Another Career Week has come and gone, (hopefully) leaving in its wake the momentum, motivation, and networking connections necessary for future employment/career pursuits.
I had the opportunity to check out the “Speaking to your Strength with an e-Portfolio – How to Create an Effective e-Portfolio” session that was held on Thursday morning (Oct. 22). As the title suggests, the purpose of this session was to highlight the utility of e-portfolios and to introduce a new platform called OnQ, which allows users to create and manage their own e-portfolios.
I guess this raises the question, what is an e-portfolio?
An electronic portfolio is not a new concept; in fact, portfolios have been around for hundreds of years…it’s just that now we’ve gotten fancy and put our files IN the computer.
An e-portfolio is essentially a digital collection of items intended to communicate an individual’s achievements, and academic and professional experiences, while being infused with an element of individuality. Moreover, an e-portfolio is a dynamic document that allows for continual adjustment as your perspectives mature, along with your list of achievements and experiences.
Given that grad school (and life for that matter) is a process, the learning, growth, and experiences that take place during an individual’s years of grad school are not effectively communicated by a couple of lines on a CV. An e-portfolio complements a CV in that it adds meaningful depth that cannot be captured by a conference abstract citation.
In addition to being an electronic record of your work for the viewing pleasure of others, an e-portfolio affords the opportunity for self-reflective learning, a process that repeatedly comes up in discussions of career/employment topics (i.e. personal branding). In order to effectively sell yourself to someone else, you must first know what and whom you are selling, and what areas still need some work.
There are a number of applications and benefits to establishing and maintaining an e-portfolio. For additional reading on this topic, check out this link
Coming to a Queen’s Near You – OnQ
Queen’s has launched a new learning-management system intended to replace Moodle called OnQ. Currently being pilot tested, OnQ is set to fully launch in 2016 – 2017. Among the services available on this platform is the ability to create and maintain your own e-portfolio. At the “Speaking to your Strength with an e-Portfolio – How to Create an Effective e-Portfolio” session, attendees were provided with access to this platform and were given a tutorial on how to create a good e-portfolio.
I found the software to be exceptionally intuitive and user friendly, and liked how customizable the interface was. The software allows users to create artifacts the range from links, files, and reflections. As an example, you could create a post about your thesis project. Within that post, you could include a link to the publication, pictures from the project, and a lay description/personal reflection about the process.
I have included a screenshot of the user interface and example of a quick e-portfolio that I created.
The utility and application of an e-portfolio is quite diverse. While e-portfolios are unlikely to replace a common CV, they provide additional, meaningful information about you for a prospective employer.
For more info on OnQ and creating your own e-portfolio, check out OnQ, and if you’re really keen, keep your eyes peeled for pilot testing opportunities.