Leading Future Leaders

students working on laptops together

During an ePortfolio project, students should

  1. Create an ePortfolio on a web-based platform (all support and information is for Adobe Express, formerly Adobe Spark),
  2. Articulate their goals, both academic and personal, for their college experience,
  3. Reflect on the process of making informed decisions through one's curricular and co-curricular experience, and
  4. Communicate understanding of how they developed one Core Quality in a core course of their choice over the last semester.

In order to facilitate this, faculty and staff host workshops throughout the semester that align with the academic calendar and work in tandem with the advising schedule.  

For video tutorials about ePortfolios, Adobe Express, and workshop content, visit the Getting Started Page.

Workshop Guidelines

MSU's current ePortfolio workshops run for an hour and a half, with a structured beginning introducing the material necessary and then time for students to work independently on their ePortfolios with staff available for questions. The guided sections of each workshop will differ depending on what stage of the ePortfolio students are on, but a presentation on what to work on will ensure that students have more of an idea of what the ePortfolio project entails. Module 1, for example, will be more focused on the technology aspect of the ePortfolio project, including a demonstration on how to set up and use Adobe Express. Ideally, this first module will introduce most if not all of the formatting elements of the ePortfolio, leaving the other modules open to introduce content and reflection.

Students who have already completed an ePortfolio and are interested in next steps can attend Professional Development Workshops, which focus on brand building, targeting an audience, and presentation. 

Module 1: Getting Started

Module 1 focuses on the first learning outcome, helping students create and begin to fill out their ePortfolio. While an important factor of the ePortfolio project is intentional reflection and choices for future educational and career goals, ePortfolios are also a space for students to include experiences and artifacts that help define who they are and what sets them apart from others. During this module, faculty and staff are encouraged to help students brainstorm on the past experiences and events they have been a part of that have shaped them into the people they are today. 

It is important for faculty and staff to be familiar with the platforms available to students in order to best assist them in beginning this project. For information on the Adobe Creative Cloud as well as past examples of ePortfolios, visit the Getting Started or Student Resources pages. 

Who are you? What makes you that person?

Important questions to ask during this module:

  • Who are you? and,
  • What makes you that person?
  • What is important to you?
  • What makes you unique?

What is important to you? What makes you unique?

Presentations for this module should include:

  • Demonstrations on setting up and logging into Adobe Express
  • Examples of how to create a new project with different sections and pages
  • An explanation on how to add content

At the end of this module, students should have:

  • A complete ePortfolio shell, including all sections (Welcome, Achievements & Goals, Coursework, and Outside the Classroom)
  • The Welcome section filled out, including their name, a short bio, their major, and at least one picture that clearly shows their face
  • A few artifacts (pictures, videos, etc.) included in their ePortfolio from prior experiences that have shaped them, including jobs and extra- and co-curricular activities from the past year

Workshop Materials and Resources

Module 2: Preparing for Advising

Module 2 focuses on the second learning outcome, guiding students towards creating goals and plans for the future of their academic careers. Students should attend workshops before meeting their adviser so that they have a clear plan and ideas coming into their advising appointment. This should include looking towards the next semester and beginning to think about what courses to take. Faculty and staff running ePortfolio workshops are not playing an advising role in this module, but rather asking questions and allowing students the space to think about how they want to plan out their own educational trajectories. 

There is also space in this module to encourage students to begin filling out their past achievements, which should come before goals in their ePortfolios. This exercise may assist students in looking back on what they have already done and inspire thinking about what else they can do. This is also a good time to begin filling in the Coursework section; encourage students to think about the courses they have already taken and what skills and qualities these courses fostered in them. 

What are your goals? What do you want to achieve?

Important questions to ask during this module:

  • What are your goals?
  • What do you want to achieve?
  • How are your classes?
  • What are you interested in?

How are your classes? What are you interested in?

Presentations for this module should include:

  • Information about registration including an overview of DegreeWorks
  • Emphasis on creating more content and beginning to reflect on the college experience

At the end of this module, students should have:

  • A few goals outlined in their Achievements & Goals section, focused on their educational trajectory and how they want their college experience to go
  • An idea of the courses they want to take during the next semester 
  • Some courses and assignments in their Coursework section with reflection on why they chose to highlight these specific classes

Workshop Materials

Module 3: Reflecting on Experience

Module 3 focuses on the third and fourth learning outcomes, reflecting back on advising and the semester in general as well as demonstrating students' understanding of their development of one of the Core outcomes of the University. For a refresher on the Core outcomes, visit the Why ePortfolios page. Workshops during this module focus on guided reflection, assisting students in adding thoughtful content to their ePortfolios and communicating their understanding of what they have learned over the course of the past semester as well as what they may want to learn or add to their co-curricular experience in the coming semesters. 

What have you learned? Have your goals changed?

Important questions to ask during this module:

  • What have you learned?
  • Have your goals changed?
  • How are you involved?
  • What more do you want to learn or try?

How are you involved? What more do you want to learn or try?

Presentations for this module should include:

  • Explanation of the University Core qualities
  • Guided reflection questions about the semester and students' goals
  • A demonstration of CatsConnect emphasizing involvement in student organizations and clubs

At the end of this module, students should have:

  • Reflection pieces about their advising appointment and how classes over the last semester have gone
  • A section on how a Core quality was developed in one Core course of their choice
  • New goals added to their old goals, looking forward to the next semester (course-wise and co-curricular)

Workshop Materials

Professional Development Workshops

For students that have already completed an ePortfolio but want to continue developing their ePortfolios and their professional skills in general, Professional Development workshops will be offered in tandem with the basic modules that help students create their ePortfolio. While refreshing students' memories on what each regular module contained is a good idea, these workshops are predominantly focused on "next steps" for ePortfolios. 

Module 1: Build Your Brand

During this module, students should look over their portfolio and make sure it represents them and their unique qualities in the best, most comprehensive way possible. 

Main goals:

  • Picking a theme

    • Help students choose a theme that they feel suits them best
    • Encourage students to think about choosing a common filter for all of their images or paying attention to color and shape in their ePortfolio
  • Uploading a headshot
    • A headshot should feature early in every student's ePortfolio, helping the students' audience put a face to the name on the portfolio
  • Showcasing themselves
    • While an ePortfolio is an extension of a resume, it is also a good idea for students to link their resume in their ePortfolio as well
    • Adding links to social media such as LinkedIn and any other platforms that students feel comfortable is a great way to further showcase their unique personalities and skills

Module 2: Target Your Audience

During this phase, students should think about who they will be showing their ePortfolios and take into consideration what particular audiences may find important or want to see first. 

Main goals:

  • Putting their best foot forward
    • Focus on tools like Grammarly to make sure text-based content is well-written and free of errors
  • Focusing their content
    • Help students think about how their content is ordered: are the first things that come up in each section the most important? 
  • Considering different views
    • Explore tailoring content to the interests of potential viewers and talk about the possibility of making different ePortfolios to send to different audiences 

Module 3: Perfect Your Presentation

In this module, students should be offered the option to create an ePortfolio in Adobe Portfolio, which offers greater options for customization and navigation. Because Adobe Express is free and Adobe Portfolio requires students to purchase an Adobe subscription upon graduation, this is an optional step. However, students who do not want to explore Adobe Portfolio can still work on the presentation of their ePortfolio by thinking about active demonstrations of their portfolios, either online or in person.