What is a portfolio and why do a portfolio online (or an “e-portfolio”)? 

The Faculty of Arts is supporting an initiative for undergraduates to develop e-portfolios. My students for GEOB270 create portfolios, in addition to a few other geography courses, so all of you should have experience with WordPress and making portfolios.

Students create their portfolios on a blog site such as WordPress (with a UBC blogs web address).  Each student is responsible for creating, designing and maintaining their own WordPress portfolio.  The purpose of this portfolio is to:

  • Create a dynamic archive of students’ academic materials and learning process that will be available to students both before and after graduation
  • Showcase student work and display it in a format that can be linked to via personal or professional websites
  • Reflect on students’ coursework experience
  • Record thoughts and observations on students’ knowledge and skills development

How do I make a portfolio? 

Written instructions and videos of how to create a WordPress blog site for your portfolio are here: http://eportfolios.arts.ubc.ca/ (please note in this Arts web site are sample portfolios for geography students – they feature 270 second year students, not 472 students).

And example of a former 472 student who has graduated is here: https://blogs.ubc.ca/anniefang/

Accomplishment Statements

When posting work to a portfolio it is extremely useful for you and future employers to read short accomplish statements that help to reflect on the learning that was accomplished with an assignment:  deconstruction or critical thinking, geospatial analysis skills, visualization through a narrative of an infographic, visual aesthetics, coding, etc.

  • An accomplishment statement is usually one sentence used to describe the duties and tasks you completed in your various course work where you highlight an accomplishment or a skill you developed. You may be familiar with writing accomplishment statements about jobs you’ve done, but through your UBC portfolio you’ll see how you can mine your course learning to demonstrate your GIS / geospatial data expertise for future employment contexts.
  • How do I write an effective accomplishment statement?

To write an effective accomplishment statement, use the following formula:

Verb + Task = Result

Verb: Use an action verb to describe your responsibility or action you took.  Be sure to use a variety of verbs

Task: What duty did you complete or what was your responsibility?

Result; What was the outcome of completing that task? There are 2 kinds of results you can include – Qualitative: things you learned, such as skills and Quantitative –  A concrete end product; something you produced

472 Final Portfolio Requirements:

As part of the requirement for your this course, you will create a portfolio. You will create the shell at least of your portfolio for Assignment 2 submission, Assignment 3 4 and the final project will also be submitted via your portfolio. At the end of the course, I will mark the portfolio.

If you have an existing portfolio, you can use it, and include your 472 work.

The final portfolio should include:

  • about me section  including a *reflection on GEOB472 (see more info below)
  • your 472 work: Assignment 2, 3, 4, and your final project
  • other course work that you want to showcase (optional but you may want to include headings now that you will fill in later)
  • other experiences: experiential learning opportunities such as Co-op, Internships, volunteer work, GoGlobal exchanges, course abroad, travelling etc. (optional but you may want to include headings now that you will fill in later) )

I would be happy to meet with you at any time and help you with the design, and content, and feedback on your professional portfolio.

*Reflection on GEOB472

Think about graduation, and your parents/aunts/siblings/friends/mentors etc asking you that dreaded question: what did you learn in your undergraduate degree? Reflect on your one course, GEOB472, and think how you would answer this question in 60 seconds – this is also referred to as ‘the elevator pitch’. The accomplish statements that you developed for each assignment and the final project will be useful in writing this statement.

Your reflection should be about 3-4 sentences (approximately 80-100 words, that describes who you are based on the skills and experience you have in light of your learning in Geospatial data visualization (GEOB 472).

If you want more of a challenge, do this as well for your entire degree in geography and extracurricular experiences.

Think about your friends and family and potential employers as your audience for this statement. Submit the statement by putting it on the homepage of the e-portfolio you’ve created for this course.

To create your Reflection  you may want to consider some or all of the following questions:

  • In what circumstances and under what conditions do you learn best?
  • What did you learn about yourself when working as part of a team in this course?
  • What is one thing that surprised you about geospatial data visualization/what you learned in this course?
  • What have been the proudest highlights of your learning in Geography 472? What are your main disappointments?
  • If a friend asked you what you learned in Geography 472, what are 2 things you would say?
  • If someone asked you why you were studying Geography, and specifically GIScience, what would you say?

Your Reflection could be useful to you in professional contexts in the future, such as:

  • As a way to introduce yourself at a networking event (like a Vancouver Users Group  networking event)—this kind of statement can also be called an “Elevator Pitch”
  • As a summary statement at the start of your resume or in a cover letter
  • As part of an answer to a common interview question: “Tell me about yourself.”

More information about Accomplishment Statements and Resumes

Check out http://students.ubc.ca/career/resources/resumes#resumes

How can I describe what I learned in this course for my portfolio and for job applications? Read these tips from Student Services!