What Is a Professional Portfolio?

Faculty at Purdue University Calumet believe that principals, teachers, instructional designers, and other performance improvement specialists must be able to demonstrate their competencies, skills, and dispositions (attitudes) through a collection of artifacts organized into a professional portfolio. In addition to artifacts, reflection narratives must be included in which the candidate writes about how he/she demonstrated a particular standard through professional experience. Each course in the PUC program provides an opportunity for the candidate to create at least one portfolio entry. By the time the candidate is ready to graduate, he/she has a complete professional portfolio.

What Are the Benefits of a Professional Portfolio?

It is the intent of the PUC Special Education program to provide candidates with many opportunities to reflect on their professional experiences and set goals for their future development. Portfolios provide one avenue for this reflective growth. A professional portfolio can benefit candidates by:

  • encouraging professional pride by providing a place to organize and display an individual’s accomplishments;
  • providing a personally meaningful account of knowledge and skills;
  • serving as a professional resource throughout the education program;
  • providing strategies for implementing portfolios for future licensure/certification;
  • encouraging reflection on professional and personal development;
  • providing a means for clearly communicating professional and personal assets;
  • providing a concrete reference for use during job interviews and applications to advanced degree programs.

What is the conceptual framework of the professional portfolio?

The professional portfolio is designed so that it directly links with the conceptual framework adopted by the School of Education. This framework guides all of the School of Education’s programs, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and reflects the themes of creating knowledge, developing practice, and fostering relationships.
The conceptual framework was used as the guiding document when preparing standards for each of the School of Education’s programs. These standards are to be directly linked to candidates’ performance in their portfolios. Standards have been developed that reflect (a) general core knowledge (General Standards) for all graduate students, and (b) individual Program Area Standards (also known as content standards). ALL education graduate students are expected to demonstrate that they have met the following General Standards:

  • Instructional Uses of Technology (practice)
  • Individuals with Special Needs (practice)
  • Diversity (practice)
  • Written Communication (practice)
  • Educational Research (theory)
  • Community Collaboration (relationship)
  • Content knowledge (theory and practice)

In addition, standards have been adopted for each program area including Special Education. The Council for Exceptional Children’s Initial Content Standards for Special Education Teachers address:

  • Foundations
  • Development and Characteristics of Learners
  • Individual Learning Differences
  • Instructional Strategies
  • Learning Environment and Social Interactions
  • Language
  • Instructional Planning
  • Assessment
  • Professional and Ethical Practice
  • Collaboration

Graduate candidates are expected to demonstrate proficiency in their program area in addition to the GSE general standards. For example, a candidate in Special Education would include artifacts and reflections that show proficiency of the the CEC Initial Content Standards and of the GSE general standards in the context of the School of Education’s conceptual framework.

TaskStream: Your Electronic Portfolio

To aid in the assessment of our program and provide you with a venue for demonstrating your attainment of the standards and showcasing your work, the Graduate Studies in Education Department has adopted an electronic portfolio system that is being implemented in TaskStream. There is a one-time charge of $69.00 for use of this system for two years.

Obtaining a TaskStream Account

You will be required to purchase a two-year subscription to TaskStream in the amount of $69.00. After two years you will need to renew your account by purchasing another two-year subscription.

Activating Your TaskStream Account

The first thing you will need to do is create a TaskStream subscription. Go to the TaskStream web site and click the “Create or Renew Account” link.

  • Step 1: Activate Subscription
    • Select Create
    • Continue Option 1
  • Step 2: General Information
    • Select College/University and Continue
    • Select Indiana
    • Select College/University
    • Select Purdue University System: Purdue University Calumet
    • Continue
  • Step 3: Personal Information
    • Select:
      • School of Education
      • Select Graduate Studies in Education
      • Select Program (Administration, Counseling, Instructional Technology, or Special Education)
      • Select Student
    • Subscription information:
      • Select 2 year account for $69
    • General Information
      • Input your information and select Student Role
    • Select Tool Pakcs (optional – NOT required)
      • Selet Yes or No
    • End-User Agreement
      • Select Accept and Continue
  • Step 4: Confirmation Registration Information
    • Review and Continue
  • Step 5: Confirm Subscription Period
    • Proceed to Checkout
  • Step 6: Billing Information
    • Input information as needed and click Continue
  • After Purchasing: Email Liz Kubacki (liz.kubacki@purduecal.edu) to assign you to the correct Gate
    • Please specify your name, and the name of your program (Administration, Counseling, Instructional Technology, or Special Education)

additional help? Dial 1-800-311-5656 to contact TaskStream’s Helpdesk.

You must submit work from selected Special Education courses to TaskStream each semester for review. The artifacts (assignments) you submit from each course are assessed according to the course-specific rubric in TaskStream. The rubric will address the specific graduate standards aligned with each course’s content and expectations. You must demonstrate competency on each criteria, and may not be allowed to proceed in the program if you receive too many developing or unacceptable ratings.
The TaskStream assignment is a major course and program requirement. Failure to complete the entry can mean failure to meet course requirements. Therefore, if the entry is not completed by the end of each course, you will receive an F for that course.

In addition to the course-specific portfolio, your TaskStream account will also allow you to create a separate presentation portfolio that you can share with potential employers or others to whom you wish to display your work. What a great way to highlight your skills to future employers! Training opportunities for creating such a portfolio will be offered online through TaskStream. There are also online tutorials to assist you in downloading your artifacts into TaskStream. It is a very simple process; very much like attaching a document to an email. You are encouraged to save electronic or hard copies of all notable assignments or other work you complete for possible inclusion in a presentation portfolio.

IMPORTANT NOTE: TaskStream submissions are due when the instructor tells you, but they must be completed prior to grade assignment. If assignments are not in before the end of the last week of class, you will receive an F for the course.
The TaskStream website is https://www.taskstream.com/pub/
Phone or email at 1.800.311.5656 or help@taskstream.com.