An ePortfolio is a collection of personal work on a website that can be used by students to showcase their work as a supplement to their resume. The idea stems from a paper portfolio used frequently in both art and architecture fields. This paper portfolio is a collection of creative work that can be used to demonstrate one’s proficiency in certain skill sets. The authors propose to include designing such an online ePortfolio as a part of an introductory freshman level course where students start building their ePortfolios. As they progress in their major, more skill sets/projects developed in the later academic years can be added. ePortfolios can be a very effective way for students to market their talent to potential employers and even to graduate programs. For engineering students, this is also a great opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of technical concepts by showcasing key engineering projects or work experiences that they have done for various courses across their curriculum or as part of their internship experiences. The process of creating an ePortfolio can aid in increasing engagement of students in their learning process and encourage them to take responsibility for their work. The creation of the ePortfolio itself also develops skills such as website creation which add to the student’s personal and professional development.
As the authors teach mechanical engineering, they have implemented this idea in junior/senior level mechanical engineering courses that teach students Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Engineering (CAE), but this can be implemented in any major. Also, a freshman class, such as a Fundamentals of Engineering Design (FED) class, where they do a cornerstone design project, would be more appropriate to introduce such an idea. This way the students can start early and build a comprehensive ePortfolio by the end of their undergraduate degree. It would also help them to make connections among courses as well as between theoretical and real-life problems. In our talk, we look forward to sharing more details about them, a few examples of ePortfolios created by our students, and some qualitative feedback received from students about them.
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