Organizing Your Digital Portfolio
One of the contexts to think about when designing your digital portfolio is the difference in expectations for reading in print and reading in digital environments. It's different.
In your Digication portfolio, readers don't turn a page — they click. As you know from visiting web sites yourself, how many times you have to click and how many pages and destinations you encounter often dictates your impressions and evaluation of those web sites. You'll have this same rhetorical challenge with your digital portfolio:
- What do you want readers to see first?
- What do you want them to see next?
- Where do you want them to spend the most time?
- What effect do you want your portfolio to have?
- What do you want readers to remember?
Your Reflective Essay is a key component of your portfolio because it sets the tone and offers an organizing principle for readers, all of whom — no matter the platform, print or digital — need and want an organizing principle.
Digication's structure allows you to decide on an organizing principle: you can arrange pages along the left-hand side menu; you can provide sections along the top; you can insert modules into your pages with embedded video, text, audio annotations, and images. On page 7 of Digication's Help Guide, you'll find ideas about structuring your portfolio:
Let's assume that you have a few short papers, a couple of longer ones, and various drafts and examples of revision to present and to showcase.
Organize by Sections:
- A Reflective Essay that introduces your work to your peers, your instructor, writing-program administrators, university-assessment committees: 750-1250 words
- Samples of your work that support as evidence your learning outcomes:
- rhetorical knowledge
- critical thinking, reading, and writing
- knowledge of convention
Organize by Pages: or you can create a section and pages for different assignments:
- Argument Essay Draft
- Argument Essay Revision
- Argument Essay Final Version
With this organizing principle, you can direct readers' attention to different features in each version: how you reshaped an idea; how you revised for tone; how you addressed objections; how you edited; or how you proofread.
Or you might present a series of assignments, early and final drafts, sample peer reviews, and other projects in a way that explains them to readers:
- Description: a brief overview that includes the context and the goals of the assignment
- Significance: describe how the experience is relevant to the ‘big picture’ ‐ larger ideas, systems, institutions and/or events
- Skills gained: describe the type of work and what was learned at the time of the experience
- Lessons Learned: describe how the learning gained in the experience connects to other areas of your academic, professional, creative, or community life
Adapted from Melissa Peet: Integrative Knowledge Portfolio Process