Instructional Designers and Trainers as Digital Curators?
Using Voicethread to Create an Online Presentation Portfolio

EPortfolios for Professional Development: Sarah' Stewart's Online Portfolio

Sarah_stewart_eportfolio_2 Inspired by my recent post on how Shari is developing an online portfolio, midwife and regular reader Sarah Stewart has started working on her own version. Sarah decided that now was the time because as a professional midwife she's required to have a portfolio (she's had a paper version for awhile) and since more and more of her work is digital, it made sense to her to organize something online.

As you'll see, Sarah is using Wikispaces to set up her portfolio. It also looks like she's creating more of a presentation portfolio that includes selected items for public review, rather than a full working portfolio, which includes all of your work.

Some items to note from Sarah's experience:

  • She's seeing her portfolio and her blog as complements to one another with her portfolio as a place to maintain a lot of the artifacts of her career, such as publications, work samples, etc., while her blog is a place to reflect on those artifacts. It's also a place to create new ones, as many of her posts may become work samples as well.
  • Sarah is including reflections on her experiences and artifacts in her portfolio. Reflections are really important as they put the items in your portfolio into context for both you and people who view the portfolio. They help you learn from the process, while also demonstrating that learning.
  • Take a look at how Sarah is organizing her work--this is always an issue in putting together a portfolio. In Sarah's case, she's emphasizing achievements, awards, publications, etc., rather than simply putting up a sort of online resume in chronological order. When Shari and I were working on hers, we discussed using this kind of functional format, as well as using a competency-based format. In that approach, you identify key competencies to highlight and then organize your work to illustrate those competencies.

Sarah plans to blog about the process she uses to pull together her portfolio, so keep an eye on those posts. Also, feel free to drop by her blog and give her some feedback on how it's coming together. Another great advantage of an online portfolio, besides the personal branding aspect, is that you can benefit from the wisdom of others, something that generally doesn't happen with a paper version.


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Thanks for mentioning me in this post. You have already highlighted two issues for me: how to meld the event/activity and the reflection and whether to be competency or functional based.

I have a catogory called 'skills' which I actually mean to be competencies, so will change that - thanks for the suggestion.

Still working on how to use wikispaces in an effective way so as not to overwhelm readers with too much material, as suggested in your previous posts about postfolios. cheers Sarah

It may take some experimentation, Sarah, to find the right way to do this for you. One thing to consider is the idea of the working portfolio vs. the presentation portfolio.

The working portfolio is really for you and serves as a respository for all of your info, while the presentation portfolio only has the "high points" and would probably be more customized for specific purposes. Shari and I are continuing to discuss how to best make this work for her--should she have separate smaller wikis for the presentation portfolios or should they be separate pages within a larger wiki? There are pros and cons to everything in this so it's partially a process of trial and error, I think, as well as what seems to work best for the way you think and how you intend to use your portfolio.

Thanks for sharing your portfolio and your thinking process with us because I think it helps people see how it can work in a really concrete kind of way.

Hi Michele

Here I am a year later & thinking that maybe I do need a presentation ePortfolio as well as my 'work in progress' one - would be interested in your opinion:

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