Why use an online portfolio?
At the University of South Wales you can make use of Blackboard’s My Portfolios tool. Portfolios are a means to collect, organise and publish pieces of work over time. They may have a general purpose (eg, to show something to your module leader) or be used to showcase achievement (eg, for potential employers).
You can create any number of personal portfolios. Within each portfolio you can create pages which can then be divided into sections. Each section can consist of artefacts and some corresponding reflective/explanatory text. It is possible to reuse artefacts across portfolios which means that an artefact only has to be uploaded once.
- Each portfolios is private and can only be viewed by others if you choose to share a snapshot of it.
- When you leave the University you will be able to download your portfolio(s) in the format of an HTML zipped file.
Find out more about:
- Accessing your 'My Portfolios’ homepage
- Portfolio structure: A blank starting point or a template?
- Creating a personal portfolio
- Creating or editing portfolio pages and sections
- Adding artefacts
- Customising the look and feel of a porfolio
- Sharing a 'snapshot’ of your portfolio
Accessing your 'My Portfolios’ homepage
Select the My Portfolios tab at the top of Unilearn.
Alternatively, your tutor(s) may decide to add a link to your portfolio homepage from any of the modules you study. However, it is important to remember that portfolios are not module or course specific.
Portfolio structure: A blank starting point or a template?
You can create a portfolio from scratch which means that you will need to create your own pages and sections. It is important to have some idea in your mind of how you want to structure the portfolio before you start. While it is perfectly possible to edit and rearrange the content you create at any time, it is always easier to start with some idea of the purpose and aims of the portfolio.
Alternatively, if you have been asked to create a portfolio by a tutor it might be the case that you will be advised to use a particular portfolio template, in which case a starting structure will have already been defined. You will still be able to amend and add to this as you see fit but you might find it helpful to have such a structure in place to start with.
Creating a personal portfolio
Access your My Portfolios homepage.
Select the Create portfolio button and the following screen is displayed.
Give your portfolio a meaningful name (note that if you have been guided to use a template you will also need to click the button to Select Portfolio Template).
Enter a description for your portfolio.
There are also options to allow the portfolio to be made available – this will allow others to search for it and view it, but a second option allows comments to be kept private so those users cannot view the comments. It would be good practice to keep the portfolio unavailable while you are creating it, unless the creation process and reviews are a part of what you wish to share.
Once you have created the portfolio you can view or edit it using the links at the bottom of each portfolio thumbnail.
Creating or editing portfolio pages and sections
Access your portfolio homepage and select the Edit button found underneath the portfolio title that you wish to update.
Your portfolio is made up of Pages, with each page being made up of one or more sections. By creating relevant page headings and section heaings you will form the structure of your portfolio.
The left hand menu allows you to add extra pages, reorder the pages or sections or delete them.The main area allows you to add, edit or delete sections. See an example below which highlights several of the editing opportunities.
What’s important to know about sections
- Sections hold the detailed content of a portfolio.
- Each section can be made up of a number of artefacts together with a reflective/explanatory text.
- Artifacts are those items which you associate with particular sections in order to show evidence that supports the claim you are making in the reflective text writing area.
- Within the reflective text writing area you can also upload other types of content which help to clarify/enhance your reflective account such as Word documents, PDF’s, web links or multimedia items.
So, in order to create a meaningful section:
- Enter a name for that section that is representative of what the section is about.
- Click the 'Add Artefact’ link to associate an artefact(s) with the section. (For help see Adding artefacts)
- Click on to the area entitled 'click here to add content’ to access a full browser based editor. Type your supporting/reflective text and add in anything else (other uploaded files, links to websites etc.) which are relevant. (For help in using the content editor see Blackboard’s support pages on adding and formatting content )
Here’s an example. Remember to click Save when you have finished entering everything into your section.
When you have finished editing your pages and sections click the Done editing button to return to the My Portfolios window.
There are two options for uploading artefacts:
- either add artefacts directly into the My Artefacts area, as a general collection, so that these artefacts can then be referred to later in particular portfolio sections; or
- add artefacts at the time of editing a section of a portfolio.
Adding an artefact to your My Artefacts collection
• To add an artefact directly to your My Artefacts collection, firstly select the My Artefacts tab from your My Portfolios homepage.
• Next select the Edit Personal Artefact button.
• You will be asked to enter a title and brief description, and you will see a comprehensive text editor to add information about the file you are uploading.
• Beneath the editor you will also have the option to attach a file (e.g. Word/PDF document, video).
• Clicking submit will then add this item to your artefact collection and make it available for use in any of your portfolios.
Adding an artefact when editing your portfolio
• Start by editing a portfolio section and click the Add Artefact link.
• This will take you to a view of the My Artefacts page in a pop-up window. From there you can either add a completely new artefact or select a check box to add a previously uploaded artefact from your collection.
Customising the look and feel of a portfolio
While you are editing your portfolio, you are able to change the look and feel to alter how your portfolio is presented.
Simply click on the Preview and Create button in the top right of the Edit Portfolio page and then click on the Customise Style button.
There are 4 layout options available (which alter the position of the page menu) and 16 colour options to choose from.
Sharing a 'snapshot’ of your portfolio
What is a portfolio snapshot?
A snapshot of any portfolio can be shared with other users, or external contacts, at any time.
You will continue to be able to edit it and alter it later, but anyone you’ve shared with will not see those changes, so you would need to share a further snapshot to anyone wanting to see the up-to-date version of your content.
How to share your portfolio snapshot
On your MyPortfolio page, click the More link on the portfolio to be shared and select Share from the dropdown menu.
Click the Share a Snapshot with button and select from the following options:
- Users – select existing users by entering their username (or searching for them using first/last name or email)
- External Users – add people to share with by adding their email address
- Courses – Make your portfolio searchable by anyone on the selected course
- Organisations – Make your portfolio searchable by anyone on the selected organisation
- Institution Roles – make your portfolio searchable by anyone with a given role (across USW’s Blackboard, not limited to your module)
- All System Accounts – your portfolio will be searchbale by anyone with access to the USW Blackboard site.