Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014
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This World Wide Web document facilitates reflection and enables students to connect the lessons of the college classroom to the world beyond the campus and to explore how these experiences affect their college experience. This electronic portfolio of coursework, off-campus research, and various off-campus experiences ultimately translates into a resume that will give students an edge that prospective employers and professional programs are looking for.
The conventional definition of the word "portfolio" brings to mind a briefcase containing important information that a person will need to achieve some significant professional purpose. When the term appears in the name, it refers to the Web pages that are created by participating students in order to record their progress toward personally significant developmental objectives. These "electronic portfolios" are not just lists of completed coursework. To a certain extent they are like diaries because the writers declare their goals, report their efforts to achieve those goals, describe the outcomes of their efforts, and examine the ways in which those outcomes influence the formulation of subsequent goals. In other ways, they are like ledgers because they contain a tally of the lessons learned from the total spectrum of classroom experiences, fieldwork, co-curricular enrichments, and social activities that shape the transformation from college freshman to college graduate. By compiling these autobiographical records and reflecting on their contents students participating in PORTfolio discover important insights about themselves, the requirements for a happy and successful future, and the value of a liberal arts education as an environment for fostering both knowledge and know-how.
Each electronic portfolio is constructed around seven areas of responsibility for which PORTfolio students are expected to prepare themselves. Collectively, these seven areas are known as The Dimensions of Living and were derived from a set of educational objectives developed by Virginia's State Board of Education. In the following list, the Dimensions of Living are named in alphabetical order and each is accompanied by examples of the behavioral goals that PORTfolio students are advised to achieve in order to meet each area of responsibility.
PORTfolio students work closely with their faculty advisors to identify the attitudes, skills, and knowledge that are necessary to make progress along each Dimension of Living. As the essential elements become evident, the students and their advisors collaboratively examine our curriculum, campus life, and resources available both within and beyond the Hampton Roads metropolitan area in order to plan a course of action that can achieve the desired results.