Portfolios can serve different purposes. Think about the following questions:
- Why are you creating a portfolio?
- How will the portfolio help you accomplish your objective(s)?
Create your portfolio with purpose and use it often over time. If you are creating a portfolio for a course, begin using it as soon as possible so that it becomes a space for learning rather than an afterthought.
Your academic portfolio should always include evidence of what you have learned, and your reflections on your learning experiences, as well as some form of assessment that others have made about your work.
Over time you may have created several different portfolios. If you want to showcase some of the work you have done in your portfolios but don’t want to share each portfolio, then it is beneficial to develop strategies for how you can create one master or capstone portfolio.
When creating your portfolio, either for your own reasons or as a class assignment, make sure to allow for the time it may take you to:
- Define the purpose of your portfolio.
- Learn how to use a web publishing platform.
- Design your portfolio.
- Upload files, such as assignments, to your portfolio.
- Keep the content and appearance of your portfolio current.
- Synthesize and reflect upon the learning experiences documented in your portfolio.
While there are many free and for-cost web publishing platforms that you can use to create your portfolio, we recommend using Sites at Penn State, the University-supported web publishing platform powered by WordPress.
Who is the intended audience of your portfolio?
Possibilities can include one or more of the following:
- Class (e.g. peers and instructors)
- Credentialing authorities (e.g. the University, professional organizations)
- Prospective employers
- Interest groups
- General public
Make sure the purpose of your portfolio is clearly conveyed to your audience.
Students: Best Practices (Portfolios at Penn State)
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