This editorial describes how portfolios might help students meaningfully apply the skills and information from their courses and thus improve their employment opportunities after they graduate. The author explains how course portfolios demonstrate the expertise passively summarized using resumes and asserts students should complete projects connected with their intended careers: technical communicators should write grant proposals, designers should develop websites, business students should deliver sales pitches, historians should conduct archival research, etc.
Although portfolios will help students professionalize and practice the iterative research, development, and revision process necessary for most analytical professions, portfolios still raise significant questions. How will high-school and university instructors break class portfolios down into smaller assignments so they can offer their students relevant and timely feedback during the semester? How much revision should instructors expect between the drafts and final versions of each component of these portfolios? How should portfolios work for classes where students (and instructors) have widely-varied expertise? How much should portfolios use educational technology and other online resources? Click the link below for more information.