I am currently helping to develop curriculum at Purdue University and I have brought up an issue at almost every department meeting we have, here are the issues: 1) students do not know how to create, or what should go in a portfolio (most don't anyway). 2) even if students did know what to do with their portfolio, they are not required to make one till the end of the 4 years at Purdue! So lets think about this for a second; the goal of going to school is to get an education so that the student can have the skills to work in an area of interest, right? So instead of an early introduction of the concepts essential for building a portfolio, would we rather wait till the end of year 4? Do we then send them to confidence crushing career doom when they lack sufficient focus and content? Since I have been at Purdue I can not tell you how many portfolio reviews I have done where there is no focus, and really no work to show.
So here is my rough proposal: A one week workshop at the beginning of the 4 year bachelors degree. 1 to 2 hours each night. Required for ALL students (if they don't show they don't enter the program). During the 1 to 2 hour lectures all professors from each discipline present information about who they are, what they teach, how it pertains to industry (jobs in that field), and what a professional portfolio for that field currently looks like. Then on the last day, Friday the students have to create a website on Weebly or something similar. The students have to hand in assignments through normal measures, and all assignments must be presented on their website in a page named after the class they are in and in a process book format (with specific requirements laid out by the professor).
Here is the benefit of revising our methods and following this newly proposed model:
1) Students will know what is expected of them in order to compete in the field, from day one.
2) Students will know and understand a number of different disciplines that are possible avenues for career pursuits.
3) Students will know their teachers!
4) Students will have a portfolio already being built through their coursework by the end of 4 years. At which time all they need to do is refine, remove and/or add to what they have, rather than wasting time trying to organize all of their past works.
5) Students can hand in an assignment via URL where appropriate.
6)Professors will be able to review ALL of a students work and make assessments regarding students strengths and weaknesses, allowing for better guidance.
6) Students will be set up to succeed
7) Professors look good and get warm fuzzy feelings when their students succeed.