What is a Professional Portfolio

The UPEI Career and Summer Job Fair is running today, so we thought it’d be a great day to talk about building a professional portfolio!

A professional portfolio is a presentation of your artifacts and reflections that you’ve collected and organized to demonstrate your relevant qualifications. It’s a great way to provide concrete examples of your skills and experiences.

An artifact is a piece of your work, it might be an award you’ve won, it might be a creative work you’ve made, or even a class assignment you’re proud of. In your portfolio you present your artifacts and reflect on them, why should the employer be interested in this artifact? What lessons have you learned from it, what tools did you use, what skills are on display?

For a professional portfolio you should start with the job posting. Every professional portfolio should be tailored to each job posting as different employers will be emphasizing different qualifications and will use different language. Ask yourself what skills and experiences are the employer looking for? You can take these qualifications and use them to layout your sections in your portfolio and then begin selecting and sorting your artifacts.

When writing your reflections, or providing context to your artifacts, remember that the audience for your professional portfolio is the employer. Make sure that you’re writing in the professional style that you would use for your cover letter, and pay attention to the language used in the job posting. While this is an opportunity to flesh out your fit for the role, make sure to be concise.

The process of building your professional portfolio is also a great exercise for you. For example, your professional portfolio is an excellent study tool for your interview. As you select your best artifacts for the application, you’re helping find specific examples of your qualifications that you can discuss confidently in an interview.

After you’ve finished your portfolio, always get someone else to review it before you send it to the employer.

If you have any questions about building your professional portfolios, feel free to contact careerservices@upei.ca, if you’re a faculty member looking to bring professional portfolios into your courses contact elearning@upei.ca

Quiz Week 4: Putting It All Together

We’ve been very productive this week, so far we’ve created categories in our question bankwe’ve written our questions, and we’ve imported them to Moodle. Now it’s time to bring everything together to create a quiz activity.

First we’re going to open your course page and Turn Editing On. In the section where you want to add your quiz, select Add an Activity or Resource, from that list select the Quiz activity.

Slide 11

Now it’s time to name your assessment and provide a description. I use the description to explain the overall instructions for the assessment such as “Once you begin the quiz you have 15 minutes to complete it. The timer begins when you start the assessment.”

Set the timing or time limit you’d like on your assessment along with any other additional settings you’d prefer to use, such as Activity Completion, the number of allowed attempts, or groups. You can also add this quiz to the correct gradebook category if you are using Moodle Gradebook.

Slide 12

If you’d like more information on quiz settings, check out this video.

Once you’ve finished adjusting the settings on your quiz, save it by selecting Save and Display. Now it’s time to add questions by selecting Edit Quiz (you can also edit the quiz from the Administration Block).

Slide 13

To add questions to the quiz, select the category of questions you would like to add to the quiz, in this example I’m drawing my questions from Quiz One: Multiple Choice. I have two questions in the category, but I only want to use one of them, and I want to make it so that not everyone will get the same question, so I’m going to select to add 1 random question and choose to Add to quiz. If I were to want students to write both, I could select 2 random questions instead which would present the questions in a random order.

If I had many questions in this category and wanted a large number of random questions, I have to add the questions in small groups. So for example, if I wanted to add 17 random questions from a category, I cannot select 17 from the dropdown list. Instead, I have to add 10, then after I’ve added those, I add a group of 7.

Slide 1

If I wanted to ask students a particular question in every version of the quiz, I can add specific questions. To add a specific question, I’ll select the category that question belongs to, find the question in the list, then check the checkbox beside the question I want to add, and then add to quiz.

Slide 2

We can also add pages. Pages allow students a way to save their progress. When a student switches pages Moodle will save the progress of the student, which can be useful for quizzes that have time limits where open submissions are submitted when time expires. We really recommend putting any short answer or essay questions on their own pages for this reason.

Once all of your questions and pages are set up in the quiz, set your maximum grade.

Slide 3

Once the grade is set, your quiz is ready! But are you ready for our quiz?

Test yourself on our Quiz Week Quiz! (Note you’ll have to enrol in the course before you can take the quiz)

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 2.09.54 PM

If you have any questions about any step in the quiz building process, please contact us at moodle@upei.ca

Quiz Week Part 3: Making a Deposit to the Question Bank

Yesterday we built the documents with our questions, but right now those questions are on our computer, they’re not in our Moodle Question bank. Today, we’re going to change that.

Now it’s time to go back to our Moodle course page. In our course page, we’re going to go back to our Administration Block and expand the Question Bank dropdown list and then select Import.

Slide 7

In the Format section, we want to select GIFT format. This is the type of format we’ve made our questions with, so we need to let Moodle know that. Next we expand the General section, this will give us the option to import our questions into a category that we’ve already set up. In my example I’ve decided to import my questions to my Quiz One: Multiple Choice category. After we’ve selected the category, we’re going to add our questions. You can click Choose a file… if you want to search your computer for your document. If you already know where it is, you can Drag and Drop it into the import section. Once your file is loaded, select Import.

Slide 1

Now you should see all the questions you’re uploading separated and numbered. Slide 9Here both of the questions that I’ve uploaded are separated, so I’m ready to import. If you’re missing a question or all your questions are combined go back to your question document and check for missing {‘s and }’s, and make sure there are no spaces at the end of your questions or answers. If your questions are appearing correctly, select Continue.

Once your questions are imported, you will see them separated and you can edit them individually if you’d like. This can be useful if you do not want to shuffle the answers in a question, such as if you have a question that includes answers like “All of the above”.

