By Emily Cook, TLS staff writer

In one psychology course at Carleton, cuPortfolio is teaching students the value of reflection, and giving them a platform to showcase their work to future employers.

Professor Janet Mantler’s course, Transition from University to Career, gets students thinking about their overall degree, which she says prepares them for their future.

“By the time the course is over, hopefully they think about how their whole degree integrates and it gets them ready to talk about it in job interviews or with other people when they leave university,” she says.

Students in Mantler’s class create two portfolios – one contains reflections and course work, while the other is a professional portfolio that can be used to showcase academic experiences to an external audience.

Mantler says that while there is a template for the professional portfolios, the fifth page is open to students’ creativity and interpretation.

“I can look at that fifth page and get a sense of who they are as a professional, not just as a student,” she says.

Three years into using cuPortfolio, Mantler says she’s learned how to make the project successful. She had previously used cuPortfolio in an honours course and says it didn’t work out well because she hadn’t put enough thought into the value the tool would have.

“When using an ePortfolio, one of the most important things is to think about what the purpose of it is,” she says.

When it came to her Transition course, Mantler says she had a very clear pedagogical purpose behind the use of ePortfolios.

“There was a lot of reflection and a lot of integration that [the students] may not even know they were doing,” she says.

But by the end of the course, Mantler says the students were able to see trends and progression of their work in cuPortfolio. She attributes this to the combination of a well-designed assignment and the nature of the portfolio, displaying all of their work in one place.

It took a lot of work ahead of time to ensure cuPortfolio was going to be the right tool for her course, Mantler adds.

“It doesn’t replace good pedagogy, it didn’t replace teaching,” she says. “It was an assistance to teaching, it went alongside and it was just another tool in my pedagogical tool belt that worked for this assignment.”

To find out more about Mantler’s experience with cuPortfolio, watch the full interview below. You can also watch interviews with other instructors on the cuPortfolio instructor peer support site.

Below is a list of time codes related to the start of a new question in the video. You can jump to a new topic by moving the video time bar to the respective time codes.

1:48 – What value did cuPortfolio add to your course?
3:15 – How do you use reflection with cuPortfolio?
4:22 – How do you assess student portfolios?
6:45 – What challenges did you experience using cuPortfolio in your course?
7:41 – Did you experience any push back from students when using cuPortfolio?
10:25 – What advice do you have for an instructor who is thinking about using cuPortfolio in their teaching?

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