FAQ

How do I start my portfolio?

The majority of Honors students will begin working on their portfolios while enrolled in Honors 100, a required course for incoming freshmen. If you are not taking Honors 100, you can speak with an Honors adviser about starting your portfolio. Be sure to use this site as well, as it provides ideas and guidance for starting and maintaining your Portfolio.

What is an artifact? An annotation? An entry?

You can see full definitions of these elements, as well as examples of each, on our Components page.

What should I not include in my portfolio?

You may include materials above and beyond the requirements (and are encouraged to do so!), and you might choose to include aspects of personal or experiential learning and expression (such as sports, photography, involvement with campus or community groups, music, etc), even if they are not formally part of your Interdisciplinary Honors Core requirements. However, you should focus on the learning aspect of the portfolios and refrain from including materials of an overly-personal nature (such as those more appropriate for a Facebook page). Remember that the audience for your Honors Portfolio will likely differ from those for more personal web spaces.

What does it mean to 'archive' potential portfolio materials and where can I do that?

Archiving is a means of documenting and saving artifacts that represent important moments or experiences in your learning on and off campus. For your electronic portfolio, this means setting aside, in an organized fashion, artifacts of importance that you may want to eventually include in your portfolio. UW Google Docs is one mechanism for doing this: it is one private, secure and organized way of preserving the materials (written, visual, audio) you may incorporate into your final portfolio. As you archive items in UW Google Docs (or a similar format), you are strongly encouraged to make notes or write up quick reflections for yourself to aid in your future elaboration and annotation of those artifacts that make it into your final portfolio.

Do I have to use Google Docs as my archive? Can't I just save things on my computer?

You are welcome to archive your materials in whatever format and by whatever method makes sense to you. We suggest UW Google Docs for a few reasons: using Docs as your storage allows you to take advantage of seamless Google apps interfacing (ie, inserting a Doc directly into your Site, rather than having to attach it); your Google Docs are accessible from any computer, anywhere in the world; and last but certainly not least, online file storage isn't susceptible to hard drive crashes or coffee spills. However, if you want to use a thumb drive, your hard drive, another form of online storage, or any other file storage mechanism, go for it! Just be sure it's a method that allows you to not only archive your files, but organize and annotate them as well.

What's the difference between Google Docs and Google Sites?

At the most basic level, your Google Site is your public portfolio, while Google Docs acts as your private file archive. One way to think of it as a museum, wherein Google Docs acts as your storeroom, where everything that might ever be of interest is collected and archived, and Google Sites is the gallery space, where you as curator choose from those archives to present a cohesive exhibit to the public. Google Docs can remain a place for your private reflections or work, even while you integrate other public Docs into your final Site.

Do I have to use Google Apps for creating my Honors portfolio?

No. UW Google Docs and Sites are useful tools for a couple of reasons - you can access them as apps through your UW Google account; they are protected by UW's privacy settings; and the UW's Learning and Scholarly Technologies (LST) office can provide support and help with these tools. However, if you are an advanced web user and prefer to create your own website for your electronic portfolio, or you would prefer to use another platform like Weebly or Blogger, you are welcome to do so as long as it meets the portfolio requirements. You may still wish to use UW Google Docs as an archiving mechanism.

Do I have to use UW Google Apps, or can I use my private Google account?

To protect your privacy and ensure your personal ownership of web content (and prevent publicity/searchability by Google), we strongly recommend you use UW Google Apps for your Honors Portfolio. You will be able to retain access to anything created in your UW Google Apps when you leave UW.

How many of my portfolio entries must be for Honors courses?

At least three of your course-related portfolio entries must pertain to Honors courses. As you must include two course-related entries per academic year, this will work out to be three of eight total course entries after four years at UW. One additional entry must be from your major. This means that your other 4 entries might be from courses in your major(s), courses that particularly affected your thinking or educational experience, or additional Honors courses.

Can I include more than one assignment or project from the same Honors course in my portfolio?

While you are welcome to include multiple artifacts from one course, keep in mind that the minimum of two entries per academic year must be from different courses. This means that if you have only 8 total course entries after four years, they must all be from different courses. If an Experiential Learning project is somehow linked to a course, it is acceptable to include the course as one of your eight while also including that Experiential Learning Project in your portfolio.

When is my portfolio due?

Students will finalize their Honors Portfolios in Honors 496, after completing a majority of the Honors Core requirements (6 of 9 Core courses and 1 of 2 Experiential Learning projects). While this will allow for a final evaluation of the completion of all portfolio requirements, your portfolios will also be shared with peers and mentors throughout your time at UW (i.e. in Honors 100, Honors advising appointments, portfolio workshops, etc). Honors 496 is designed to help you polish your portfolio and finalize your culminating portfolio statement; it is not designed to help you archive or annotate materials from previous years. You need to be working on your portfolio each quarter, so that you are prepared for that finalizing process in Honors 496. 

Can I earn an Honors degree without doing the portfolio?

The only Honors degree that does not require a portfolio is Departmental Honors. If you intend to complete an Interdisciplinary Honors degree or a College Honors degree (Interdisciplinary & Departmental), then you must create and complete a portfolio. For more information on the different types of Honors degrees, please visit our Curriculum Requirements page.

Can I share my portfolio with whomever I want? How do I do that?

Yes! Of course! You are required, at a minimum, to share your portfolio with all persons with a UW NetID in order to participate in peer work and Honors check-ins. 

If you're using UW Google Sites and wish to share your portfolio with someone outside of UW, you will need to change your sharing settings to 'public on the web'. See our Need Help? page for details on how to control your sharing settings. If you have any trouble, contact LST for help.

 Most other platforms will only offer you two privacy settings: public or private, in which case you would need to default to public.


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