and assignments were just the bare minimum. We could post anything we wanted, songs, poems, short stories etc. We could design the page to fit our liking, creating a unique place. It was a fun way to express ourselves.
For the finish of this class, students needed to put together a portfolio of select works they would like to include to show their progress and how they’ve completed the learning objectives. The ePortfolios made gathering different assignments easy and accessible. What I also like about the ePortfolio is that it allowed the student to have their own responsibility in remembering to post the assignments online. Instead of the teacher collecting journals, and then handing them back, students merely had to post their work before the deadline and then they would be checked for completeness. The ePorfolio was convenient and put more responsibility on the students, and that’s what I valued in them. I hope my future English classes have a system that is the same if not similar.
The showcase continues: In addition to the ePortfolios with student introductions featured above, a number of other students have contributed their work to included in this collection. Please continue to enjoy the showcase of UNE student ePortfolios!