Job-seekers and professionals in many fields such as art, education, and advertising have long used portfolios as a means of displaying their work to prospective employers or clients.

Today, those who have studied a variety of subject areas are using digital portfolios to demonstrate their skills and their proficiency in various competencies relevant to their fields of expertise. According to our Spring 2015 Student Engagement Insights survey, 31% of college students say that their institution requires them to complete a portfolio. As more and more students, instructors, and institutions see the value of ePortfolios and their power to track progress and achievement against specific learning outcomes, we believe this number will rise.

For these reasons, and many more, Cengage Learning has partnered with Pathbrite, developers of the leading portfolio learning platform. We firmly believe that providing this resource will stand students in good stead as they seek what is a very important outcome: employment in a meaningful career. Below, we’ll explore our viewpoint in greater detail.

Three reasons college students should believe in the value of ePortfolios

1. As students build an ePortfolio, they can think critically and creatively about their academic and personal accomplishments.

Many students may never think about what they need to bring to an interview until they start the job-search process… and at that point it’s a matter of scrambling to find quality pieces that will speak to their skills, interests, and expertise.

If students instead construct an ePortfolio as they progress through their college education, they can look at their assignments, projects, and achievements as they’re completed and earned, and consider which pieces best exemplify their talents and experience. (They can always edit as they go!)

For example, with a Pathbrite account, students can easily collect and share their achievements; they can start adding and aggregating as soon as they get their account.

2. Once the ePortfolio is created, students have something to show for all the effort they’ve put into their educational experience.

Rather than simply listing “public speaking,” “videography,” “graphic design,” “lesson planning,” or “copywriting” as skills on a résumé, students’ ePortfolios can contain papers, videos, photographs, and other “artifacts” that prove they can work with job-relevant skills and tools—and thereby enable employers to see that their talents and abilities fulfill what they’re looking for in a job candidate.

It’s also easy for students to distribute their ePortfolio. They can send the link in an e-mail or include the URL at the top of their résumé, and hiring managers can quickly see the quality and content of their work. No last-minute trips to the copy shop… no overnight delivery fees… and no more worrying about keeping track of that one physical portfolio.

3. With an ePortfolio, students can tell the story of their educational and professional journey in a way that’s personally meaningful to them.

With a thoughtfully constructed ePortfolio, students have one attractive package that communicates their skills and ideas in a vibrant and visually compelling manner. Thanks to its ease of use, as well as its modern and responsive interface, Pathbrite’s solution empowers students to create this tool in a simple—but powerful—way.

 

At Cengage Learning, we have a strong commitment to providing students with the resources they want and need to achieve their personal and professional goals. By partnering with Pathbrite, we’re raising their awareness of one more tool that can help them succeed in college and in the career search.

Do your students create ePortfolios? How has the process had an impact on their educational experience and career-search success? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Want to help your students create an ePortfolio? Read our previous post, “Five Tips for Creating a Professional Digital Portfolio.”