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Developing Information Technology Career Path Awareness Through Student Online Portfolios

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Course Development and Services

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.412.1 - 9.412.12



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Paper Authors

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Ed Crowley

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Susan Miertschin

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2158

Developing Information Technology Career Path Awareness through Student Online Portfolios

Ed Crowley, Susan L. Miertschin

University of Houston


At the University of Houston, the College of Technology operates a relatively young Information Technology (IT) program that, like other similar programs, continues to develop its identity. Most IT students at UH are developing their own professional identities as well. To foster this development, IT faculty designed a learning focused portfolio project with a primary goal of increasing student awareness of the Information Technology discipline and their potential roles within the discipline. Another goal is to increase the student’s understanding of relationships between academic experiences and professional goals. In addition, involved faculty members have found that the portfolio project has the potential to provide an extraordinarily rich means of student assessment.

The portfolio project began as an assignment in a senior level special topics class focused on Internet technologies. Initially, the class focused on open static technologies, such as HTML, but over time, as the technologies changed, the class embraced active technologies, such as DHTML and ASP. The portfolio assignment provided students with an opportunity to demonstrate the skills they acquired in the class. In addition to designing and building dynamic data-base driven web sites in the course, each student also built and secured his or her own web server. They then showcased all the skills they learned in the course by building an on-line portfolio illustrating what they had learned in the course.

The faculty involved immediately saw the potential of the portfolio assignment and developed it as a semester-long senior ‘capstone’ project with a primary goal of showcasing technical skills students acquired during their undergraduate education. Specifically, it provided students with an opportunity to communicate and demonstrate their Internet, programming, and database skills.

As the portfolio project developed, the class format, content and scope also evolved and faculty began to see a new vision for the course and the project. The course was moved to the junior level and some of the course content was moved to sophomore level courses. Thus, students now enter the course with more technical skills in place, so less class time had to be devoted to technical content. The portfolio project continues to offer students the opportunity to collect and

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright© 2004, American Society of Engineering Education

Crowley, E., & Miertschin, S. (2004, June), Developing Information Technology Career Path Awareness Through Student Online Portfolios Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13219

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