Looking ahead to a new year, new semester, and curating Communication ePortfolios
As of the end of the Fall semester I am excited to note that approximately 350 students have completed a Communication ePortfolio in one of the following classes: COMM 305, COMM 333, COMM 351, COMM 368, COMM 401, COMM 302, and/or COMM 315W. Overall, students are reporting that the project is beneficial to their studies and enjoy the opportunity to share 'practical' and applied work related, or topical related, writing or media projects in a uniquely designed public space.
Moving forward, it is likely that as more students complete the 'shell' of the project (as in, building their ePortfolio page on WIX), and as more instructors adopt the project structure, both students and instructors will want to know how to edit and expand their Communication ePortfolio. Last August I shared some general tips about getting started, developing a page, organizing work to meet objectives for multiple courses, and started to produce ideas for curating a page for ongoing, and long-term, use. Without further delay, here are....
10 New Ideas to make your Communication ePortfolio (WIX Page) Unique
‘So I’ve made a page one semester, I’ve curated it the next, and have to curate again—Now what do I do’?
Update information regularly
New job or internal promotion? Add it to your resume (hard copy) and resume tab on your page! Consider how your new tasks or responsibilities compliment or advance previous positions. This is a chance to strategically build your page to highlight developing skills or interest areas as you gain expertise.
New classes or projects completed? Update your resume as necessary and consider which samples might be useful to add to your Course Projects or Sample Work page.
Add accomplishments or service activities.
Sharing photos from events is a great way to curate your professional and philanthropic endeavors. This is an easy way to reflect on the experience and quickly show support by linking (if possible) to the organization. This is a great chance to develop and expand an ‘About Me’ page!
Add new sample work from internships or class projects.
Pro Tip: Ask a colleague that was not your immediate supervisor at your internship to briefly talk about your work or areas in which you excelled.
Pro Tip: Always ask permission from an employer or manager before sharing work completed at a company. You might be able to share images, or perhaps PR related content, but not formal plans. Be smart!
Add photos, a brief recording, or a written reflection (perhaps 1-2 paragraphs) explaining the influence a lecture, talk, class, or project had on you.
What did you enjoy about the presentation?
How have you changed your approach to a situation, project, or process since that experience?
Add blog posts that highlights personal interests (on professional topics).
What is happening now?
What is projected?
How might that work with the type of work you are assigned currently (or might be assigned in the future) in school or at work?
Stay up to date by making a reading list of the items you’re following and sharing that on your page—perhaps a new subpage or a new section in ‘About Me’.
Look for inexpensive subscriptions to industry reading material or websites while you’re a student, prices go up as ‘Regular Members’ so utilizing student discounts while you can keeps you ahead of potential competitors and saves you money.
Add more professional photos throughout your page.
Go to the mall & get a ‘headshot’ at a small kiosk.
Pro Tip: Check Groupon or similar service for a deal.
Even more simply, ask a friend with a nice camera or new mobile phone to do additional photos. Check your surroundings—lighting, background, distracting images, and clothing choices to get the best possible result. Some Photography clubs in your local community or schools might be able to provide this service as well as students build their art or photography portfolios.
Link to media that is used for professional purposes.
LinkedIn—cross promote your professional image by linking to a more completed LinkedIn account.
YouTube—remind yourself to review your videos, likes, and subscriptions—how does your use of this space reflect on you as a professional? This is a great time to go in and ‘tidy up’ the space if necessary!
Example—do you host a podcast, or have you been a guest on a podcast?
Pro Tip: Make sure the content is work-appropriate and only serves to advance your goals of the ePortfolio!
Other blog posts for organizations or extracurricular activities
Example—guest blog on the school student paper.
Receive a recommendation? Ask for permission to use part of the language as a ‘testimonial’ to your work ethic or experience on your Communication ePortfolio.
Remove older items that don’t pertain or illuminate your current professional goals. Even more appropriately, simple ‘disable’ those items so they are accessible if goals change. Over time, as you design and develop your page you might have a career shift or decide to take a break from a job-seeking tone and want to have your page as a location mostly for simple archival.
Ask for advice—share your page with a trusted mentor, faculty member, peer, or work colleague.
What do they think could be improved, what is missing from their page from their professional experience, etc?
Use this opportunity to share your ideas about where the page could be developed or to inquire about ‘weak’ sections of the page. Several sets of eyes are better than one!