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ePortfolio in the Business Classroom

Presented by Patrick J. Lyons, St. John's University
at the Making Connections: ePortfolios, Integrative Learning and Assessment Conference
LaGuardia Community College,
April 11, 2008, 4:00-4:45pm
www.eportfolio.lagcc.cuny.edu/conference

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  1. Abstract

    1. A student portfolio website can be valuable communication aid when seeking employment.

    2. This presentation discuses a straightforward approach to develop student portfolio websites by modifying a prototype website using only Microsoft Word and Internet Explorer.

    3. The procedure is for the student to:

      1. Copy prototype website to student's PC

      2. Modify template webpages to include personal information

      3. Add copies of digital works

      4. Copy result to an Internet server.

    4. Details are given at http://www.patlyons.com/m4322/hw/PortWebsite.htm.

    5. Eighteen student portfolio websites were created and may be viewed in their entirety from http://www.patlyons.com/m4322/hw/StudentWebs.htm.

  2. Author's Note

    1. This presentation is developed from the article, "Student Portfolio Websites: Valuable Communication Aids to Future Employers," by Patrick Lyons, to appear in the St. Johnís University, Review of Business.

  3. Introduction

    1. Student portfolio website is a website that contains:

      1. Samples of student's work - wordprocessed documents, workbooks, presentations, ... 

      2. Summarizing webpages that provide easy navigation to the various works.

    2. Student portfolio website can be valuable communication aid to potential employers.

      1. Consider situation where student receives phone call about employment after submitting resume.

      2. During conversation, interviewer may inquire about writing skills.  Student asks interviewer to view student's portfolio website.

      3. Student leads interviewer directly to summary of appropriate document, and then document itself.  They have meaningful discussion, because interviewer reads summary and looks at document.

      4. Conversation can lead to additional workbooks, presentations, ... 

      5. Portfolio website increases studentís ability to communicate value of student's works.

    3. When student invited for onsite interview, portfolio website facilitates 1-on-1 interviews and presentations to larger groups.

  4. Generic Types of Portfolios

    1. Greenberg (2004) proposed classifying portfolios by when work is organized relative to when work is created. Results in three portfolio types.

    2. Showcase Portfolio - contains work already created.

    3. Structured Portfolio - has predefined organization in anticipation of future work.

      1. Common goal is to demonstrate accomplishments for certification.

      2. Predefined organization allows easier systematic review, evaluation, and comparison of work.

      3. Some professions (elementary, secondary teaching) have formal standards and certification requirements.

    4. Learning Portfolio - evolves over time as tasks are identified, worked on, and completed in response to studentís changing interests, requirements, and understanding.

      1. Learning portfolios encourage ongoing reflection that help students understand their learning processes.

  5. Use of Generic Portfolios in Design of Prototype Portfolio Website

    1. The Prototype Portfolio Website contains elements from all three generic portfolios.

    2. Showcase Portfolio: prototype contains Showcase webpage.

      1. Student lists best wordprocessed documents, workbooks, presentations and/or other digital works.

    3. Structured Portfolio: although no formal certification required of business students, there is informal understanding by most employers that students have appropriate writing and worksheet skills.

      1. Prototype contains two webpages for best wordprocessed documents and best workbooks, where students explain their skills.

    4. Learning Portfolio: since learning portfolios encourage ongoing reflection to help students understand their learning processes, the works to be included were not limited in any way.

      1. Students reflect on all their work, including other courses, high school and nonacademic work.

      2. Prototype contains two webpages for most creative works and best courses.  (These were not required for the MIS course, but were included for students to develop their future learning portfolios.)

  6. Prototype Portfolio Website

    1. Prototype Portfolio Website was developed by the author using Microsoft FrontPage.  See www.patlyons.com/StuPortfolio.

    2. Homepage (to view, click link to left) contains introduction about student and links to additional pages describing studentís:

    3. Showcase - best of the best - list of best wordprocessed documents, workbooks, presentations and/or other digital works.
      Each has link to the work and concise evocative description between 25 to 100 words.

    4. Best wordprocessed documents - list of best wordprocessed documents.
      Each has link to the document and concise evocative description, explaining how document demonstrates studentís writing skills.

    5. Best workbooks - list of best workbooks.
      Each has link to the workbook and concise description, explaining how workbook demonstrates studentís workbook skills.

    6. Best presentations - list of best presentations.
      Each has link to the presentation and concise description, explaining how presentation demonstrates studentís presentation skills.

    7. Most creative - list of what student considers student's most creative works.
      They may duplicate some of the above.
      Each has link to the work and description of how it demonstrates studentís creativity.

    8. Best courses - list of what student considers most important courses taken at St. Johnís.
      Each has short explanation, and may have links to above works.

    9. Other works - list of other works, databases, computer programs, websites, graphics, or other digital works.
      Each has link to the work and concise description, explaining how the work demonstrates studentís skills.

    10. Resume - a standard resume format, with hyperlinks to achievements, education, interests, work experience.

    11. Achievements - list of achievements, but with more detail than standard resume.

    12. Education - list of schools attended, but with more detail than standard resume.

    13. Interests - list of interests, but with more detail than standard resume.

    14. Work Experience - list of employment, but with more detail than standard resume.

    15. Career Resources - list of links that student finds helpful when researching career options.

    16. Career Plans

    17. Unofficial transcript - contains grades and professors.

  7. Student Exercises to Create Portfolio Website

    1. The student portfolio website is created through a series of five exercises.

    2. Portfolio Exercise I - Establish Stupub Website (click link to left to see actual exercise)

      1. Student creates Mgt4322 folder on student's PC.

      2. Student copies professor's port folder from Professors S: drive into student's Mgt4322 folder.

      3. Student uses Microsoft Word to modify student's website homepage by changing Joan Q. Student to student's name.

      4. Student uses Microsoft Internet Explorer with ftp://stupub.stjohns.edu/ to drag and drop modified copy of port folder to student's stupub website.

