Monday, October 3, 2022
HomeHigher EducationWeb sites as Digital Portfolios | College Focus

Web sites as Digital Portfolios | College Focus

This text first appeared within the Instructing Professor on August 1, 2018. © Magna Publications. All rights reserved.

English Composition I at New Jersey Metropolis College (NJCU) is designed to organize college students to fulfill the necessities of writing for college course work. The course studying targets concentrate on the achievement of primary communicative abilities in studying, writing, talking, and listening. As an alternative of finishing a standard essay and/or oral presentation because the signature task for the course, college students have been requested to construct a web site utilizing abilities honed over the course of the semester in each conventional and non-traditional assignments. The scholars then offered their websites to their classmates, Dr. Fisch, and Mr. Ward; they mentioned their visions and targets for the websites, design selections, the difficulties they encountered, and what they loved.

Comparable initiatives would function glorious capstone works for lessons in quite a lot of topics. All it takes is a little bit little bit of planning and pupil assist.


Firstly of the semester, Audrey Fisch, the course teacher, supplied the scholars with an outline of the web site and social media mission. Daniel Ward, an academic technologist within the Division of On-line Studying, made quite a lot of classroom visits and supplied college students with samples and directions about methods to create a web site and methods to combine social media into their website. These directions included pointers for the next:

  • Making a free web site on with an current template (college students have been welcome to make use of one other website, however most selected Wix)
  • Creating placeholders for varied elements together with knowledgeable résumé
  • Incorporating a weblog instrument to the positioning (the category included some running a blog assignments)
  • Embedding a video created with a free on-line video creation instrument (the category utilized the free instrument, FlipGrid)
  • Embedding social media feeds (Twitter, Instagram–college students have been inspired to create alternate, skilled feeds when acceptable to carve out a brand new social media id)

All through the semester, class time was allotted for college kids to ask questions, work on their designs, and collaborate on their web sites. College students have been additionally inspired to fulfill with Daniel Ward to handle any technical issues they encountered.

College students got vital autonomy and suppleness in creating their web sites so long as they included the next elements: an About Me part; a mixture of visuals and textual content to mirror their pursuits and accomplishments; a video element; {and professional} social media feeds. We additionally inspired college students to make use of the positioning to publicly document their academic {and professional} aspirations. One other pupil used her website to mirror on her private experiences with bullying.

Some college students selected to incorporate artifacts from different assignments within the class: weblog and Twitter posts, for instance. Others approached the duty as a completely self-contained and self-directed mission, selecting to showcase pursuits and accomplishments unrelated to the remainder of the course materials.

As well as, college students have been allowed full latitude in design. Given the pliability in each design and content material, the outcomes have been unsurprisingly various, whereas nonetheless providing ample proof of constructive studying outcomes. For instance, one pupil created a website that includes his “one in all a form creative creations within the subject of digital media and structure.” He enabled the shop performance throughout the web site platform in order that he might start to promote his designs (on mugs, mousepads, and so on.).

One other pupil used her website to mirror on her private experiences with bullying. She developed a social media marketing campaign, #ShowMeYourCrookedSmileChallenge, encouraging her viewers to document a mini video singing elements of the artist J. Cole’s “Crooked Smile” and “embracing your stunning pure self with no make-up.” Nonetheless one other eschewed the non-public and targeted on the problem of stress; his website showcased his analysis into “how one can relieve stress and nervousness.”

Whereas we fearful that our open-ended necessities for the assignments could be troublesome for the scholars to navigate, almost all the scholars rose to the event, seizing the chance to precise themselves in ways in which greater than demonstrated their conventional and non-traditional communicative abilities.

Know-how divides

The scholar-developed web site was a primary for a lot of of our first-generation pupil physique. Seventy-two % of the scholars concerned on this mission had by no means created a web site for themselves. NJCU is a minority- and Hispanic-serving establishment positioned in an city space; many of scholars come from city public faculties the place expertise assets are restricted and/or the place expertise has not been totally embraced within the curriculum and pedagogy (Herold, 2017).

This mission allowed college students to merge the social media and expertise abilities they use of their non-academic lives with conventional tutorial literacy in an effort to create knowledgeable platform that may be utilized all through their tutorial careers and into their skilled lives.

Apparently, 88 % of the scholars indicated that they have been very or considerably stunned to be requested to make use of social media of their composition class and 96 % have been very or considerably stunned to be requested to construct a web site. In different phrases, they’d skilled a disconnect between the digital engagement of their on a regular basis lives and their tutorial work; our mission broke down that divide.

Pupil suggestions

Upon completion of the course college students have been requested to finish a survey to share their ideas concerning the web site mission. Seventy-two % of the survey respondents strongly agreed or agreed that using social media within the course was participating. Eighty-eight % believed that constructing a web site was an enticing exercise. Lastly, 84 % of the survey respondents thought that this mission was their favourite course exercise or amongst their favourite assignments within the course.

On the finish of the semester, college students walked away with abilities, confidence, and a concrete platform to showcase themselves. One pupil commented on the concrete usefulness of the mission: “My web site is about my private make-up artistry development. This website will assist me develop as an MUA (make-up artist) and it’s a nice stepping stone for me to make use of and develop myself.” One other addressed the broader scope of the mission: “It was an opportunity for me to showcase myself and it was probably the most inventive mission I’ve ever carried out.”

Seventy-two % of the scholars agreed or strongly agreed that they might proceed to construct and use their web sites after the course accomplished, and we hope that the digital portfolio continues to function a automobile to articulate, retailer, and show their artifacts and accomplishments.


As educators, in any respect grade ranges, we now have the flexibility to demystify these instruments and to make the most of an array of literacies to create extra alternatives for pupil engagement. The web site as digital portfolio is the right automobile for this mission, serving as a public, multimodal area through which college students can form and outline a public, skilled persona as they hone their studying, writing, and talking abilities.

Teaching Professor Subscription

Daniel P. Ward is an academic technologist and Audrey Fisch is a professor of English at New Jersey Metropolis College.


Herold, B. (2017). Poor College students Face Digital Divide in How Academics Be taught to Use Tech. Training Week, Retrieved from

Publish Views:



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments