FAQ

What is the Hallmarks Program? 

What is the “value proposition” for general education at Philadelphia University? 

What is the purpose of the Hallmarks Program?

What are the Hallmarks learning goals?

What is the Hallmarks Core?

What is the e-portfolio?  

What is the purpose of the e-portfolio? 

What are the requirements for the e-portfolio?

How do I know what to include in my e-portfolio? 

Can the same artifact be used for more than one learning goal?

Do I have to follow the Hallmarks curriculum map for my major?

What are co-curricular experiences and how do they fit into my e-portfolio?

What is a reflective essay?

Can I replace or remove items in my e-portfolio?

What are “touchstone” courses?

Is the e-portfolio a requirement for graduation?

Who sees my e-portfolio?

How do transfer students complete their e-portfolios? 

Can I keep my e-portfolio after graduation?


What is the Hallmarks Program?

The Hallmarks Program is how Philadelphia University fulfills its value proposition for general education.  This program combines a general education core curriculum (the Hallmarks Core) with an electronic portfolio in which you collect collect samples of your work and experiences here that demonstrate your fulfillment of our Hallmarks learning goals.

 

What is the “value proposition” for general education at Philadelphia University?

The value proposition is how we communicate our goals for your broader education, regardless of which major you are in:

General education at Philadelphia University empowers students to

  • Question, based on curiosity and confidence
  • Adapt, based on contextual understanding and global perspectives
  • Contribute, based on empathy and collaboration
  • Act, based on initiative and ethical reflection

with the goal of imagining and realizing better futures.

 

What is the purpose of the Hallmarks Program?

Our value proposition for general education identifies a set of key capabilities that we consider vital for your professional and personal success. The Hallmarks Program translates these capabilities into learning goals that we help you fulfill in your major, in the Hallmarks Core, and in your co-curricular activities.  The Hallmarks Program is a strategy to keep everyone at Philadelphia University focused on delivering learning experiences that advance these 8 learning goals, and to help you track your own progress towards them.

 

What are the Hallmarks learning goals?

The Hallmarks learning goals were developed from our original value proposition for general education.  Each of the 4 capabilities in the value proposition is based on 2 qualities that we are helping you develop.  The resulting 8 learning goals define what you will be able to do once you have developed these qualities:

 

CURIOSITY: Create strategies for expanding knowledge through reflection and research.

CONFIDENCE: Challenge concepts, practices and experts with reasoning and evidence.

CONTEXTUAL UNDERSTANDING: Develop and share insights using appropriate means of expression.

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES: Navigate diverse environments and complex issues by managing multiple systems of knowledge and behavior.                        

EMPATHY: Consider multiple perspectives in order to relate to others and strengthen communities.

COLLABORATION: Achieve goals by integrating skills and knowledge in a team setting.                  

INITIATIVE: Take creative and intellectual risks when exploring ideas and real-world problems.

ETHICAL REFLECTION: Affirm an ethical compass to guide personal, civic and professional life.

 

What is the Hallmarks Core?

The Hallmarks Core is our general education core curriculum (it replaces the previous College Studies curriculum).  The Hallmarks Core is a coordinated sequence of 14 requirements taken by all students in all majors.  These requirements are organized around the Hallmarks learning goals and they guide you through major areas of knowledge and through the completion of your e-portfolio.

 

What is the e-portfolio?

The e-portfolio is a digital collection of “artifacts,” which are samples of work and learning that you have done during your time at Philadelphia University that show your fulfillment of the 8 Hallmarks learning goals. These artifacts might be papers that you have written, projects that you have completed, designs that you have created, or even narratives of experiences such as study abroad or internships.  Each artifact is accompanied by a short reflective essay that explains why you chose it and how it addresses Hallmarks learning goal that you have linked it to.

 

What is the purpose of the e-portfolio?

The e-portfolio is part of our strategy for “intentional” learning, to give you a greater awareness of the goals of our curriculum and of the skills and knowledge that you are mastering. By collecting and reflecting on your artifacts, you tell the story of your learning at Philadelphia University, a process that will make it easier to identify and communicate your learning and competencies to others, including potential employers.  The e-portfolio also serves as a tool for the university’s curriculum assessment.  By identifying its learning goals and tracking student achievement of these, the university holds itself accountable and tracks its success in helping students meet these goals.

 

What are the requirements for the e-portfolio?

A completed e-portfolio has 20 artifacts, each accompanied by a short reflective essay. Eight of these artifacts come from courses in the Hallmarks Core, another eight artifacts come from courses or work in your major, and 4 more (the “third dimension” artifacts) can be taken from anywhere in your major, the Hallmarks Core, or your co-curriculum (internships, study abroad, student organizations, etc.).  Each artifact is associated with one of the 8 Hallmarks learning goals, so a completed e-portfolio has at least 2 artifacts (one from the major and one from the Hallmarks Core) for each learning goal, plus 4 more of the student’s choice.

 

How do I know what to include in my e-portfolio?

Each of your first 8 courses in the Hallmarks Core is designed to produce an artifact for one of the 8 different Hallmarks learning goals, so you will know to submit those as you complete those courses.  Later courses in the Hallmarks Core will give you additional opportunities to produce artifacts if you want to substitute them for your earlier work.  In addition, the directors of your major have submitted a curriculum map that identifies 8 places in that curriculum where each of the outcomes will be addressed in work that you can use as an artifact. You can consider this map as a starting point, but you always have the option of using materials from courses that aren't designated on the map, as long as you can indicate how they are related to the selected learning goal.  

