Designing a Web Communications Portfolio

200 points

Overview

A professional portfolio is an organized collection of relevant documents and artifacts that showcases your talents, most relevant skills, and charts your professional growth. A professional portfolio can be created and used for any discipline or profession (teaching, art, research, nursing, journalism, etc.) but they are key to educating employers as to who you are and what you can do beyond your degree and title. For English majors, this is a key move to dust off perceptions about you only being good at reading books. A portfolio may “live” in two phases:

  • A Personal Working Portfolio – very comprehensive and detailed (what we are working on in this class)
  • A Professional Presentation Portfolio – tailored from your Working Portfolio to suit a specific need (something you should think about for the future)

The process of creating a portfolio enables you to rhetorically frame context and demonstrate examples of your qualifications for professional audiences. It should be seen as an extension of your résumé or curriculum vitae – not a replacement. In this space, you show the work and experience you have already done in your classes, internships, and for fun and frame that work in focused and rhetorically appropriate ways to tell a cohesive story about who you are and what you can do professionally. It can also serve as a valuable tool to assess your professional development and allow potential employers to see who you are and what you can do before they even give you a phone call.

Please note: 100 points of this assignment are gained from turning in a complete first draft for peer review.

Getting Started

This assignment is assessed through effort and deliverables rather than standardized task list. As such, grade ranges are determined through different and amounts of deliverables produced. You’ll start by reviewing portfolios of at least three other professionals, students, or alums. For each portfolio you review, write a brief summary of what you see, and then an analysis of what you see (for instance, identifying aspects you found useful, helpful, and sound, and perhaps aspects you found distracting, unnecessary, or unprofessional). Generate a list of goals you have for your own portfolio—recommendations for yourself. Be as specific as you can at this point in time. You might include recommendations for how you will anchor yourself as a professional, or how you will distinguish yourself as a professional. You might include recommendations on what categories of work you will want to include in your portfolio.

Check out some student examples from other programs.

Deliverables

“A” work includes:In addition to meeting the requirements of “C” work, drawing on your design specification, creating an online professional portfolio website using CSS templates and publishing that site to your www4 webspace. Your site must include some sort of content and page navigation. That means using the site as a content management site but also making decisions about and framing content you have produced for review of potential employers.

“B” work includes: In addition to meeting the requirements of “C” work, drawing on your design specification, creating an online professional portfolio on your wordpress site. That means using the site as a content management site but also making decisions about and framing content you have produced for review of potential employers.

  • We’ll be using wordpress.com to do this, which is free and a fairly easy site to use. Also, you can have a number of different sites with wordpress.com– in other words, you could set one up for our class, one for your knitting club, one for another class, one for a blog about whatever is on your mind.
  • While this is generally a site/software that is used for “blogging,” I mean something different for the our Portfolio. Basically, you will be using it as a web site for publishing the various writing assignments for the class and organizing them in a fitting manner.
  • Part of what this assignment will be about will be learning more about how wordpress.com (and similar “content management sites”) work. So toward that end, some of the details of how you setup your site– the layout choices, links, images, other content, etc., etc.– will matter.

“C” work includes: A recommendation report, in the form of a memo (3 – 5 pages). In the document, you will:

    • Review 3-5 professional portfolios.
    • Create a design specification for your professional portfolio website. You might include recommendations about how your portfolio will look and “feel” (through color choice, layout, etc.).
    • Decide what kind of content best belongs in the story you are trying to say about who you are professionally.

Format

  • “C” work: professional portfolio analysis and design specification
  • “B” and “A” work: online professional portfolio

Submission

  • Drafts submitted through Eli Review. Submissions should include design memo as well as any links to live professional portfolio drafts.
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