Helping High School Students Build an Online Portfolio
Today's post offers some pointers on how to help high school students understand the purpose of an online portfolio and the process of creating one. 

The link between portfolio development and SEL. 

Building a portfolio is an excellent way to help students expand their social emotional learning (SEL) skills relating to the competencies of self-management and self-awareness. 

  • Self-management is defined by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) as the ability to set and work toward personal and academic goals. The act of building and maintaining a portfolio supports a growth mindset where students can readily see evidence of their growth and progress over time, and document the results of goals they've set for themselves.
  • Self-awareness involves the ability to recognize strengths and positive attributes, and demonstrate self-efficacy (belief in one's ability to achieve a goal). A portfolio is a repository of students' strengths, positive attributes, and achievements. When students build, maintain, and share their online portfolios, they feel a sense of mastery, which reinforces their self-efficacy.

Set them up for success with the right tools.

First, figure out which tools or applications your students will use to build their online portfolios. Google Sites is a popular choice for schools that are already using G Suite. It's free, and anything can be imported from Google Drive into the pages of a Google Site. You can find endless examples of student portfolios build in Google Sites in a simple Google search.

For schools using Kuder Navigator®My e-Profile is a built-in feature where students can store references, social media links, and resumes as well as favorited occupations, schools, majors, and assessment results. Students can also populate their e-Profiles with documents and other items stored in their Navigator portfolios. (Navigator's portfolio accepts a wide variety of file types, including bmp, csv, doc/docx, gif, html, jpg, mp4, pdf, png, ppt/pptx, rtf, svg, txt, wmv, xls/xlsx, xml, xps, and zip.)

Some schools using Navigator require students to build their portfolios in a Google Drive as a first step, then transfer the content into Navigator later on. In this approach, the Google Drive is a "waiting room" for items that can eventually be displayed for a wider audience through Navigator's e-Profile sharing feature. 

Explain the purpose of an online portfolio and the process of building one.

Here are some talking points on the benefits portfolios offer students, and how to go about building one. 

What's a portfolio?

Portfolios help us organize and share important information and experiences that relate to our academic and work-based experiences.

An online portfolio (also referred to as an e-portfolio, electronic portfolio, or digital portfolio) is "living and breathing" place to store artifacts that represent talents and the mastery of certain skills. It can also be a place to store references, certificates, work history, social media links, writing samples, papers, projects, artwork, videos, and more.

Here are some other things you can keep in your online portfolio:

  • Your resume.
  • Your personal mission statement.
  • The results of career/personality assessments, academic tests, and college entrance exams.
  • A list of schools the schools you've attended (and when).
  • A record of in-school and out-of-school activities (part-time jobs, extracurricular activities, etc.) and dates.

A portfolio showcases accomplishments and abilities in a visual format that can be shared during the college admissions and/or job application process. It's important that you continue to add to and edit your online portfolio frequently so that you save information while it's fresh in your mind.

How do you build an online portfolio? 

The "home" for your portfolio is [name of application/platform you've chosen: Kuder Navigator/Google Sites/Google Drive, etc.]. Once you've got that opened up, it's time to curate the content:

  • Make a list of the information you'll need to complete your portfolio.
  • How will you get that information?
  • How often will you update your portfolio?
  • How will you use your portfolio?

Building a portfolio takes time, and it's something you'll need to update on a regular basis. By next week, it should be in good enough shape that it can be shared [with me/your parents, family members, or guardians] so you can gather feedback from others. Be prepared to explain why you're including each item that you've chosen to place in your portfolio.

So go get started on your online portfolio. Take ownership of your online portfolio and enjoy it  it's a celebration of YOU!

Free Online Portfolio Slide Presentation

Use this free slide presentation to guide your discussion with students. 

Free Slideshow: Creating an Online Portfolio

  1. featured
  2. goal setting
  3. social emotional learning

About The Author

Amy Khokhar

Amy Khokhar serves as editor of the Kuder Blog. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Colby College and is a National Career Development Association Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) and Certified Career Services Provider (CCSP).

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