The final four artifacts (the “third dimension” category) will be your choice, and they can come from experiences that you’ve had in your co-curriculum (experiences like study abroad, internships or student organizations) or additional items from your major or the Hallmarks Core.  As you move through the curriculum, you will get advice and feedback on the state of your e-portfolio from the instructors in your touchstone courses.

 

Can the same artifact be used for more than one learning goal?

A completed e-portfolio should have 20 separate and unique artifacts, showing the full spectrum of your learning experience. 

 

Do I have to follow the Hallmarks curriculum map for my major?

The Hallmarks curriculum map for your major is intended to identify courses that should include assignments that can be used to show progress in one selected learning goal. However, it's entirely possible that you will do work in other courses, either earlier or later, that you think is a better example of your ability related to that goal. If that is the case, then you are always free to post that work in your e-portfolio instead, or to replace an earlier sample of your work with a more recent sample. Your curriculum map can be considered as a starting point, marking places in your major where the Hallmarks learning goals will be routinely addressed, but you will make the final decision about which examples of your work belong in your e-portfolio under which categories.

 

What are co-curricular experiences and how do they fit into my e-portfolio?

 

Co-curricular experiences are learning activities during your college career that take place outside of the classroom. Some examples of these would be study abroad, internships, participation in student organizations, community service projects, events like design sprints and Nexus Maximus, and leadership positions liking serving as a Rambassador or a resident advisor. You can document these experiences in the third "column" of your e-portfolio, where you get to post artifacts for each pair of Hallmarks learning goals: Curiosity OR Confidence, Contextual Understanding OR Global Perspectives, etc. Once you've decide which learning goal your co-curricular experience speaks to most directly, upload your artifact (this could be a slide show, a video, a scan of your travel journal, a flyer from an event that you helped organize, a poster from a design project, etc.) and write a reflective essay that explains why you think your experience helped you advance towards that learning goal.


Can I replace or remove items in my e-portfolio?
 

Because the e-portfolio is a tool for archiving your work and displaying your progress, it isn't possible to remove items once you have posted them. At any time, however, you have the option of adding new items in the same category. When you do this, the most recent item will be the only one visible when someone opens your e-portfolio, and earlier items can only be viewed by selecting them from a drop-down menu. If you post something by mistake and you don't want it to appear when your e-portfolio is opened, you can upload a blank file (for example, a Word file that you name and save, but with no content in it) into that same category to replace it until you are ready to post the correct item.

What is a reflective essay?

When you are uploading an artifact into your e-portfolio, you will see a text box on the upload page where you can post a short essay to accompany your artifact. Each of your artifacts should be accompanied by a "reflective essay," a short piece of writing (about 250 or 300 words--one typed page) that explains what the artifact is, and why you chose to post it in your e-portfolio as evidence of your progress towards the selected Hallmarks goal. You can read about the characteristics of each goal on the Hallmarks Goal Descriptions page and your reflective essay should discuss how your work on that artifact matches the description of that goal. 

 

What are “touchstone” courses?

The Hallmarks Core includes 4 “touchstone” courses, one in each year of the curriculum.  In addition to their normal general education content, these courses also devote some time during the semester to reviewing, evaluating, and advancing your progress in the e-portfolio process.  The amount of time and the percentage of your final grade in these classes devoted to the e-portfolio process will increase each year.  The final touchstone course, the Capstone Folio Workshop, is taken during your senior year.  This course is devoted entirely to ensuring that your e-portfolio is as complete and polished as possible.

 

Is the e-portfolio a requirement for graduation?

A fully completed e-portfolio is not a graduation requirement, but you must pass all of your touchstone courses in order to graduate. In the final touchstone course, the Capstone Folio Workshop, 50% of your grade is based entirely on the quality and completeness of your e-portfolio.

 

Who sees my e-portfolio?

Your e-portfolio has privacy settings that you can control.  At the default level, your e-portfolio is accessible only to your academic advisor, the instructors of the touchstone courses, and the curriculum assessment team that reviews the general student fulfillment of specific Hallmarks learning goals at the end of every academic year.

 

How do transfer students complete their e-portfolios?

The Hallmarks Core was designed with a special version of Writing Seminar II for transfer students.  Writing Seminar II is one of the 4 touchstone courses, so this special version of the course is designed to help you “back fill” your e-portfolio.  The instructors in this version of Writing Seminar II will work with you to identify previous courses or experiences (work, military service, community service, etc.) that can be documented in the e-portfolio to align with Hallmarks learning goals.  After some of these blanks in the e-portfolio have been filled, you will be up to speed with your non-transfer classmates and you will complete your e-portfolio as you move forward through your major and the Hallmarks Core.  This version of Writing Seminar II is worth 4 credits rather than the usual 3, to reflect the extra time and attention spent on your e-portfolio.

 

Can I keep my e-portfolio after graduation?

Your e-portfolio is maintained on the Pathbrite servers and you will have access to it for as long as you'd like. After you graduate, your Hallmarks e-portfolio will be frozen for future assessment purposes (you won't be able to revise it or add to it), but you always have the option of making a duplicate version on the Pathbrite site that you can continue to revise or borrow from. In addition to your official Hallmarks Program e-portfolio, you have the option to make as many additional e-portfolios as you'd like in the Pathbrite system.