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ePortfolios in USP: an instructor's guide

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A quick guide to ePortfolios in USP and how a quest or Explore course relates to the wider program.

If you are teaching a Quest or Explore course, your course contributes to the a body of work students create and reflect on as part of the University Studies Program (USP).

In collaboration with CETL and the Provost's Office we offered professional development workshops on the ePortfolio process, reflection, and assessment. The materials form those workshops and a recording of them those workshops are available. Through CETL there are ongoing opportunities for professional development and we also offer a series of Drop In labs.



The workshop goes into a lot more details but, in essence, your course designates:

  • a key assignment

  • a reflection in or on that assignment

Students take this work and, in parallel with however you use that work within your course, they also put a copy of it into their ePortfolio.

Slide from handouts illustrating a course in USP and it's contribution to the program ePortfolio


Beyond this nomination of a key assignment (which occurred as part of the course approval process), one of the great opportunities and challenges is to help the student place this assignment into the wider context of the USP and their degree. The challenge is to shape the assignment, discussion about it, and reflection on it so as to help the student framing your course in a bigger context. To help them make the type of connections that you make in your course design process, to link the course and assignment to:

    • Essential Learning Outcomes

    • Disciplinary knowledge

    • Liberal Education

    • Signature Questions


An illustration of the artifact / key assignments produced by the course and framing them in the context of the USP and the USP ePortfolio


The opportunity is that, as students think about and reflect on those connections and their academic and personal growth through their coursework, they will not only have more personal engagement with their courses, but also will be developing as self-directed lifelong learners and taking more responsibility for their studies. Students will also use the gathered assignments from throughout USP for use in the Connect course, and beyond both for their future résumés and potentially in their Majors.

Going Further

If you're interested in using an ePortfolio approach within your own course please have a look at some of the other resources noted on the left hand side or consider attending one of CETL's One Session Wonders on ePortfolios.

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