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.

Why Aportfolios?

Pedagogy

Aportfolio can be used as a method for documenting, reflecting, and integrating one's process as a learner over time and across multiple courses.  Exemplary programs using ePortfolios include 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. All our Rhetorical and Composition courses utilize Aportfolios to capture the student's process, products, and growth as a writer.  Several of our Capstone courses including Nursing and Studio Art are also using Aportfolio pedagogy to prepare student for successful careers.  Aportfolios support self-directed learning and meaning making which furthers student engagement. They provide a place where students organize, represent, and reflect on their academic growth and the intersections of their professional aspirations and their academic accomplishments. For more information on ePortfolio pedagogy see Aportfolio Pedagogy.

Program Assessment

The University and its programs regularly assesses samples of student work within the APortfolio sytems. The aim of program level assessment is to examine the overall 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/.

Student Showcase

The primary goal of the student Aportfolio is to showcase the student's learning experiences to potential employers or grad schools. 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.

How Students Engage

Samples of Appalachian State University Student Aportfolios

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).