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What happens to an assignment after it is submitted by a student? More often than not the student is given a grade or maybe some feedback for revision. Students then move on to the next thing that will be graded. The previous submission is abandoned and this cycle continues throughout the semester leaving a trail of dead and forgotten assignments. While this approach has been the status quo there is a different approach. This alternate model is one that promotes both students and faculty.


Creating online student/class portfolios

Online portfolios don’t take a ton of effort to set up or maintain. A common platform used (but not the only one) is WordPress. The great thing about WordPress is that it’s free and there is training available through the CII. Students post their submissions to the class portfolio instead of directly to faculty. Faculty have control to review content before it goes live and an added wrinkle is that peers can easily review content and provide feedback as well. An added benefit is that students seem to produce higher quality work when they know it will be open to review by their peers and the public.

The online portfolio also creates a space that allows for different types of content to be utilized. Here is an example of a class portfolio that used Soundcloud (think Youtube but for audio) to host a collection of student created podcasts. Students researched topics, wrote scripts, recorded, and produced their audio submissions.

Dr. Molly Basset’s RELS 4080/6080 Religious Studies Class Portfolio: 


An assignment that may have ended with submitting a paper to the professor can instead live on. With more classes following this models students leave with portfolio showcasing their skills and accomplishments that can be leveraged outside of school. The portfolio approach does more than helping just students.

Faculty should also take advantage of the benefits of portfolios. Looking to share what’s going on in your course with peers? Or maybe you want to help give a potential employer insight into what makes you awesome as a faculty member. This can be done by creating a portfolio showcasing the what’s going on in your courses.  Check the link below to see an example that shows off student work from a variety of different assignments.

Dr. Brennan Collins Student Example Page:


If you’re interested in more information on how to set up a portfolio, use it in your class, or would like to be connected with other faculty who already use portfolios come by the CII and we’ll be glad to help.