San Jose State University ePortfolio status tool

San Jose State University ePortfolio status tool

Update: Since writing this post I have found out that the iSchool offers a very similar planning tool to its students. Their tool is an Excel file available for download through the iSchool Advising Toolkit, or you can download it directly from here. Both tools are very similar in their functionality. I was unaware of this tool when completing my degree. I hope it helps!

The ePortfolio can be a really daunting experience for students in the MLIS program at San Jose State University. I wrote an extensive article about the ePortfolio and how students can have success here.

This post will explore a tool that I created to monitor your progress as you work to complete your ePortfolio, I’ll call it the ePortfolio Status Tool.

The idea for this tool was born out of a student sharing a printable pie chart that students colour in as their advisors accept and pass various competencies. The idea behind that printable colour wheel is to visually track your progress and to provide a reward for completing competencies. While this is great in that regard, I wanted a tool that I could use to easily track and make changes to the status’ of the competencies I was submitting for review.

As of Winter 2018 this tool is up-to-date. If SJSU updates or modifies their requirements for the ePortfolio, certain aspects of this tool may need to be updated. I do not plan on updating this tool if that happens. If you decide to modify this tool to address those changes, please consider sharing that tool with your peers.

Access the ePortfolio Status Tool from Google Sheets here

Modifying the Google Sheet

I have made the Google Sheet available above as “view only” to keep the original document clean and unaltered.

To modify this sheet and monitor your own ePortfolio submissions you will have to make a copy of the Google Sheet.

This can be done from the “file” menu. From the drop down menu, select “make a copy…”

Showing "Make a copy..." in the file drop down menu
Choose make a copy from the “file” drop down menu

Next, you will need to choose a location to save the copy. Choose somewhere on your own Google Drive and select “okay”. I recommend making an SJSU file where you can store all of these important files.

Select a copy location in your Google Drive
Select a location for the copied file and select okay

Unlike the Course Selection Tool I created (found here), this tool produced errors when I tried to download the file as an Excel file. At this time I do not plan to correct the errors I have encountered with the Excel version. If you do want to download the Google Sheet in Excel format it should not take much to get it working.

The tool

I pride myself in the simplicity of this tool. I do not expect that this “how-to” guide will require much explanation. There are only 4 columns in this tool.

The competencies and aspects of the ePortfolio (column 1)

This column is a list of the components of the ePortfolio that need to be submitted. If you need a detailed description of the competencies, please visit the SJSU website.

In my case, Competency O has replaced the Statement of Professional Philosophy (if you are entering the program from Spring 2015- this is the case). See here for additional information on this requirement. If you do not have to complete Competency O you can edit that cell to read “Statement of Professional Philosophy”.

Column 1 of the ePortfolio Status Tool
Column 1 shows the components required for submission, Competency O can be changed to Statement of Professional Philosophy if you need that instead

The status of the competency (column 2)

Column 2 is a drop down menu. By default it is set to “To Write”. These are components that students have not yet started working on.

Students have the option to change the status of the competency as they see fit.

Options include:

  • To Write (student has not started working on this competency) [yellow]
  • Submitted (student has submitted their competency to the advisor, awaiting feedback) [dark blue]
  • Complete (advisor has marked this competency as complete) [green]
  • To revise (advisor has marked this competency as needing revisions) [orange]
  • Written, need to submit (student has finished writing this competency but has not yet submitted it for grading) [light blue]
  • Writing in Progress (student is currently in the process of writing this competency) [grey]

As the student updates the status of each component of the ePortfolio, the pie chart will change to reflect the status. Similarly, the ePortfolio Competency Update chart will update to reflect how many competencies are in that status, as you can see in the screenshot below. The tool provides an excellent visualization of student progress throughout the ePortfolio process.

Column 2 updates the visual components of the tool
Updating the status in column 2 will automatically update the ePortfolio Competency Update list and the pie chart

Personal touch

To make the tool a bit more visually appealing I update the colours of the rows to match their status. This is not necessary but I liked doing it.

Columns with colour added to match status
Adding colour to the rows can be a nice personal touch. I did this but it is not necessary

The status of the competency (columns 3 and 4)

Columns 3 and 4 are not required to track the status of your ePortfolio. I included them only for my own personal information. Leading up to the ePortfolio I had been told how intense the writing process was. I wanted to monitor my own progress so I included them. This tool allows students to record the word count and page length of each competency they submit. The tool then calculates total word count of the entire ePortfolio, total page count and the average word count per competency.

Again, this is not necessary for the tool to function. It is additional information that some students might appreciate. I have included my completed tool to show it being used.

Completed tool with status, word count and page count
Columns 3 and 4 are not required for the tool to be effective. It just provides additional information to the student


In the end this tool helps students track the status of their ePortfolio journey. It is a tool that I made and used to track my own ePortfolio experience and I felt that it was beneficial to my success.

Do you use a tool to track your progress? Let me know what works for you in the comments!

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