Great idea for making students suffer, nice job, Steve. Don't take it bad, I think it was great, may be it is too much work, though. Perhaps you can compensate in future semesters with less work in the assignments... nah, make them suffer too. Cheers.
At first I was against the idea of a portfolio and would rather do more assignments. But then I realised that the portfolio was good because it gave me a chance to implement the skills I had learned in a way that I found interesting/useful. It also provides work that can be shown to future employers. Great idea!
It is not usual to be creative in assignments. This portfolio forced me to be creative and think of my own ideas. I enjoyed the challenge.