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Friday, 28 May 2010

It's a Job Interview, Not a Beauty Pageant

Photo: Competitors at an American Beauty ContestI've been intending posting on this topic, but an article on BNET UK prompted me to 'get going'. For years I have taught Desk Top Publishing and one of my first principles can be summed up in the simple question, "Who is my audience?" And never is this as important as when designing one's e-Portfolio. The first impression that an employer, potential college admissions officer or mentor gets from accessing one's e-Portfolio is a lasting one.

Far too many blogs and wikis are no more than a friendly chatting place, full of patois, clumsy grammatical conjugations or plain self-opinion. On the other hand some DIY web-pages show an astounding expertise in html and PhotoShop but hardly say a thing about one's learning, the benefits of working in teams or show a reflection on one's progress.

So, my advice is simple:

1. Make introductions short and to the point;
2. Ensure that navigation is simple for your visitor;
3. Only use illustrations that are relevant;
4. Be careful in the use of colour schemes and fonts;
5. Explain why you have chosen an artefact;
6. Describe the process of crafting your artefact;
7. Give credit for all sources used;
8. Above all, make sure that the reader understands what you have learnt from this exercise - otherwise do not include it in your e-Portfolio.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Reasons why our graduates need an e-Portfolio

Photo: Graduate celebrating with her Diploma (from Karen's Blog)I always enjoy reading Karen Barnstable's blog. She lists three very clear reasons for graduates taking their e-Portfolio with them once they have left uni and found employment, moved on to further study, or still job-hunting.

However, I would add a fourth point, assuming that you have a good e-Portfolio system. When introducing an e-Portfolio to novices in your new-found place of work it could be a bit overwhelming if the essential tools for collaboration, peer review, mentoring etc are not in place within the e-Portfolio system and need to be found elsewhere. And what of on-line help? Does the system provide support for the new user?

If the adult novice can be introduced to an e-Portfolio system such as eFolio all the feedback tools, templates and formatting menus are together in an integrated system designed for both Lifelong and Lifewide Learning and Leisure. What's more, because eFolio is designed by educationists to provide the support for learners of all ages, from 5-95, (and even younger) support is always at hand.