By Rhonda Gregory, Director of Distributed Educationcartoon representation of ePortfolio showing functions

Portfolios for Everyone!

New this year, Vol State students and employees each have access to an electronic portfolio tool (ePortfolio) within eLearn! With ePortfolio, students can show course content, assessments, links, media, and more to their peers and instructors for comment. As users add to their ePortfolio, they can create web-based presentations or export content to demonstrate their accomplishments.

Why ePortfolio?

Early this fall, we welcomed Dr. Amanda Hyberger from Chattanooga State Community College to our campus to talk about the ways electronic portfolios are being used at her institution. What started out as a Q.E.P. has grown into a successful and engaging campus-wide program.

For students, ePortfolios provide a creative avenue to organize, reflect and share their academic and extra-curricular activities. The online platform gives them access to an audience beyond their classroom. Faculty members can create and share templates for students to organize and present an entire course in, or just pick a key assignment that bears special meaning. Dr. Hyberger calls these “signature assignments.” Faculty can even use the ePortfolio tool to create an electronic tenure/promotion package, as many are doing at Chat State. Institutionally, we also can evaluate student portfolios for evidence of meeting outcomes.

A Student’s Perspective

Kelsey Callahan, a graphic design student at Chat State, came along with Dr. Hyberger to share about her experience creating her own ePortfolio. If you only pick one video on this blog to watch, this is the one I’d recommend!

Want to learn more?

Distributed Education will provide a special ePortfolio introductory session at the January 2017 Professional Development day for those who are interested. Look for more information and training sessions to be available throughout the coming months on our Training & Development page.

Thanksgiving Break: The End is in Sight

 guest blogger, Carrie Thompson, Vol State Student


It’s almost over.

smores at a camp fire with friends

The semester, that is. The falling leaves and distant scent of finals reviews can only mean one thing. Thanksgiving Break is right around the corner, and Finals Week is just after that, and then—sweet, sweet semester break.

As we get down to the end of the semester, what are you thankful for?

Maybe it’s family and friends. If so, make sure to let them know how much they mean to you. You’ve been holed up studying for the last fourteen weeks, after all; they might’ve forgotten what you look like. Thanksgiving Break is the perfect time to remind them of your good looks.

Maybe you’re thankful for life in general. That’s great! We all aspire to be as positive and upbeat as you. Maybe you’re working on getting to that point. Don’t forget to make time to treat yo’ self while you’re running around like a maniac during the break! That stuffing recipe or last touch on whatever project you have due after Thanksgiving can wait until after you’ve done something for you (even if it’s something as dull as making up your bed).

Whatever you’re thankful for—be it the people in your life or the light at the end of the semester tunnel—enjoy this chance to rest up before finals.

Because that’s a whole other blog post.

Happy Thanksgiving from Distributed Education!

Rhonda, Andrea, Steven, and Star