If I told you Auburn University offered a program that can improve your learning and potentially increase your odds of employment or acceptance to graduate schools would you participate in this free, campus-wide initiative? Auburn University’s ePortfolio Project offers just that. (Photo: ePortfolio Project)
In 2013 the Association of American Colleges & Universities conducted an online survey to gain knowledge on the priorities employers look for in college learning and student success. Eighty three percent of employers said an ePortfolio would be useful in evaluating the knowledge and success of potential hires.
With this information, it should come as no surprise that a wide variety of schools, departments and programs at Auburn University have joined the ePortfolio Project. The ePortfolio Project, housed in the Office of University Writing, can be found at work across the Auburn University campus from multiple departments in the college of liberal arts to the college of architecture to biosystems engineering to the school of kinesiology and even to the nursing, pharmacy and vet medicine schools and many more.
“No matter what major you plan to choose, you’ll be able to create an ePortfolio. What do you want to be able to show graduate schools or potential employers? The process of creating an ePortfolio invites you to be intentional with your time at Auburn so that you can communicate the significance of your skills, experiences and learning,” explains Dr. Lesley Bartlett, Assistant Director of University Writing for the ePortfolio Project.
Only in its second official year, the ePortfolio Project has been adopted by upwards of 30 colleges, departments and programs and a number of individual students participate in the ePortfolio Project on their own time. For students whose departments or programs don’t assign and teach ePortfolios, the ePortfolio Project hosts a workshop series to aid these students in creating their professional ePortfolio by revisiting coursework and extracurriculars and teaching students how best to share those experiences with a professional audience. Further, during the pilot year (2012-2013), the Office of University Writing recognized a need for ePortfolio ambassadors. ePortfolio ambassadors act as the student voice for the ePortfolio Project by creating their own ePortfolios, advocating the initiative to individual classes and student organizations and attending ePortfolio Project events. Additionally, the ePortfolio Project has been recognized in the 2013-2018 Auburn University Strategic Plan under priority one as a way to enhance student learning. “This recognition certainly makes us more visible and emphasizes the institution’s commitment to this project,” notes Bartlett. (Photo: Used with permission. Photographer is Matt Werner.)
Further emphasizing Auburn’s commitment to the ePortfolio Project, resources can be found across campus to aid and promote student and faculty involvement in this initiative. The Miller Writing Center tutors students on their ePortfolios. Additionally, the ePortfolio Project awards the Gary Brown ePortfolio Project Faculty Cohort Award to recognize exemplary leadership in promoting the project. Similarly, grants are awarded to faculty members each spring to support the meaningful teaching that the ePortfolio Project promotes. (Photo: Used with permission. Photographer is Matt Werner.)
“The ePortfolio Project is all about student learning,” adds Bartlett. “We believe the process of documenting, archiving, reflecting on, synthesizing and showcasing experiences can be transformative for students. And if the ePortfolio helps students get jobs—and we think it will—then all the better. We’re still a young project, but we aim to be a signature part of students’ Auburn experience.”
The ePortfolio is a living document in that it should change as you change and evolve as your audience and purpose evolves. Once you have created your ePortfolio and graduated, it is important to maintain the ePortfolio as you gain more experience. The Auburn family enjoys seeing its members grow and learn, and the ePortfolio Project showcases just that!
For more information and to see examples of Auburn students’ ePortfolios, please visit the ePortfolio Project website.
Editor's Note: All of the students responsible for Auburn Family create digital portfolios, too. They are featured at PRProspects.me. The current group of students will publish their portfolio websites at the end of this semester.
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