Introduction to Creating an E-portfolio

Introduction to Creating an E-portfolio


So, what is an e-portfolio, and why would
someone want to create one? In this screencast, I will show you a few examples of e-portfolios
and talk about the benefits of spending the time to create them. So, an e-portfolio is
a personalized web-based collection of your work with reflective annotations or commentary
about the artifacts, which are the work that you have created that you include in your
e-portfolio. You use an e-portfolio to showcase your work and your skills in ways that you
can’t showcase that as well in a listing of the things that you’ve done in a resume – your
credentials that you might include in a resume. The e-portfolio provides a more descriptive-
examples of your work. It just does a much better job of showcasing your skills. For
those of us that are in design-related careers, including instructional designers and trainers,
e-portfolios are essential for us, because it is a great way for us to not only document
but also share the kinds of things that we’re doing. The process of creating an e-portfolio
is really beneficial to us as well. It’s not just good to have for job hunting for other
people to view, but spending the time to reflect on the things that we’ve done, identifying
artifacts to include and thinking about the kinds of problems that we solved in creating
the artifacts, the kinds of tools that we used and the things that we’ve learned are
really beneficial to our own thinking and development as designers of instruction. We
are building design precedent when we showcase previous designs and we can use those precedents
ourselves in future designs as well as our colleagues can build on those designs for
solving their own instructional problems. So, creating an e-portfolio is a great way
to organize and share those online. There are a variety of tools that you can use to
create an e-portfolio. If you have coding skills, you can code your own e-portfolio
and put it on your own domain name. But there are some free tools that you can point and
click and build your own site quite easily and quickly and those tools will host it for
you. Those include Google Sites, WordPress, Weebly, and a more recent contender called
Wix. And I’m going to show you a few examples of each of those. As I show you these examples,
I’m going to talk about some of the things that I recommend you include in your e-portfolio,
and each of these individuals have given me permission to share their work for other students
and colleagues to learn from and to get some ideas on what to build on your e-portfolio.
So, in this first one, this is a Google Site template, and I do recommend that you have
a Home page in your e-portfolio. It’s a landing page that welcomes your visitors and introduces
them to the site. So, there’s a variety of ways that you can do that, and this is one
example. Another page that you’ll want to have on your e-portfolio site is an About
page. And on this one, you can see that the person in their navigation put “Click here
to read…” more about the author. So, here is an example of an About page. You can also
link to your resume from this About page, or you can include it in another part. I recommend
keeping it altogether, so that you have your resume and your about. But just make sure
you include that. And note that on your resume, you should not include all of the information
on how to find you, like your address – your complete address, your complete phone number.
I recommend just a name and an email address. That is sufficient. And then if the employer
or a professional contact wants to get in touch with you, they can contact you by email,
and you can decide at that point whether or not you want to give them more information.
An important part of the e-portfolio, of course, are the artifacts that you display. And for
my courses, I recommend having a small screenshot that relates to the item – the project or
the assignment or perhaps it’s even a discussion posting that you think really showcases some
concept that you have a handle on – and create a screenshot image to go with a brief description
about that artifact. And you can link to a video that you created or a document that
you have stored in your cloud-based storage like Google Drive that would be a more complete
description or the actual artifact that you want to share. And, you notice on this example
that the person has a few links to some other resources related to that artifact. And I
like that my students will either create a separate page for the resources, as in this
one – Useful Links – here. And then show the link and a description of the link, and these
are tools that the person used to create a lot of the artifacts. So, this is a great
way to organize it, or you can include resources that you found were influential in the development
of your artifacts and you can include them on the actual pages. So, as you think about
the kinds of artifacts that you have, you can organize it in a variety of ways. You
can create a single page that has all of your artifacts on them, or you can create separate
pages for each artifact, or you could create a combination where you do multiple smaller
projects on one and then a separate page for some of the more bigger projects. Like in
this example, they created a video. And so, they have a brief description at the beginning,
a link to the video which is actually embedded on the page, and then some information about
the development of that video – so the scripting and review process here, the storyboarding
that they went through, and we had some discussion that went into the design of the video and
they included a word cloud that summarizes the discussion. As you can see in these examples,
you are including not only the artifact links and resource links, but you’re also putting
some very important descriptive text that guides your visitor through each page. And
it’s not very long, but it does help to lead the visitor through what they are seeing and
gives that reflective component to it. You can include a page about coursework that you
have completed or other academic accomplishments; but at the minimum, I do like to see in e-portfolios
a Home page, an About page, one or more pages on the artifacts, and one or more pages with
resources. So, some things to keep in mind when you are creating an e-portfolio are that
the navigation is very important, and I recommend making it clear and intuitive. And generally
the navigation would appear at the top or along the left side. That’s pretty standard.
Keep it consistent, so keep it on the top throughout your site, if that’s what you choose
to do. Or keep it on the left but not use both. Don’t make it move throughout the site.
And make sure that you check all of your links. If you have a URL to a particular resource,
make sure that it is hyperlinked and that means that it’s clickable. So, your cursor
should change into the finger that will click on it and go to that site. Check your website
in multiple browsers and operating systems, if possible. And also check it on mobile devices.
Check it in all the different ways that your visitors might come and view your site. Use
a standard layout. The two to three column layout works really well, and here’s an example
of that with the left navigation. More frames than that – a frame being the areas that remain
consistent in the website, so here we have left, top and body here dividing the view
of the page – keep that all consistent. And use what you see often used in webpages. So,
we’re not trying to reinvent the wheel here, but just let your artifacts shine through
and not necessarily use something that makes it difficult for your visitors to find the
things that you’re trying to showcase. Be consistent with the font face, size of your
font, the coloring of your font in your headings and in your body text. So, I recommend using
a serif font for the headings and a sans-serif font for the body of your text; although if
you plan to have your visitors print the page, the sans-serif font for the headings and the
serif font for the text works really well. No matter what you do, make sure that whatever
heading that you use, it is consistent on each page, and the font face that you use
on each page is consistent. And if you use different fonts in your site, try to limit
them to two to three standard fonts. Be purposeful about the color scheme/template that you use,
making sure that all of the text is readable. The background should be sufficiently contrasted
with the text to make it very easy to read; and whatever color scheme you use, be purposeful
about it. Try to make it not detract from the content of your site. If you include images,
make sure that they are professional and either original or follow copyright or fair use guidelines,
which means that you can’t just copy and paste an image from any random website and put it
on your own site. You need to use copyright-friendly images or your own original images. It’s good
practice put a caption somewhere on your page that used an image that says who the author
of the image is, the date – any kind of attribution information like Creative Commons licensing,
if that’s applicable. Remember that your e-portfolio is a presentation of your knowledge and skills.
So, as in a presentation, you want to use images to communicate your message and not
merely to decorate the pages. When you use images to decorate pages, that’s called “slide
junk” in presentations; the same design guideline applies for e-portfolio websites. I strongly
discourage blinking or moving images or animations. Use those very sparingly, because they rarely
look professional. But, I do think that images have a place like screenshots of your work,
professional images of yourself, images that communicate the content – those are very helpful.
But you don’t want to just include images just because it makes the site look better
decorated. So, those are some things to keep in mind, some tools that you can use to create
your e-portfolio, and the kinds of things that you might include in an e-portfolio.
Best of luck in creating your own e-portfolio website.

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *