Components of the Portfolio

Portfolios serve both as reflective learning tools and allow students to create a gallery of their undergraduate experience. Each year students will archive materials and compile short reflective statements based on their learning experiences from that year. For the final portfolio, a complete entry includes both an artifact and an annotation.


A portfolio artifact is a piece of evidence (written, audio, visual) that represents some aspect of your learning. Each artifact marks a moment or experience in your own education. Artifacts might include (but are not limited to) research papers, PowerPoint presentations, notes or commentaries, video, photo essays, audio files, musical compositions, creative writing samples, art pieces, slideshows, blog entries or other presentations.

You can upload your assignments or papers using Google Docs either with or without the grade on it. You must then set the "Share" settings on the Doc to allow everyone with a UW NetID to view it. Then you must insert the Doc while you are editing the page. If you do not want to use Google Docs, you can simply copy and paste the document into the edit box. 

See Honors Student Jennifer Chou's creative use of artifacts, from a graded quiz to artsy instagrams taken in her first art class here.


For each entry students will include a brief annotation, a reflective statement explaining the importance of the item to his or her personal, academic or experiential learning career.

As you craft your annotations, consider these questions:

  • What did you learn that you did not already know and what took you by surprise?
  • What are three to five research questions or projects that you would like to or potentially could work on because of what you learned in this class?
  • Is there a strategy or approach to learning featured in the course that you would be able to apply in other courses and/or disciplines?
  • What have you learned from the course that might be useful in your professional careers?
  • If the material and methodologies are not pertinent to your anticipated career, have they allowed you to grow as a thinker and learner?
See examples of annotations and how they relate to artifacts on the entries from Honors Students Tuyen Nguyen, Shannon Foss, and Marlena Norwood.

Experiential Learning Entries

One of the student's entries will document one of two required Experiential Learning Projects, and will include application materials (required for the experience to satisfy the Honors Experiential Learning requirement), as well as the artifact and annotation.

At the end of each Experiential Learning Project, you are asked to write a reflection, which will be reviewed by your supervisor and the Honors staff. This reflection may form the foundation of your annotation, but, as with all annotations, be sure to include a discussion of your artifact and why you chose it to represent your experience. 

Below is the prompt for the final reflection. Remember, you are also free to include additional information.

Look back at your original application for your Experiential Learning Project. How has your completion of the project changed how you would answer those questions? How has this project furthered your educational or personal goals and experiences? How does it connect to your future or current coursework? How did your project contribute to the work of the organization or your partners? Do you see yourself continuing to work with the organization or partners, or on issues related to this project? What did you learn about yourself and the importance of this project over the course of the last quarter?

See Honors Student Donelyn Rollolazo's EXLP entry for her study abroad program in India here.

Portfolio Statement

In addition, students will include a Portfolio Statement that ties together their entries and includes a broader reflection on their undergraduate experience as a whole. This may, depending on intended audience, explain their future goals and relevant preparations for those experiences. Students will write their portfolio statement in Honors 496 before sharing their final portfolio.

See Honors Student Laura Thornqiust's clever portfolio statement, comparing herself to the very bacteria she studies in the classroom here.

And more (optional, but encouraged!)

Students are encouraged to archive many more artifacts than they intend to include in their final portfolio. In this manner, students may archive materials from all their courses and later decide which artifacts are most representative of their education experiences or most useful for their targeted portfolio audience. As students archive materials, they are also strongly encouraged to include short notes or descriptions for their use in annotating and elaborating upon those entries they choose to highlight in their final portfolios. UW Google Docs may be an appropriate platform for private archiving of materials before eventual publication in a more public forum such as UW Google Sites or Weebly.

See examples of portfolios that have gone above and beyond the minimum requirements here.