Webfolio Overview for Students

Donna Reiss
Webfolio Project Home

Your final project for our class is a Webfolio, also called an electronic portfolio or a digital portfolio. This Webfolio Project gives students an opportunity to demonstrate their learning, to synthesize and reflect on their learning, and to publish selected course compositions for their classmates and other viewers.
Developing a Webfolio

No previous hypertext or portfolio development experience is required. You already have composed most of the work that you will include. In addition, most Web development/editing software is similar to the familiar interface of your word processing software.

  • You'll have several options for presenting your Webfolio. I encourage you to develop a Website for your Webfolio whether or not you publish the site on the Web. However, you may choose to use other presentation modes such as slides or video so long as you are able to fulfill the requirements and to publish the Webfolio electronically.
  • Time management at the end of the semester will be more important than previous experience.
    • Fortunately, most of the components of the Webfolio (Webfolio components or selections are called artifacts) already exist: You have composed them during the class and are collecting, selecting, and organizing them for your Webfolio.
    • An Introductory Reflective Hypertext Essay is the primary new composition, and the specific criteria for your class are linked from your Class Schedule.
  • The process for making hyperlinks (links) is similar no matter what software you use. Here is a basic Hyperlinking Guide using Word Check your software Help files for the exact procedure.
  • Your class Class Schedule Website lists important dates for your required Webfolio Review and Revision Process and for your final Webfolio Submission Process.

Objectives of Webfolio
  • Collect, select, and organize artifacts that demonstrate your activities and learning
  • Reflect on, compose, and present evidence of your experience and learning during this class
  • Compose a persuasive, coherent essay that shows your fulfillment of course objectives and your own understanding of your most representative and best work
  • Show connections among the various activities of this class and to your own curriculum and career goals
  • Compose for traditional print and new electronic media
  • Publish examples of your writing and learning for an audience of classmates and for others such as invited family, friends, coworkers, transfer colleges, and prospective employers

Sample Student Webfolios

Samples of Student Webfolios from previous classes are online. Because I have updated the Webfolio guidelines every year since 1996, examples from past classes will differ from the current requirements for your class. However, past examples do illustrate the general premise of an introductory reflective hypertext essay with selected artifacts, and links among the components. I recommend you look at samples from several classes so you can see the variety of approaches students have taken with the basic requirements.

Publishing Your Webfolio

Students are encouraged but not required to publish their Webfolios on the World Wide Web. If you compose your Webfolio with Web development software or with html code, you will be able to display your Webfolio through Web browsers even if the pages are not located on a Web server. You can update your files on your own at any time or remove them from the Web after grades are posted for our class.

  • As a Website:
    • Online at your Clemson University U drive you can publish a Website, upload a presentation like PowerPoint, or upload word processed files
    • Existing Web hosting sites for publishing your Webfolio: You may already have paid for Web space through your own Internet Service Provider (ISP). For example, Earthlink, Exisnet, AT&T, AOL, and other ISPs may provide you with some Web space as part of their standard package. Most of these sites also include templates and wizards and guidelines to help you construct a Website. Contact your ISP customer service to find out.
    • Free Web hosting sites for publishing your Webfolio: such as yahoo/geocities, freewebs, homestead, and angelfire allow users to host their Websites. Although these sites include advertising, I will ignore the ads and focus only on your project. Many students have found these services to be easy to use, especially geocities. Most of these sites also include templates and wizards and guidelines to help you construct a Website.
  • If you develop your Webfolio with PowerPoint or with your word processor, you'll need to place all your artifact files within the folder where you save the PowerPoint file itself. Then you can link within your slides to the other files.

Design Notes

Consider how each page of your Webfolio coordinates with the other elements.

  • Readability and visual appeal in choice of colors, backgrounds, and graphical elements that complement and reflect the ideas and information in your essay and artifacts (if possible, view in more than one browser, for instance, Internet Explorer and Firefox)
  • Chunking of text by breaking into several pages/screens/slides to improve readability as well as visual appeal.
    • "White space" or areas with no text or images help highlight the places where you do have text and images; don't crowd the page.
    • If you choose PowerPoint or another slide format, text size should be at least 20 point, and lines should not be longer than 8 or 9 words. Limit the number of lines to a page as well. Have more slides or pages rather than crowded slides or pages.
  • Navigation through portfolio and clarity of hyperlink signals (usually underlined and in color—do not underline any other elements of your Web pages except links)
  • Images and media that support your meaning and purpose
  • Visual coherence so readers will recognize the unity of the items within the Webfolio (for example, all my class Web pages have the same background pattern and menu at the top; and most commercial sites display their logo in the same place on every page)
  • Presentation format that demonstrates clearly that you take the composing process and this final project seriously as a persuasive and interesting academic project.

Format for Files

Format for Files: All the files within your Webfolio must be incorporated in a single folder on your computer/disk as in the following example. If you are making a Website, you can give us the URL to locate your site online. If you are submitting on disk or as a zipped file, your entry page must be named index.htm as in this example so I'll know where to start reading.

Webfolio Files Screen

  • For additional Web pages, assign names with the following features.
    • lower case only with no spaces or characters except letters and numbers and underscore_ characters
    • short, preferably no longer than 12 characters
  • However, if you are uploading your Webfolio to the Web, you should use the file name system required by your Web host or Internet Service Provider.

Format for Converted Documents: When you copy-paste your word processed composition to a Web editor or save it as a Web page in your word processor, the formatting will change from double-space to single-space and many other standard print format features will be lost. You must adjust the presentation features to the Web medium.

  • For example, you will lose your page numbering, paragraph indents, and hanging indents.
  • Instead of double spacing, you will single space and add an extra space between paragraphs.
  • You should divide long texts into several "pages" or "screens" for readability online.

Webfolio Project Home
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developed and copyright ©2001 by D. Reiss
modified and copyright ©10 May 2006 by D. Reiss