Quinn Warnick
Finals Week Update
by Quinn Warnick - Friday, 30 April 2010, 12:13 AM

This will be my last update to the class website. I have just a couple of reminders for finals week:

Your Unit #4 eportfolio is due on Wednesday, May 5, at 9:45 a.m. Please remember that I cannot accept finals submitted after this deadline. We will not meet as a class for our final; instead, you will submit your project electronically. To complete the assignment, you need to do two things:

1. Use the Eportfolio Final Draft link to submit two URLs: one to the original template you used for your portfolio, and one to your finished portfolio on the iastate.edu server. Please make sure that both URLs are functioning links that I can click on.

2. Upload your Unit #4 Memo of Transmittal to the class website in MS Word format. Please make sure that your name is somewhere in the file title (e.g., "Quinn Warnick Unit 4 Memo.doc").

When you have completed those two tasks, you have successfully completed English 314!

In general, I was impressed with the eportfolio drafts I looked at today. They may not have been finished, but the vast majority of them were headed in the right direction. In class, I mentioned that I would send out a checklist of things you might want to do before you submit your final portfolio; that list is enclosed below this message. I hope it's helpful.

Finally, let me say (again) that it has been a pleasure getting to know you this semester and seeing you develop into skilled technical communicators. I have loved my time at Iowa State, and my final semester has felt like the icing on the cake. Thank you for being a part of it.

Good luck during finals week and in all of your future adventures!

- Quinn

* * * * * * * *

The following checklist will help you put the finishing touches on your eportfolio. Please note that these issues don't supercede the evaluation criteria contained in the original assignment sheet; they are included here to help you work through some minor issues that could detract from the overall effectiveness of your eportfolio.

1. Spelling and Grammar.
The software programs you have been using to write the code for your eportfolio do not have effective spell-check functions. You should carefully review your site for spelling and grammar errors, and you may want to pair up with a classmate and review one another's sites. You may also want to copy and paste the text from your website into Microsoft Word and run the spell-checker.

2. Template Junk
Make sure you have removed all of the extraneous elements from your original template. For instance, the <title> tags should have your name in them, not "Free Web Portfolio 04" or something like that. If you aren't using the sidebars, the sub-menus, the footer items, etc., please delete that code, and make sure you do so on ALL of the pages on your site. One exception: Your template probably has some type of copyright notice in the footer that gives credit to the original designer of the template; please leave that statement on your site, in order to give credit where credit is due.

3. Image Size and Proportion
The images on your site should be saved at 72 pixels per inch, and they should be presented using their actual dimensions. To test your images, right-click on each image and select "view image," "view background image," or something similar (this will depend on your browser). If the image that appears is much larger than the image on your website, use Photoshop to resize the image and save it at the correct dimensions. Likewise, check each image to make sure it isn't stretched too tall or too wide. If your images are out of proportion, you may need to resize and resave the original image using the correct proportions.

4. Cross-Browser Compatibility
Checking your site in multiple browsers on multiple platforms is a simple way to find out if visitors to your eportfolio are seeing the site the way you want it to look. In the Mac lab, test your site in Safari and Firefox. On a Windows PC, test your site in Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Netscape Navigator. There is a strong likelihood that your site will not look the same in all of these browsers. It is normal to see minor differences across several browsers, but if your site looks "broken" in any of these browsers, you may want to recheck your HTML and CSS code for possible errors.

5. Site Navigation.
Once you have uploaded your site to the public.iastate.edu server, check all of your links to ensure they are "active." As a general rule, you should have some type of menu that allows users to navigate among your major pages. To provide consistency, this menu should be the same on all of your pages. If you are linking to other websites, make sure that these links go where you want them to go.