What is an ePortfolio and how does it support Communication majors?
What is an ePortfolio? Essentially, an ePortfolio is a digital showcase of an emerging professional’s best work, their professional journey (i.e., blog, work diaries), and traditional professional documents like personal statements and resume. Given the increasing emphasis on social media and digital competencies for those in the modern workforce, an ePortfolio represents a proactive way to create and maintain a positive online presence while completing one’s degree, and hopefully beyond.
Why Communication? Modern communication students are often hired into roles where digital competencies (e.g., social media proficiencies, web development, communication and web broadcast platforms) are expected. Developing an ePortfolio throughout their junior and senior years allows for students to take greater professional ownership of their writing and multimedia projects: Instead of just “for a grade,” these projects take on new life when they are uploaded to their personal ePortfolio page, contributing to a developing professional identity and online presence.
The End Game? Ultimately the goal is for each participating student to upload assignments as a part of courses throughout the student’s junior and senior year. As the student lines up interviews for pre-senior year summer internships, or for employment post-graduation, a developed ePortfolio serves as digital resource for the student, advocating for their skills and education. The link to the ePortfolio can be inserted at the top of cover letters, in the signature line at the bottom of emails, and even on a business card.
Teachers obviously hope their courses inspire and reinforce the values of hard work and curiosity. In a job-seeking capacity, courses go beyond just line-items on a resume under the subheading: Relevant Coursework. Courses and their assignments become additional opportunities to meaningfully invest in ideas that develop a student’s sense of professional self, and separate them from those without this demonstrated “professional maturity.”
ODU Communication Courses Currently Offering ePortfolios*:
COMM 200S Intro to Human Communication
COMM 302 Research Methods
COMM 303 Introduction to Public Relations
COMM 305 Professional Communication
COMM 314 Nonverbal Communication
COMM 315W Communication Between the Sexes
COMM 323 Leadership & Events Management
COMM 333 Persuasion
COMM 351 Interpersonal Comm in Organizations
COMM 368 Internship
COMM 401 Communication Theory
COMM 494 Entrepreneurship and PR
COMM 495 Topics: Health Communication
COMM 495 Topics: Public Service Campaigns
COMM 495/595 Theme Parks
COMM 601 Lifespan Communication Theory and Research
DANC 416 Modern Dance
*Note: Once the ePortfolio has been created, any project in
any course could be uploaded by the student as they choose.
The above courses specifically offer guided assignments,
informal writing exercises, and course credit (points)
for ePortfolio creation and development.
Examples of Material that Goes into an ODU Communication ePortfolio (varies by Major Concentration/Emphasis, but could include):
Community Engagement/Experiential Learning
Internship Diaries & Reports
Professional Commentary & Critique (reactions to current events in field)
Research Proposals & Projects
Resume and Personal Statement
Social Media Links and Feeds
Webcasts (Youtube, Jing, etc.)
Work experience statements