But is the way we look the most important thing about our identity? About how we perceive ourselves and who we are? We believe that what we currently know, our skills and what we do also form who we are.
In order to be able to understand ourselves and say “this is me”, I’m such and such, I do this or that, we can use a tool – a digital presentation portfolio.
We primarily add a selection of things that we do into this portfolio. Then we add narratives about when and where we did it and what its significance is in our own context. We reflect. We try to provide proof of the fact that we have a certain skill and attempt to portray ourselves.
Have a look at the portfolio of the author of this text, or the portfolios of Masaryk University students – Anna, Klára and Vojtěch – to get a better idea of things. Do you see specific personalities on the individual webpages? Is it clear what they do? Is it believable?
A presentation portfolio serves the needs of both students and teachers. If a teacher has access to your portfolio, he or she can evaluate you in a completely different way – more in the context of your development and study path. When teachers get acquainted with students, they have a better idea about what they need and what they enjoy. Last but not least, it can also help increase your credibility.
A presentation portfolio is a window into your results and your self-representation that you can take with you to your leaving exams or a work interview. It typically contains clear messages on what you do and what you can offer. In addition to this, artefacts of your work are also located here – essays, photos of your performance, a game you’ve designed and so forth, according to what you do.
Is learning like this safe?
In terms of safety, the same rules apply here as for anywhere else on the internet – beware of sensitive content. If it’s necessary, you can limit access to your blog – e.g. for only a few classmates or teachers via an email.
How should you manage your portfolio?
Your portfolio should have a clear form and structure. This, for example, can be the following:
- Who am I now? i.e. what you’re doing and what you’re working on now.
- Who was I? What you’ve accomplished and what you’ve engaged in.
- How do I reflect on the results of my learning? Results of subjects – essays and projects accompanied by your reflective commentary.
- What am I reading?
- What am I doing outside my actual studies – professionally or as hobbies?
Where and how can I create a portfolio?
We recommend using the free webpages at wordpress.com. You can also use your own webpage or other services, but we won’t be able to help you as much with them.
Select a functional template. We can recommend templates like the Radcliffe, Baskerville or Edin types – the templates contain a photo on the homepage and the grid is suitable for posts combining visual and text content. In my opinion, it’s better to avoid templates that are primarily for visual presentation if you’re not a photographer or graphic designer. If you’re not into exhibiting (your own) photos on the homepage, you can also select templates like Reballance or Illustratr. Use anything that suits you and motivates you to do more work on your portfolio.
Page appearance and navigation
The appearance of the page should support the message that you want to convey. Don’t be tempted by an enticing template with your favorite cubist motif or flowers if you do something like data analytics. The motif should express and support what you’re doing or be neutral enough so it can’t be mistaken for another profession.
Navigating around the page should be easy. Basically, you’ll be deciding between: