University Honors ProgramUniversity of Cincinnati

University Honors Program

Learning Portfolio Structure and Content

Your learning portfolio showcases your experiences and learning at UC, both within and outside of University Honors. It is also intentionally designed to help you to reflect on your learning in a regular and integrated manner.

The content of your learning portfolio should reflect your values and personality, while maintaining a professional image and tone.  The following sections are essential in your learning portfolio:

  1. Author Page
  2. A reflection page or section for each honors experience completed (this includes honors seminars and honors experiential learning projects).
  3. A reflection page or section for other meaningful academic and co-curricular experiences.
  4. Year-in-Review Page

1. Author Page

What is the purpose?

The author page is an important part of any learning portfolio, blog or website.  What you choose to include on this page should provide insight into who you are, what you like to do and learn, and your accomplishments and dreams. The page should also introduce the contents of your learning portfolio to the reader. You will initially create this page in your Gateway to University Honors course, but it should be updated periodically afterwards. (In past offerings of the Gateway to University Honors course, this has been called the "About Me" page.)

What could be included?

  • Pictures or videos of you – engaged in a meaningful learning experience, surrounded with important people in your life, and/or enjoying a favorite activity or visiting a favorite place.
  • A written or visual description of your background, academic pursuits, and potential future goals during your time at UC and beyond.
  • If you need inspiration, visit your favorite blogs and websites to see what types of things other authors share in their biographies.
  • Resume - We strongly encourage you to include your resume in your portfolio, whether on the author page or elsewhere.
  • You can also visit the "Featured Portfolios" page of our website to see peer examples.

How often should I update?

At least once each year, prior to the annual portfolio review conducted by honors academic advisors (typically beginning July 1) and also when your portfolio is reviewed prior to graduation (your advisor will contact you during your senior year to provide a specific deadline). However, we encourage you to update your learning portfolio much more regularly than once a year.

2. A reflection page or section for each honors experience you've completed (a seminar or an experiential learning project).

What is the purpose?

The reflection page provides you with an opportunity to share your learning from each honors experience. In addition to explaining what you’ve learned, you’ll reflect upon the ways in which that learning has affected you and how you will utilize it in the future. You’ll use one or more of the reflection models introduced to you in Gateway to University Honors to guide you in the creation of the content for each page. 

We are developing a full page of the website on reflection, which will be linked here soon. In the meantime, here are some examples of reflection models: 


What could be included?

  • As you consider your documentation options, remember to describe the experience, consider your audience, reflect on and integrate your learning, and share a relevant piece of your work. Use the Learning Portfolio Documentation Guide for showcasing honors experiences and other activities in your learning portfolio.
  • You can share your learning in multiple formats: a reflective essay, a visual presentation, a video (e.g., creating your own TED talk; see www.ted.com for ideas), a sketchbook, a multimedia collage, or any other format that you feel provides you with a creative and meaningful opportunity to reflect on your learning.
  • You should also include work you created during your experience (e.g., journals, presentations, videos, etc.); select the work you feel best represents your learning.
  •  Important note: You should also include a brief narrative if you’ve created something that requires explanation (e.g., a collage) - you’ll want to help the reader understand the intentions and ideas in your work.

How often should I update?

  • You should create a reflection page within one month of completing your experience. Your reflection pages will be read during the annual portfolio review conducted by the honors academic advisors (beginning July 1). Use the Learning Portfolio Documentation Guide for showcasing honors experiences and other activities in your learning portfolio.
  • Your portfolio must include completed reflection pages for at least 5 honors experiences when your portfolio is reviewed prior to graduation (your honors advisor will contact you during your senior year to provide a specific deadline).
  • You are encouraged to update and revise your reflection pages as you continue to explore the topics you initially learned.

 

3. A reflection page/section for other meaningful academic and co-curricular experiences.

What is the purpose?

The reflection page/section documents your learning in experiences you complete outside of University Honors. For example, you might include courses within your major, lessons you’ve learned from life experiences, community service you’ve completed, or involvement in student organizations. You are encouraged to use one or more of the reflection models introduced to you in the Gateway to University Honors course to guide your creation of the contents for each page; however, you are solely responsible for creating and assessing these pages for non-honors experiences, and therefore you should determine the best way to document and share your learning.

What could be included?

  • You could share your learning in multiple formats: a reflective essay, a visual presentation, a video (e.g., creating your own TED talk; see www.ted.com for ideas), a sketchbook, a multimedia collage, or any other format that you feel provides you with a creative and meaningful opportunity to reflect on your learning
  • You should also include work you created during your experience (e.g., journals, presentations, videos, etc.); select the work you feel best represents your learning.
  • Important note: You should also include a brief narrative if you’ve created something that requires explanation (e.g., a collage) - you’ll want to help the reader understand the intentions and ideas in your work.
  • You can choose to follow our Learning Portfolio Documentation Guide for showcasing honors experiences in your learning portfolio, or go in a different direction entirely. 

How often should I update?

You are solely responsible for creating and assessing the content within this section, so you should thoughtfully choose how often you plan to update.  

 

4. Year-In-Review page

What is the purpose?

This page is your opportunity to reflect upon your learning throughout the previous year and to share goals, hopes, ideas and dreams for your learning in the upcoming year. You’ve already reflected on individual courses and experiences (both within and outside of University Honors) in your learning portfolio, so this summary is the “big picture” overview of your learning. What have you discovered about yourself as a learner? What connections can you see among your significant learning experiences? How have you contributed to your learning, and how have you gotten in the way of your learning? What challenged you and excited you – and, of course, why? What are you drawn to learn more about, and why? How will you proceed?

How often should I update?

  • This requirement is in place for students who joined the University Honors Program beginning or after fall semester 2012.
  • You should create your year-in-review page prior to the annual portfolio review conducted by honors academic advisors (beginning July 1).
  • Your final year’s review, which should integrate your learning throughout your undergraduate career, must be included in your portfolio prior to graduation; your honors advisor will contact you during your senior year to provide a specific deadline.