INDIANAPOLIS -- College graduates trying to enter the workforce with a paper resume and transcript? That's so 20th century.
Students today can show the breadth and depth of their academic career and more with an ePortfolio, an online portfolio that can be built and enhanced from grade school all the way through college and into their work life.
The next-generation concept and platform were developed by CourseNetworking LLC and the IUPUI CyberLab, with ePortfolio licenses being offered free worldwide to all K-12 and higher education institutions with optional paid services and features.
"The CN ePortfolio has carefully developed its application software based on students' needs in the 21st century," said Ali Jafari, a professor in the School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI as well as the founder of CourseNetworking and director of the IUPUI CyberLab.
"Unfortunately, most of today's graduates are still using an ancient method for job applications -- 'My name is John Smith; please see attached my two-page resume and one-page transcript.' But employers need much more detailed information about the candidates, more than a single alphabet letter on a transcript page.
"They need to see evidence of the candidates' learning and their claimed competencies in a convincing and authentic presentation, which is the basis of our CN ePortfolios."
With an ePortfolio, students can collect all of their learning evidences with comments, reflections and endorsements from their teachers and classmates, as well as internships and work experiences, in a format that they will own for the rest of their lives. Think of it as a living, breathing, constantly growing and updating resume and self-branding tool in cyberspace.
"It's more than a product. It's about the process -- a process in which they're identifying significant work; reflecting on learning; and connecting the dots between coursework, cocurricular experiences and life experiences," said Amy Powell, executive director of ePortfolio in IUPUI's Division of Undergraduate Education. "Students take ownership of their story, with a sense of purpose and a path."
When new students begin at IUPUI, they are given access to lifelong CN ePortfolio and a support network to help realize its full capabilities. Faculty are offered seminars and encouraged to use ePortfolio in their classes.