An initiative started in 2014, Aportfolio is Appalachian State's electronic portfolio platform. Aportfolios are academic websites where students collect and curate evidence of their learning for a professional audience, course or program. The websites can be made public with password protection for secure and accessible sharing with audiences outside of App State. To aid students with their postgraduate endeavors, Aportfolios remain available after graduation.
Established in 2016, the Aportfolio Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes a faculty member who has effectively integrated the use of Aportfolios into their instructional program for purposes of assessing, showcasing and encouraging reflection on students' work. Though Hash had used Aportfolios in her courses since she began teaching in the Department of English in 2017, the way she implements them in her courses has evolved. Hash, who teaches arts-based rhetoric and composition courses, encourages her students to embrace "creative risk-taking" in their portfolios by including personal reflections, multimodal art pieces and photographs they've captured and manipulated themselves.
An alumna of both the Appalachian State College of Arts and Sciences and Reich College of Education, Hash received her M.A. in English in 2012 and her Ed.D. in 2020. Her research interests include expressive arts, arts-based educational research, curriculum studies and composition studies. The Aportfolio assignments in Hash's courses enable students to incorporate artistic processes while creating a comprehensive product that demonstrates their writing skills. "The APortfolios also build a great deal of excitement in my courses. We spend several class periods discussing design choices, themes and visual rhetorics so students will make informed, purposeful decisions when designing their portfolios," said Hash.
Hash also finds Aportfolio to be the ideal platform for her students due to its privacy options. "Students in my courses may write personal, vulnerable pieces that they may not want on public virtual spaces for any lengths of time," she explained. "APortfolio’s privacy features allows students to create culminations of their experiences for their classmates and instructor only, which supports them in creating portfolios that are expressive and personal, while still private on some level."
To read more about how Hash uses Aportfolio in her courses, visit aportfolio.appstate.edu/node/275.
About the Department of English
The Department of English at Appalachian State University is committed to outstanding work in the classroom, the support and mentorship of students, and a dynamic engagement with culture, history, language, theory and literature. The department offers master’s degrees in English and rhetoric and composition, as well as undergraduate degrees in literary studies, film studies, creative writing, professional writing and English education. Learn more at https://english.appstate.edu.
By Lauren Andersen
November 17, 2022