The e-portfolio component is based upon proven educational, personal and professional factors.
Educationally, an e-portfolio provides a progressive, content-rich basis for assessment of a student's work. ACSG 596: E-Portfolio Presentation provides an additional assessment. In this course, faculty will track each student's progress along the curricular path by periodic review of the e-portfolio. Written and multimedia communication skills are honed in the process of helping students become critical thinkers. These are all important objectives for the institution.
Personally, the e-portfolio encourages self-reflection and invites the exchange of ideas and feedback.
Professionally, a graduate's e-portfolio is a self-contained mechanism for showcasing accomplishments and providing evidence of competencies required in the workplace. This aggregation of learning experiences and skill sets is an important tool in the individual's job search.
Each student is required to develop a personal website and maintain an e-portfolio for all course work. The e-portfolio contents should include the following: material, projects and activities performed in the semester; any supplementary material a student may share with the class; and a synthesis of the course's content with study in the degree program to that point. It is this last purpose which will require the greatest involvement of faculty and the greatest amount of analysis and synthesis by the student.
Students may view each others' e-portfolios and use them as additional educational tools. Therefore, students are expected to develop a well-designed and informative website that reflects the nature of their education and major. Interactive web pages will be highly encouraged to allow students to communicate the related material. The e-portfolio can be presented to prospective employers upon graduation.
While the e-portfolio approach is not common in the area of computer science at other institutions, it is very common and successful in other areas of studies. Adding the e-portfolio approach provides a valuable and unique addition to our program. The e-portfolio as proposed is more than posting what students learn in their courses; they will implement the skills they learn creatively by developing a dossier which integrates analysis, synthesis and evaluation of each course in relation to prior (or concurrent) coursework and the overall degree objectives. We then expect the final product to be useful in job interviews.
Potential employees often ask about projects an applicant completed during school, probe an applicant's ability to use technical terms appropriately, and ask questions which require a synthesis or analysis of conditions in response. Building and using the e-portfolio in the way we propose prepares graduates to handle these situations in a systematic manner, which faculty can assess along the way.