Assignment Ideas: Digital Portfolios

Successful digital citizenship requires constant curation. Through tools available in the multimodal classroom students gain skills necessary to collect, organize, conserve, and adapt texts they produce at any stage of the writing process and in any medium. "Folio thinking” is at the heart of participatory culture. As students publish their work online or curate online sources in social media, they are required to think through the ways their work links-up to other work within a nexus of global, cultural production. The digital portfolio is a platform to showcase student work for assessment and advising, as well as a metaphor for the connectivity underlying all multimodal production.

The Domain Pilot project provides students with the opportunity to create portfolios they can use beyond their coursework. With platforms such as Weebly, students can collect and manage their online presence to present to friends, family, and future employers. With tools such as Storify and Diigo, students can engage in web-based projects in which they draw on the skills of expressivist style portfolio production to become curators of web content at large.

Resources

CCCC Position Statement: Principles and Practices in Electronic Portfolios. This statement submitted by the CCCC’s Taskforce in 2007 argues for the use of digital portfolios. The statement suggests “best principles and practices” for the use of e-portfolios; outlines leaning outcomes; provides assessment methodology; explains how to integrate e-portfolios into general curriculum; and touches on the rights and responsibilities of digital citizenship. They also offer an archive of example e-portfolio projects and a bibliography.

Auburn University ePortfolio Project. The ePortfolio project at Auburn (War Eagle!) implements their QEP by supplying students with skills such as visual literacy, pattern recognition, audience awareness, primary source collection, crafting persuasive arguments, and multimodal literacy. Their faculty resources page includes sample handouts, assignments, and evaluation tools. They’ve also put together a really strong overview Powerpoint presentation (link downloads .pptx) covering how to talk about ePortfolios with students. They’ve also collected some excellent ePortfolio examples that might be really helpful both for you to look at as you’re building your own pages and to show to students.

Salt Lake Community College requires its students to keep ePortfolios using Weebly, Wordpress, or Google Sites. They offer instructional videos on how to create ePortfolios in Weebly or in Wordpress that you might find valuable. Here’s a link to their info for faculty page.

Using E-Portfolios to Support an Undergraduate Learning Career: An Experiment with Academic Advisement. Helen Chen and Thomas Black track the rise of the e-portfolio over the last several years in higher education. From their research and experience with the e-portfolio project at Stanford, the authors argue the e-portfolio improves retention, academic advising, and “student accomplishments outside the classroom.”

DMI Hub. Located at the system wide University of Humanities Research Institute and hosted by UC Irvine, this site provides resources for faculty interested in connected learning, digital literacy, participatory learning and sites of culture.

First Year Digital Writing Portfolios at DePaul. Similar in method and outcome goals to the digital projects listed above. This site has a useful example of a reflective essay.

Marca is an open-source web application that offers an integrated suite of writing tools for students and teachers. It’s designed for students to keep multimodal e-portfolios.

Additional Resources

Auburn University ePortfolio Project resource page of scholarship.

Association of American Colleges and Universities

ePortfolio Praxis is a blog that collects sources on ePortfolios. A little iffy, but includes some useful information.

Amy Cavendar “Electronic Portfolios for Student Learning?” ProfHacker.

Nedra Reynolds. Portfolio Teaching: A Guide for Instructors. (Which is being revised and should be published sometime in 2013)

Example Pages

Cheryl Ball’s Academic Portfolio.

Kathleen Fitzpatrick’s electronic dossier.