Electronic Portfolio Assignment

English 213: Electronic Portfolio Assignment

(Worth 15% of your grade; due on December 12)


Your final task in this course is to design an electronic portfolio that showcases your best work from English 213 and your other courses. This assignment will require you to develop a basic understanding of web design, to reflect upon the full range of your academic and creative work at ISU (both inside and outside the classroom), and to present your best work on your personal website. Your eportofolio will include, at minimum, these basic elements:
  • an introductory page to your eportfolio that welcomes visitors and explains the purpose, organization, design, etc., of your site
  • a biography or resume page
  • at least five samples of your best work at Iowa State (at least two should come from your work in English 213)
  • reflection and commentary on these samples

Completing the Assignment

Learning HTML and CSS: In class, we will create and edit files using TextWrangler. You should work in that program (or a similar plaintext editor, such as Notepad++), unless you are comfortable working in another HTML-editing program (such as Dreamweaver, GoLive, NVu, etc.). While we will spend some time in class covering the basics of HTML and CSS, you will need to work through the tutorials in our HTML textbook and seek out additional online resources on your own.

Selecting a template: Given the short time frame for this assignment, I don’t expect you to hand-code a complete website from scratch. Rather, you should select a template from Open Source Web Design or a similar site (See the Electronic Portfolio Resources page for links) and modify it to meet your needs. Using a template will provide a good foundation for your site, but you should not simply use the template as-is. Your portfolio will be evaluated, in part, on how well you have customized the template.

Creating the site: Once you have customized a template, you will begin creating individual pages for each of your artifacts. In order to include your best academic work on your site, you may need to make PDF versions of your essays, take screenshots of your online work, photograph and/or scan artwork, digitize video, etc. Your site should feature clear navigational elements, legible typography, informative explanations about each artifact, and visual elements that support your text. In short, the website should be something you would be proud to show to a potential employer who is interested in your technological skills.

Memo of transmission: When your website is complete, you will write a 1-2 memo (single spaced, using memo format) explaining and justifying the choices you made in selecting artifacts, choosing colors and typography, laying out and designing the site, etc. You should also address any problems you encountered during this project and discuss what you might do differently if you had more time, different software, greater expertise, etc.

Important Dates

  • November 27: Select a template you plan to use as the foundation for your website design. Submit to the URL for the design to the class website.
  • November 29: Submit the URL for the rough draft of your main page.
  • December 6 and 7: Meet with Quinn in an individual conference. Have a complete draft of your website ready to display and discuss.
  • December 12: Submit the URL for the final draft of your eportfolio. During our final, you will share your portfolio with your classmates in an informal oral presentation (five minutes).

Evaluation Criteria

Your eportfolio grade will be determined by how effectively the site presents your best academic and creative work in an online format. Specifically, your eportfolio will be evaluated using the following criteria:
  • Does the eportfolio contain samples from a variety of courses and/or extracurricular activities?
  • Does the reflection component of the eportfolio display a mature analysis of the included artifacts?
  • How well does the eportfolio incorporate visual elements?
  • How thoroughly has the original template been customized for this particular eportfolio?
  • Does the eportfolio follow the web design principles discusses in class? (Does it validate?)