    3. Portfolio Exercise II - Add Wordprocessed Documents

      1. Wordprocessed documents added to website and corresponding links and descriptions added to navigation webpage.

      2. Student drags and drops three best wordprocessed documents from other folders to working copy of port folder.

      3. Student uses Microsoft Word to modify website navigation page for wordprocessed documents.

        1. For each document, student creates short title followed by concise evocative description 25-100 words in length.

        2. For each document, student creates hyperlink to the document.

      4. Student uses Microsoft Internet Explorer to drag and drop modified copy of port folder to student's stupub website.

    4. Portfolio Exercise III - Add Workbooks

      1. Workbooks are added in similar fashion as wordprocessed documents.

      2. Student drags and drops three best Excel workbooks from other folders to student's working copy of port folder.

      3. Student uses Word to modify website navigation page for Excel workbooks with same procedure in Exercise II above.

      4. Student uses Internet Explorer to drag and drop port folder to student's stupub website.

    5. Portfolio Exercise IV - Add Showcase and Homepage Text

      1. Showcase and Homepage Text added.

      2. Student drags and drops three best work pieces to student's copy of port folder. (These work pieces may be duplicates of wordprocessed documents and/or workbooks included in Exercises II and III.)

      3. Student uses Word to modify Showcase webpage.

      4. Student uses Word to modify introduction, passion, short term career tactic, and long term career strategy on student's homepage.

        1. These statements are made to be consistent with results of student's Career Exercises.

      5. Student uses Internet Explorer to drag and drop port folder to student's stupub website.

    6. Portfolio Exercise V - Review by SJU Writing Center

      1. After performing first four exercises, student has working portfolio website.

      2. Purpose: reflect on website information and modify it to be compelling to future employers.
        Barrett (2007) noted that a critical component of a studentís portfolio is the student's reflection on the individual pieces of work as well as an overall reflection on the story that the portfolio tells.

      3. Specifically, student designs homepage to entice viewer to ask leading questions about student's passion.

        1. Navigation pages are revised to support several convincing replies.

      4. Procedure.  Student:

        1. Reviews student's website with St. Johnís Writing Center tutor

        2. Reflects on discussion with Writing Center tutor

        3. Revises website accordingly.

  8. Resulting Student Portfolio Websites

    1. Eighteen student portfolio websites were created in an undergraduate MIS course.
      1. MIS course outline - www.patlyons.com/m4322

      2. Student Stupub Websites webpage

        1. Located at www.patlyons.com/m4322/hw/StudentWebs.htm

        2. Contains table with each student name and link to student's homepage.

      3. To view a studentís homepage, click on homepage link.
        To view more of studentís website, follow corresponding link from studentís homepage.

    2. Diana Lounsbury
      1. Homepage demonstrates appropriate statements for passion, short term career tactic, and long term career strategy.

      2. Diana is actively updating her portfolio website.

        1. She has updated webpages for presentations, most creative works, resume, unofficial transcript.

      3. She has applied to four graduate schools, some of which require writing samples in digital form. Diana feels that referring the schools to her website is easier and more effective than CDs.

    3. Danielle Adler

      1. Showcase webpage has PowerPoint presentation, Word document, and Excel workbook.

      2. Since Danielle is a finance major, these choices, with their appropriate descriptions, demonstrate her well-rounded skills to become a successful financial analyst.

    4. Kanieza Juman

      1. Word Processed Documents webpage has three different types of documents.

        1. RFIDs Influence at IBM - a technical study

        2. Punishments and Rewards - an essay about ethics

        3. Hybrid Car - a strategic analysis.

      2. Since Kanieza is a finance major, these choices, with their appropriate descriptions, demonstrate her breadth of writing skills to become a successful financial analyst.

  9. Conclusions

    1. First conclusion: because students found it straightforward and relatively easy to develop their websites, the approach should be continued.

    2. Second: because there was substantial improvement in quality of navigation pages after reflection with Writing Center tutor, review by Writing Center should be continued.

    3. Third: colleges and universities should design their websites so that, for students who wish to have their portfolios showcased, there is a straightforward path for employers to find them.

      1. DiMarco (2007) found that only nine of 294 colleges and universities in NY State had active retrievable student portfolio websites.

    4. Fourth: all faculty should encourage students to include their course projects on studentsí portfolio websites.

      1. When a project will last a lifetime (on student website), and not pass into oblivion (when course is over), the student will be more motivated to do superior work.

  10. References

    1. Barrett, H.C. 2007. White paper: ďResearching Electronic Portfolios and Learner Engagement,Ē http://www.electronicportfolios.org/reflect/whitepaper.pdf.

    2. DiMarco, J. 2007. ďA Statewide Analysis of Student Web Portfolios in New York Colleges and Universities,Ē International Journal of Information and Communication Technology Education, Apr-Jun. Vol. 3, Iss. 2; p. 15 (8 pages).

    3. Greenberg, G. 2004. ďThe Digital Convergence: Extending the Portfolio Model,Ē EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 39, no. 4 (July/August 2004), pp 28-36, http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0441.pdf.

                       (This page was last edited on April 10, 2008 .)