Freshman students in the University of Nevada, Reno Honors Program get the opportunity to showcase their creative skills, while plotting out their long-term educational goals through an electronic learning portfolio they create during their first semester at the University.
"It provided me a creative space to analyze myself and my goals and really painted a picture of how I planned on achieving my goals," said Honors student and National Merit Scholar Jessica Kim.
In their e-portfolios, students show evidence of their academic work, accomplishments, and extracurricular activities; and reflect on the process of learning and their progress during the first semester of college. They can easily customize their design with the use of Lectora Publisher, the authoring software they use to build their e-portfolios.
Instructional designers in Teaching & Learning Technologies teach technical skills and answer questions in three workshops throughout the semester. They also provide one-on-one consultations and e-portfolio review sessions with students. The project culminates with student e-portfolio presentations at the end of the semester.
On Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011, students attended an awards ceremony, sponsored by Information Technology, to recognize the best e-portfolio visual design, best content, best implementation of a theme, and best overall. Presenting this year's awards were Steve Zink, VP of Information Technology, and Jill Wallace, Instructional Design Manager.
The awards went to Mariah Gramolini for Best Visual Design; Jessica Kim for Best Content/Artifacts; Nishok Yadav for Best Implementation of a Theme; Kaitlin Kimbrough for Best Presentation; and Brooke Lynn Mikkelsen, Mariah Gramolini, Danica Anderson, Jessica Kim, and Jessica Chen for Best Overall e-portfolio in their classes. The Best of the Best E-portfolio, an award given to the person whose e-portfolio epitomized excellence in all the categories, was given to Jessica Kim.
Increasing in popularity in Honors Programs across the nation, the e-portfolio becomes the learning portfolio.
"The e-portfolio provides students with a method of documenting their work and growth throughout the semester. It engages students in the process of continuous reflection on the learning process and preparation for their futures," said Tamara Valentine, director of the Honors Program.