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Capstone Project

In addition to completing 12 credits of coursework online, as a student in the Graduate Certificate in TESOL program you must complete an electronic professional portfolio (an e-portfolio) which documents how you have fulfilled each of the five goals of the program.

e-Portfolio Contents

You can include written assignments, blog posts, instructor and classmate comments, photographs, videos, audio recordings, graphic elements, text, a CV, a personal statement, and so on. The purpose of the e-portfolio is to provide evidence that you have fulfilled the stated goals of the online Graduate Certificate in TESOL program:

  • You can analyze various domains of language (e.g., phonological, lexical, grammatical, and pragmatic) in relation to adult learner language development and to apply these understandings to adult English language teaching
  • You can design, adapt, and evaluate curricula, technology, media, and other resources that meet the specific instructional and language-related needs and abilities of adult English language learners
  • You can demonstrate understanding of (a) the multilingual and multicultural contexts within which adult English language learners live and work and (b) the role of learning and using English in an increasingly globalized world
  • You can design and use effective instructional strategies for one-on-one tutoring, classroom teaching, and learner assessment
  • You can create a professional TESOL e-portfolio as a final capstone project

e-Portfolio Samples

Use your own creative visual and graphic ideas when considering how best to present the information you want to include. Be sure to list the curricular goals given above, and to create captions (reflective comments) that tell us how the evidence you have provided meets these goals.

To give you an idea of what an e-portfolio can look like, visit the e-portfolios of two recent TESOL Certificate graduates, who have given their permission to share their portfolios.  



e-Portfolio Timeline

Start compiling your e-portfolio as soon as you begin your course of study in the online Graduate Certificate program. It is much easier to gather documents, pictures, etc., while they are still fresh in your mind.

In addition, you will lose access to your PSU web space (the ANGEL sites for your most recent class, Plone access, the blog space, and the e-portfolio site that you set up, if you use PSU web space) 6 weeks after you finish your last class. Due to this web access policy, you will need to do most of the work on your e-portfolio before your last class finishes.

Submitting the e-Portfolio for review

When you finish the e-portfolio, send the link to the Program Coordinator (Dr. Deryn Verity,, who will review it and return it to you with suggestions for revisions and improvement, if necessary.

After the e-portfolio has been accepted, the Coordinator will ask you for a mailing address, and your official Certificate document will be sent to you by the Graduate School. Your Certificate will be issued according to the graduation date published on the Academic Calendar of The Pennsylvania State University that most closely follows the submission and acceptance of your e-portfolio. 

If you have a specific graduation date in mind, submit your e-portfolio at least 3 weeks before that date.

Choosing an online platform for your e-Portfolio

Students use a wide variety of online platforms for their e-portfolios, and some people prefer to work on non-Penn State web spaces, such as Weebly, Wix, Blogspot, and Google Sites. One reason in favor of using your Penn State web space is that you can take advantage of the excellent support staff to help you with technical issues. One reason not to use your Penn State web space is that you will lose access to your portfolio after 6 weeks, unless you export it to another platform. You can make that decision based on your own comfort level with technology; the support staff can help you with the export process.

Note: Please send your e-portfolio for review AFTER you have exported it so that you have access and time to make any revisions that might be required.

Other examples of e-Portfolios

The MA TESL program in the Department of Applied Linguistics also requires students to complete an e-portfolio. You may find it helpful to look at some recent MA TESL student portfolios to get some more ideas about how to design your own. The MA e-portfolio assignment is very similar to the online Certificate assignment, in that students are requested to document how they have fulfilled the stated goals of the program.

Examples of MA TESL e-portfolios:






World Campus also provides extensive information and support for you as you consider how to build your online e-portfolio. See their page at

When you are ready to submit your e-portfolio for review, contact the Coordinator of the online Graduate Certificate in TESOL program, Dr. Deryn Verity ( for specific instructions.