Slide 10

Once you have your questions imported into your category and changed any settings you need on individual questions, it’s time to make the Quiz activity that will hold these questions, we’ll cover that tomorrow!

If you have any questions about adding questions to your question bank, contact us at moodle@upei.ca

Quiz Week 2: the Gift of GIFT Formatting

Welcome to day two of quiz week, today we’ll talk about writing our questions so we can import them into Moodle.

In Moodle we could build the questions individually and sort them into the question bank one at a time, but there’s a much faster way to get your question banks onto Moodle. This faster way is GIFT formatting, a special way of writing our questions in a word processor that will let us upload the questions and answers to Moodle in groups. It might seem a bit weird at first, but it can be a real time saver, letting us drag and drop our questions into the categories we made yesterday.

The first thing we’ll do is open a word processor like Microsoft Word or Open Office. Unfortunately Google Docs doesn’t let us save the file the way we need to, but if you prefer it, you can write your questions there and copy them into Word or Open Office when you’re ready to save. When you open your new document, don’t write a title, instructions, or even a question number. Instead just write out the questions and answers.

Let’s start with the easiest to write: Essay and Short Answer. When we write a question, we only write the question text, no question numbers or category names. After we write the question text, we’re going to make a new line and write a { followed by a }. So as an example:

Briefly explain the process of uploading questions and answers from a word document to Moodle.

Make sure there aren’t any extra spaces after the . in the question.

The next easiest type of question is the true or false. Again you write the question text without a question number or category name, on a new line write a { followed by a T or F depending which is the correct answer for the question, then write a } to close the answer.

So a question with a true answer will look like this:

True or False, when uploading your questions to Moodle, you should first set up your categories before importing your questions.


And a question with a false answer will look like this:

True or False, it is alright to upload questions with extra spaces after the period.


The last type of question we’ll make is multiple choice. We can write multiple choices in a way that tells Moodle which answer is the correct answer and which answers are wrong. To write a multiple choice question, we write the question text without any numbers. Then on a new line we write a {. Now we’re to tell Moodle if the next answer is correct or incorrect. If the answer is correct, we’ll write a =, if it’s wrong, we’ll write a ~. Then we’ll write the answer text with no space between the answer and the ~ or =. On a new line we’ll again identify whether the next answer is correct or incorrect with the ~ or =. Once we’ve listed all of our answers, we’ll write a } right after our last answer.

This is what a multiple choice question written that way looks like:

When you’re writing a multiple choice question for Moodle in GIFT format, the = symbol identifies that the following answer is:

{~a partially correct answer

=the correct answer

~a hint

~an incorrect answer}

And here’s another example

When you’re writing a multiple choice question for Moodle in GIFT format, the ~ symbol identifies that the following answer is:

{~the correct answer

~a partially correct answer

~a hint

=an incorrect answer}

If you want a video example, check out this tutorial.

Now that we know how to write the common question types, it’s time to begin writing our questions in our document. Write your questions so that you can upload the questions to a single category. As an example I’m going to write my two multiple choice questions in a single document so that I can upload them to a single category.

Slide 4

As you can see in the document, there isn’t any title or instructions in the document, the questions do not have numbers, and the multiple choice questions aren’t lettered.

Now that all of the questions that I want to upload in this category are in this document, it’s time to save it. When I save this document I am NOT going to save it as a .doc, instead I need to save it as a Plain Text file. So I’ll use the Save As… feature and change the format to Plain TextSlide 5

Because we’re saving the file as a plain text file, the word processor wants to know what encoding we want to use. Moodle needs us to save the document using UTF-8. So when I save my document I have to select other encoding then select UTF-8 from the list. The steps might be slightly different for you, but you still have to save the document using UTF-8 encoding.

Slide 6

If you have questions about writing or importing your questions, please contact us at moodle@upei.ca.


Quiz Week 1: Building Categories in Your Question Bank

Maybe you’ve decided you want to do some of your assessments online, or maybe you’re feeling a bit of the Winter Woes to push assessment online to make up for a few lost days. If that’s the case, this is the week for you.

As promised, we’re going to take you through all of the steps to get your quiz from .doc to done.

Before we even begin to write our questions, we’re going to set up some categories in Moodle. These categories let us group questions together. You should consider using these categories to prepare for the future as you can use the same category for different quizzes, such as pulling questions from early quizzes into a midterm, or building a question bank over time. So as an example, I might call a category: “Quiz 1: Multiple Choice Questions”, “Quiz 1: Essay Questions”, etc.

Another way you can set up categories is if you want to define categories on topics and use a number of questions from each individual categories you’ll want to set categories up by topic such as “Deleuze – Essay Questions”. This might be a better method if you want to build your question bank, or think you may rearrange the order of your course.

To set up a category in Moodle, open your course page and find the Administration block on the left side of your screen. One of the options near the bottom of the block will be the Question Bank dropdown. Expand the list and select Categories from that list.

Slide 1

After you’ve selected Categories you can begin to create your categories. On this page you might notice that there are some existing categories that come with your course, but the category we’ll look at is Default for (Your Course Name). We’ll put any categories that we make into this overall category. At the bottom of this page is the section that will let us make our new categories.

Slide 2

In this example I’m going to create a category called Quiz 1: Multiple Choice, and I’ve included a few notes for myself in the Category Info. In my example I’ve named my category ‘Blank Course: Quiz One Multiple Choice’, and I’ve added the description that the questions for this category relate specifically to chapters 1-5 from my course text.

Slide 3

Once you have your categories set up, check out Quiz Week part 2 to get going on your questions!

If you have any questions about setting up your categories in a way that will work best for you, please contact us at moodle@upei.ca