Digication is first and foremost user-friendly. Students need very little training. I suggest that Instructors start talking about and using Digication the first week. My students created a framework for their midterms on the second day of class. As the quarter progressed, all of their writings, revisions, reflections etc. were then posted in Digication. By the Midterm, they had most of the material they needed to create their Midterm.
The challenge is for students to make their Digital Portfolios more than just a vessel to slot in their writings in. I talk to students from the beginning about their digital portfolios being stories – with a beginning, middle and end. Whatever story WRD students decide to tell – writing as a process, revision, critical thinking, etc.- needs to be told in not just their content, but the way they compose their digital portfolio. Thus a story about critical thinking might contain an explanatory letter at the beginning of the portfolio about what they initially thought of critical thinking; the portfolio might end with another letter about their advanced understanding of critical thinking.
Throughout the portfolio might be multiple drafts of the same essay with areas of revised critical thinking highlighted. Short explanatory statements of how their critical thinking improved could be placed with these drafts, as module(s) on the same page introducing them or preceding the drafts. The portfolio might contain examples of critical thinking from their Discussion Boards and from things they have read. There also might be visuals throughout the portfolio that show their understanding of critical thinking.