Honors College Students are required to create an e-portfolio over the course of their studies at UWG.
What is it?
A student e-Portfolio is a web-based, student curated collection of papers, images, projects, and reflections focused on representing the student’s growth in learning. It encompasses coursework as well as co-curricular and life experiences and itself functions as an important aspect of student learning. Students are invited to be creative in fashioning their own portfolio to represent their skills, talents, and the most important experiences of their own education. The e-Portfolio helps make these experiences and the learning encompassed by them visible to students, their peers, their faculty, and external audiences.
Why do we do it?
Students are required to create an e-Portfolio because it contributes in important ways to their learning. As a High Impact Practice, e-Portfolios help students engage more deeply with their own learning and take responsibility for their own development as learners. This is important for the success of students both in and out of the classroom.
The e-Portfolio is composed of a number of webpages within Google Sites. These pages include the headings listed below. Following each link will provide more information and suggested prompts for each page. The questions and prompts are meant to serve as a guide to building an e-Portfolio, but students will also receive prompts from their professors. After writing the text in response to a prompt, students usually prefer to delete the prompt itself.
The pages will be developed over the course of the student’s career at UWG, so the site will change with each semester and will eventually be publishable and transferable so that the student can continue to use the site after they leave UWG.
While each page is customizable for each student, there will be prompts provided in students’ HONR-prefixed courses asking students to reflect on some aspect of their learning or to add something to their e-Portfolio. E-portfolios will be shared each semester with the Dean of the Honors College and with any Honors College faculty the student has that semester. The Dean and the faculty will provide feedback to the student about what the e-Portfolio exhibits.
For detailed instructions on how to create the e-Portfolio, please refer to the e-Portfolio How-To document.
e-Portfolio Pages and Sections
This is the first page anyone will see when they open your portfolio, so it should be welcoming and informative about what visitors will find in your portfolio. Think about who will be looking at your portfolio and what they will need to know. This page could be viewed as a kind of table of contents for your portfolio.
This page should include your first and last name, but could also include images or quotations that are important to you. (Keep in mind that any photos, videos, or quotations that you use must be properly cited so as not to run afoul of copyright issues).
Think of this page as the opportunity to entice your viewer to click further. What makes your e-Portfolio interesting? Why would others want to see it?
Use this page to tell viewers something about who you are. Certain information should be general—you don’t want just anybody to have access to your address, phone number, or other vital personal information. But you might want people to know where you come from and how that has influenced who you are. This might include information about people, things, or events that have been inspirational for you. You could possibly provide answers to the following kinds of questions or links to websites about these things:
- Who inspires you? Why are they important? What about them inspires you? How have they shaped your life?
- Perhaps there is a book, poem, song, or event that has changed your life. In what way has it changed your thinking?
- Why did you decide to attend the University of West Georgia? What do you hope to accomplish while at the University?
- What skills and talents are you proud of and hoping to develop more thoroughly?
- What strengths do you have that you think will help you to be a successful student and successful beyond UWG?
This section should focus on where you are headed. Think of your audience—what do you want them to know about what you hope to accomplish in your life; what your major is and why you chose it; where you see yourself in five years?
You might also think about this in terms of short term and longer term goals. What are your educational goals? What steps will you be taking while at UWG to meet those goals? How do those educational goals relate to your career goals? Will you be pursuing graduate or professional school? If so, why and where are you interested in going?
Some of these things you may not know right now and that is absolutely fine. This is a working site that helps you to think through these questions. Answers probably will change from year to year as you learn more about yourself through your university courses. Take the time to reflect on those changes and think about including those reflections here.
Achievements and Involvement
This page is where you get to brag about yourself. Think about the things you are most proud of and represent them here. This could be membership in a campus group or holding office for a campus group. It could be something that you are doing through a part-time job or volunteer work that you have taken on. It could be an athletics achievement or presenting your work at an undergraduate research conference.
Think about how these achievements contribute to your overall experience at UWG. Do they reflect things you’ve been learning in your classes or has your coursework influenced these achievements at all? What makes you proud of this achievement? How has it influenced your life or shaped who you are?
This page has sub-folders for each year of your coursework. Some of the information here will be created in response to prompts that you receive in your XIDS 2002 and HONR courses, but you should feel free to add projects or papers or presentations from other courses as well. You might think about which courses each year have been most important to you or most influential to your thinking. Things you might add could include:
- The official course description from the UWG undergraduate catalog
- A reflection on the course. Describe the course in your own words and explain what part of the course you found most interesting or what part was the hardest or the most intellectually challenging or even what part what most disturbing to your own thinking.
- One or two pieces of work you did in the course. These could be papers or presentations or works of art or webpages or anything else you have done for a course.
- Include a reflection upon whatever work you include. Address challenges you encountered or how you were drawn to the idea or topic of a paper or what you might change if you were to do the assignment again or how the assignment connects to other courses you have taken.
For your Junior year you will most likely include your thesis proposal.
For your senior year you will most likely include your thesis project as well as a reflection upon the process of producing the thesis.
Finally, you may include a reflection upon the e-Portfolio itself and how it has contributed to your learning.
It is highly recommended that you go to the Career Center before you complete this section. The Career Center will help you to create an effective and appropriate resume. You can use that as a starting point and continue to update the resume throughout your years at UWG. You can find samples of resumes on the Career Services website. Some of those resumes are tailored to first year students, others to students who are about to graduate, so you can even see how a resume changes as you gain more experiences. Find those templates here:
The comments page allows the people you share your portfolio with to provide feedback on your work.
We are grateful to Bret Eynon and Laura M. Gambino for their book High-Impact ePortfolio Practice, Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing, 2017 which was helpful in creating these descriptions and to LaGuardia Community College whose information on Introductory ePortfolio Prompts was highly instrumental in the structure of our own ePortfolio system.