June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.4.1 - 26.4.12
An automated on-line portfolio for engineers: Planning and Tracking student activity – A tool for job interviewsEngineering programs across the country are increasingly offering programs and opportunitiesoutside the classroom that strengthen and increase the value of an engineering education. Suchopportunities allow students to practice applying their engineering knowledge, further developtheir ideas, better understand contemporary world challenges, become more engaged with theircommunities, and experience first-hand the potential impact of engineering solutions. Many ofthese activities are extracurricular or co-curricular. Coupled with a demanding engineeringcurriculum, students may find that work involved with planning enrichment activities, trackingresults of their participation, and documenting extra- and co-curricular activities for futureemployers can become an overwhelming project of its own.To complement and support our college-level enrichment program for engineering students, wehave implemented a new approach for tracking and documenting student participation andperformance in curricular and non-curricular activities that are relevant to their engineeringeducation. We have developed and implemented an automated on-line portfolio for engineeringstudents that is personalized to each student and contains a full record of all courses, activities,and achievements throughout their undergraduate years. The portfolio is pre-populated withgeneral information on curriculum requirements, enrichment programs and opportunities. As astudent completes a specific requirement or participates in an enrichment activity, the individualstudent portfolio information is automatically updated. Each event or activity is fully describedin the portfolio with relevant background information and accompanying visual aids (photos orvideos as appropriate) displaying the event and student work. Furthermore, students may chooseenrichment activities that cluster within the globally important engineering themes of energy,health, water and security, allowing the student to expand their knowledge within a focus of theirinterest.Our engineering portfolio helps students track their progress, design their own academic path tograduation, and develop their own enrichment activity plan that best fits their specific interest. Inaddition to plan, document and quantify their undergraduate experience, the engineeringportfolio assists students in preparing their resume for job interviews. When used as aninterviewing tool, the portfolio helps the student highlight tangible experiences outside what isnormally found in transcripts and conventional resumes.In our institution, all incoming engineering undergraduate students are automatically registeredwith the online engineering portfolio. At graduation, engineering students receive, in addition totheir diploma, a fully populated personalized portfolio of their work and accomplishments. Webelieve that this on-line portfolio is effective in assisting engineering students to have a betterundergraduate experience and in displaying their accomplishments when competing for careeropportunities upon graduation. In this paper we fully describe the attributes of our engineeringportfolio and the student’s use of the portfolio as a supporting tool while pursuing theirengineering degree and upon graduation.
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