Unit #4: Electronic Portfolio
Documenting Your Work
This assignment is adapted from an assignment designed by Dr. Quinn Warnick
DUE DATE: May 9, 2013 @ 1:30 pm
Your final task in this course is to design an electronic portfolio that showcases your best work from ENGW 2329, selected work from your other courses, and relevant extracurricular projects. This assignment will require you to develop a basic understanding of web design, to reflect upon the full range of your academic and creative work at St. Edward’s (both inside and outside the classroom), and to present your best work on your personal website. Your e-portfolio will include, at minimum, these basic elements:
- an introductory page to your e-portfolio that welcomes visitors and explains the purpose, organization, design, etc., of your site;
- a biography or résumé page;
- at least five samples of your best work at St. Edward’s (at least two should come from your work in ENGW 2329);
- reflection and commentary on these samples; and, at least one page related to an extracurricular project, hobby, or organization.
This assignment is part of a pilot program for a new portfolio website called SEU Folios. Because we are still integrating these e-portfolios (and I’m brand new to St. Edward’s), we will take things slowly and provide all of us with plenty of opportunities to offer feedback on the process for creating a portfolio and on system itself. Each portfolio will be unique, but generally speaking, we will follow these steps:
- Register for the SEU Folios site. SEU Folios is built on top of a content management system called WordPress, which is used by millions of websites around the world. At this stage in your academic career, you will not be expected to master HTML and CSS; WordPress will do most of the heavy lifting for you. Once you create an account on the SEU Folios website and select a domain name, you will be able to login to the site and control the content and visual appearance of your portfolio.
- Select a theme. Given the short time frame for this assignment, I don’t expect you to hand-code a complete website from scratch. Rather, you should select a one of the themes installed on the SEU Folios site, or find another WordPress theme and work with tutorials and other resources to install it. Using a template will provide a good foundation for your site, but you should not simply use the template as-is. Using images and very basic CSS (cascading style sheets), you should modify your site to create a unique visual appearance that matches your goals for the portfolio.
- Create the content. Once you have customized a theme, you will begin creating individual pages for each of your artifacts. In order to include your best academic work on your site, you may need to make PDF versions of your essays, take screenshots of your online work, photograph and/or scan artwork, digitize video, etc. Your site should feature clear navigational elements, legible typography, informative explanations about each artifact, and visual elements that support your text. In short, the website should be something you would be proud to show to a potential employer who is interested in your academic accomplishments and your technological skills.
- Write a memo of transmittal. When your website is complete, you will write a 1-2 memo (single spaced, using memo format) explaining and justifying the choices you made in selecting artifacts, choosing colors and typography, laying out and designing the site, etc. You should also address any problems you encountered during this project and discuss what you might do differently if you had more time, different software, greater expertise, etc. Finally, you should feel free to address any shortcomings of the SEU Folios system and make recommendations for improving this assignment in future semesters. Make sure that you include a hyperlink to your website in your memo to me.
Your e-portfolio grade will be determined by how effectively the site presents your best academic and creative work in an online format. Specifically, I will evaluate your e-portfolio using the following criteria:
- Does the e-portfolio contain samples from a variety of courses and/or extracurricular activities?
- Does the reflection component of the e-portfolio display a mature analysis of the included artifacts?
- Do the reflections help “situate” the artifacts within a larger context (i.e., your academic career)?
- Does the e-portfolio effectively incorporate visual elements? Does the site employ best practices in design, color, and typography?
- How thoroughly has the original theme been customized for this particular e-portfolio?
- Does the e-portfolio follow the basic principles of web design we discussed in class?
- How easy is it to navigate the website? Would first-time visitors to the site be able to find the information they are looking for?
- Does the memo adhere to the conventions of standard written English (i.e., spelling, punctuation, grammar)?