August 29, 2013
College students searching for employment after graduation are using digital portfolios to showcase their skills and talent to prospective employers they hope will hire them. In turn, employers can easily access these Web-based repositories round-the-clock to make informed hiring decisions.
Based in part on research funded by a $10,000 IUPUI grant, Dr. Katherine Wills and a colleague from Texas Technological University have published an edited collection of 12 essays written by innovative U.S. educators who advocate using digital portfolios as a tool in and out of the classroom.
The collection offers new viewpoints about how today’s college professors and students are using emerging technologies for teaching, learning, professional development, and employment searches.
In a book titled ePortfolio Performance Support Systems: Constructing, Presenting, and Assessing Portfolios (Parlor Press, 2013), the authors share and analyze some of the best practices being used in higher education.
Wills, an associate professor of English in the Division of Liberal Arts at IUPUC, has required students in her ENG-E 450 capstone course to develop digital portfolios.
“Digital portfolios save time, money, and paper,” she explained. “For educators, they area convenient means of sharing an array of information, artifacts, and materials for teaching. For students, they are a creative, cost-effective, and easily accessible way to provide documentation of their skills, experiences, and achievements as they begin the job search.”
Wills and colleagues use ePortfolios to facilitate sustainable, measurable student development, assessment, and accountability. The technology supports writing-related student learning, knowledge transfer, and principles related to universal design, just-in-time support, interaction design, and usability testing. The educators are tracking ways in which ePortfolios evolve in and out of workplace environments, public arenas, and across academic programs and curricula. ePortfolios aren’t limited to higher education, Wills added. “Teachers and students in K-12 classrooms use them to document achievement and reflections on learning.”
An IUPUC faculty member since 1991, Wills’ research includes international writing and teaching writing with technology. She was an invited facilitator at the Moscow State University 16th Annual Fulbright Summer School on Composition and Rhetoric and at the Writing Research across Borders Conference in Paris. She is a published poet whose works explore life in Indiana.
For information, contact Dr. Wills at 812.348.7215 or firstname.lastname@example.org.