“In 2014, students approved the allocation of student success fees towards Career Services’ proposal to expand programs targeting career development. This included a portfolio platform to allow students and alumni a space to store resources and reflect upon and showcase work samples and competencies acquired through academic, co-curricular, and professional experiences. Today’s employers expect graduates to communicate and show proof of knowledge and abilities and have expressed a preference for visible evidence of such qualifications. By teaching students to consider the significance of their Learn by Doing work, communicating skills and knowledge, and collecting related artifacts, we will better prepare them for today’s job search.” (Rinaldi, 2016)
In April 2015, the Career Services department launched Portfolium to all students. Since then, over 16,000 current students have created accounts.
How Can You Use Portfolium in Your Course?
Student assignments that lend themselves to critiques, projects, and electronic files can be added to Portfolium to be shared with instructors, peers and potential employers.
“Portfolium is helpful to me because I can add projects from school, work, and personal work to showcase my diverse range of skills and experience in different fields. I think having students post their work on Portfolium is a great idea. Many students do great work but never show it to the world. I think young adults starting out in the professional world should learn to market themselves not just on a resume but also on a portfolio website like Portfolium.” (Lu, 2016) Students like Sophia Lu, may post their artifacts to the Portfolium site. Showcasing her work with digital images, descriptions of the projects and what was learned, attachments, a list of skills used to complete the project, and comments from her instructors or other professionals.
Paper resumes can’t showcase a student’s presentations, videos, writing samples, images, designs, prototypes, code, performances, musical compositions, digital credentials, or assessments like a web-based portfolio can. Portfolium can also link to other websites (personal or others such as LinkedIn) to provide additional information. If you would like to see examples of other students’ work, check out the Cal Poly Contest Winners.
Cal Poly Materials Engineering faculty member, Dr. Linda Vanasupa, used Portfolium in her MATE-340 class.
“Portfolium gave the class a platform to showcase their individual projects to tell a story about their education…that it’s more than just answering questions on a test.” (Vanasupa, 2016)
Linda’s PolyLearn course outlined the Course Project.
She provided an example in her own Portfolium site…
…and a rubric.
Students posted their Portfolium URLs in a PolyLearn Assignment so Linda could review them.
If you would like other students to view Portfolium pages instead of limiting access to only the instructor, you could use the PolyLearn Forum tool to share URLs.
How Do I Learn More?
If you would like to talk to an instructional designer about student portfolio projects, please schedule a consultation with Tonia Malone (email@example.com). She would be glad to help.
Charlotte Rinaldi, Assistant Director of Cal Poly Career Services.
Sophia Lu, Student, Architecture
Linda Vanasupa, Professor, Materials Engineering