The Learning Portfolio

The Student Affairs Program Learning Portfolio

One of the requirements for students in the Master's Degree in Postsecondary Education: Student Affairs since the beginning of the program is completion of a learning portfolio to be begun the first semester and completed the last semester.   The learning portfolio will be completed in an electronic format, available through the UNI ifolio web site, which you will be given access to during the first semester of your program. 

 

This section of the Postsecondary Education: Student Affairs web site will provide information on the following: 

  • What is a learning portfolio?
  • What are reasons for creating a learning portfolio?
  • What are the benefits of creating a learning portfolio?
  • What goes into a learning portfolio?
  • How are reflections incorporated into the learning portfolio?
  • What guidance do students receive for creating their learning portfolio?

 

Additional information on the learning portfolio will be found on the ifolio web site.

 

 

What is a learning portfolio?

A learning portfolio is an ongoing, cumulative record of your perspectives and philosophies, achievements, and examples of your work, both inside and outside of class. Your portfolio will be organized around competencies expected of professionals in the field of student affairs. You will be working to develop these competencies through the courses, assignments, and experiences that are part of this master’s degree program.

 

 

What are the reasons for creating a learning portfolio? 

A learning portfolio provides opportunities for you to do the following:

  • Reflect upon and record your learning from your postsecondary education program;
  • Articulate your perspectives and learning;
  • Document the quality and quantity of your growth and development as a professional;
  • Demonstrate what you have learned from a variety of sources related to student affairs;
  • Demonstrate learning inside and outside the classroom;
  • Furnish documents useful in your professional career, including job searches and positions on college and community committees and boards.

A professional portfolio will be helpful to you in job searches, applications for scholarships or awards, and interviews for positions on committees and boards. You can select items from your learning portfolio to create a professional portfolio that is relevant to a specific situation.

 

 

What are the benefits of creating a learning portfolio?

There are many reasons for developing a professional portfolio. A portfolio:

  • Provides evidence of your capabilities and competencies;
  • Helps you articulate your skills and competencies;
  • Assists in identifying opportunities for professional development;
  • Demonstrates readiness for a position;
  • Provides a basis for assessing future potential;
  • Can be used for job interviews and preparation for job interviews;
  • Can be used when seeking positions with civic organizations;
  • Increases self-confidence;
  • Can provide support for academic recognition or professional recognition.

A professional portfolio will be helpful to you in job searches, applications for scholarships or awards, and interviews for positions on committees and boards. You can select items from your learning portfolio to create a professional portfolio that is relevant to a specific situation.

 

 

What goes into the learning portfolio?

Your learning portfolio, also called your ifolio, will provide evidence of your skills and professional growth throughout the Postsecondary Education: Student Affairs program through the use of what are called artifacts. Artifacts are written or scanned documents, video or audio files, links to web pages, or other ways of illustrating your competencies. Artifacts are uploaded to your ifolio page, so they can be seen by Postsecondary Education faculty and by others that you invite to see your work, such as potential employers.

Some artifacts come directly from class assignments; others are ones that you create from your experiences inside and/or outside of your coursework. Artifacts include the following:

  • Assignments that you do for classes;
  • Reflections or other documents that you create specifically for your ifolio;
  • Documents or links to materials or web resources you have created for a practicum, internship, or other work experience;
  • Evaluations and other documents related to practicums, internships, or other work experience;
  • End-of-semester reflections on your growth and learning.

You will begin to upload materials to your ifolio in your first semester in the program and continue to add to the materials as you move from semester to semester. 

 

 

How are reflections incorporated into the learning portfolio?

You will complete several different types of reflection as you work through the creation of your learning portfolio.

  • Some artifacts are accompanied by reflections.  For example, if one of your artifacts is a certificate for completing a workshop or program, you would include a reflection explaining what you gained from that experience.
  • End-of-semester reflections provide you with the opportunity to think about the most important things you learned during the semester and the implications of that learning for your career and/or your ongoing professional development. The primary goal for the end-of-semester reflections is to help you pull together significant ideas from each semester while they are still fresh in your mind and to capture them in ways that will allow you to act on them later.
  • During your last semester in the program, you will write a reflection for each of the student affairs competency areas.   These summarizing reflections will focus on the learning you have gained related to each of the competencies and how you how that learning occurred, including experience both inside and outside of class. 
  • In the final semester of your program you will also prepare an oral presentation that will be presented to program faculty and friends, family, or colleagues that you choose to invite.  That presentation will help you reflect upon your growth over the course of the Student Affairs program and connect what you have learned with your professional goals. 

 

 

What guidance do students receive for creating their learning portfolio?

The ifolio web site will provide you with specific resources and guidelines for completing your learning portfolio.  The mentor assigned to you when you begin your studies, as well as individual faculty in the program, are also available to help you as progress through your program and develop your portfolio and the body of classes and experience that shape its creation.