What is Aportfolio?

In the simplest of terms an Aportfolio is an academic website where students collect and reflect on their learning. The ultimate goal of the students' Aportfolio is to intentionally document learning and to design a positive digital presence for a professional audience. At Appalachian State University our students and faculty use Aportfolios for multiple purposes in the context of a class, program, major, research project, international experience or career search.

View Samples of Appalachian State University Student Aportfolios

Why Aportfolios?

Making Learning Transparent

Aportfolios can be used as a method of integration and meaning making as students document and reflect on their experiences and process as a learner over time and across multiple courses.   Aportfolios support self-directed learning, information literacy, and creative aesthetics in web design.  The process of designing and creating an ePortfolio assists students in articulating transferable skills, knowedge, and co-curricular learning.  All our Rhetorical and Composition courses utilize Aportfolios to capture the student's process, products, and growth as a writer.   Aportfolios provide a place where students organize, represent, and contextualize their academic growth and the intersections with their professional aspirations. For more information on ePortfolio pedagogy see Aportfolio Pedagogy.

Preparing for a Professional Life

Exemplary programs using ePortfolios include Nursing, Recreation Management, Geography/Planning and Psychology which start their students in the process of creating a pre-professional ePortfolio during the first year of the their major.  Many of our Capstone courses are also using ePortfolio pedagogy to prepare student for graduate school and successful careers.   Over 60% of colleges and universities currently have their students using ePortfolios for courses or job searches. In addition to a resume or college transcript, more than 4 in 5 employers say an electronic portfolio would be useful to them in ensuring that job applicants have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in their company or organization.(It Takes More than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success Summary, AAC&U, 2013). Showcase Aportfolios are intentionally crafted for specific professional audiences. Students solicit critical feedback from professors, advisors, Career Services and/or the Writing Center before making their Aportfolios public.

Program Assessment

The University and its programs regularly assesses samples of student work within the APortfolio system. The aim of program level assessment is to examine evidence of student learning relative to specific program learning outcomes. This type of assessment is intended to provide guidance to programs towards improving the success of their students learning.  Aportfolios provide opportunities for students, faculty and administrators to look deeply, authentically, and holistically at the learning experiences within the university.  For case studies on how other campuses are using ePortfolios for assessment see: http://c2l.mcnrc.org/oa/.

Types of ePortfolios

 

Integrative ePortfolio

Showcase ePortfolio

Purpose

Making learning transparent, bringing together highlights of academic, co-curricular and personal growth. Creative and exploratory, developmental over time

Presentation of your skills, knowledge, demeanors, experiences for a professional audience

Content

Goals and aspirations, projects, drafts, art, photos, final papers, videos, travel, journals, reflections.

An intentionally curated collection of exemplary academic work, leadership, community involvement, presented in a visually aesthetic manner.

Focus

The process of your learning

The product of your learning

Goals

Self-knowledge, meaning making, growth over time, chronicling the development of your intellectual identity

Networking and branding of your professional identity

Audience

Faculty, mentors, advisors, peers, family

Employers, graduate school, sponsors – the public

Student Perspectives

To see how our students are using Aportfolio, watch the Student Perspectives Video:

For more information about the Aportfolio project contact Elaine Gray (grayje@appstate.edu).