UNIT announces e-portfolio initiative

Raynor Denitzio

The University’s Instructional Technology Group has announced an Electronic Portfolio initiative. The project, which began in June 2004, allows students to create an electronic portfolio to display their educational history at the University. Two products, TaskStream and iWebfoli, are being utilized.”You can think of it like a 3-D résumé ,” said Richard Wack, an instructional technology analyst with UNIT. “There’s a lot you can do with it.”The program lets students collect papers, web projects, résumé and multimedia files into one concise package. It is similar in format to a webpage, but can easily be downloaded onto disk or other forms for ease of use.”It’s easy to take it out of the e-portfolio system,” Wack said. “Both products have a feature where you can download the entire content of the portfolio and move it onto your personal website.”The service is free to students during their time at the University. Six months after graduation, students are given the option of discontinuing the service, or renewing their subscription on their own accord. Wack also stressed that people do not need to be particularly web knowledgeable to use the program. “There’s a big list of pre-defined templates, whether it’s going to be an employment portfolio or showcase portfolio,” Wack said. “It’s structured very nicely for you; you can update it easily. It’s nice for those who aren’t really web savvy.”The program has been used mainly for education students. It is especially helpful to them because they can easily structure their portfolios to meet the different accreditation standards of various states. The program has benefits beyond education, however.”You could create your own personal e-portfolio,” said Wack. “You could share it out to employers, and they can easily look at your snapshot of your work here at Villanova.”Another feature of the e-portfolios is the ability to have student portfolios reviewed by both fellow students and professors. This provides for feedback and can lead to a better overall product. “They can share their work very easily with professors and can build in peer-to-peer review,” said Wack.In the future, UNIT plans to host more events to promote the e-portfolio initiative. On March 21 the University will host a technology fair, which will include a portfolio contest. Students will submit e-portfolios and then a panel will select the best 5-10 portfolios. Students and faculty will then have the ability to vote for the best portfolio, with the winner receiving an iPod. UNIT hopes that events such as this will get the word out.”We want people to get an opportunity to use this and get their feedback,” said Wack. Eventually, UNIT would like the whole campus to be able to take advantage of the e-portfolio program. For the time being, there are a limited number of accounts available, so UNIT asks that those who are truly interested to contact them so an account can be set up. UNIT hopes students will take advantage of this opportunity to help them with employment down the road.”Any industry would want to see growth and samples of your work,” Wack said. For more information, contact the Center for Instructional Technologies at 610-519-5777 or via e-mail at [email protected]