ePortfolio Initiative using WordPress

 ePortfolio Initiative using WordPress

The WordPress application is a popular “blogging” tool which is powerful enough to be a CMS (Content Management System) and can easily be used to create professional looking web sites.

Some reasons why the WordPress software makes a good eportfolio application:

WordPress.com currently gives 3 GB of space to each account.

    • You can create more than one blog/web site under your account.
    • Sites have names have the following syntax: “sitename.wordpress.com”
  • A site may be hosted on WordPress.com, or at other WordPress hosts, or the WPMU (multi-user version of WordPress) application may be hosted on your own servers.
    • Having a student host their site with WordPress.com, or some other 3rd party location, means that when the student leaves the institution, the institution does not have to maintain or archive their site. *The site is something that the student may choose to continue to use, or delete.
    • Running the application on an institutional server provides the flexibility of added features, of which there are many.
  • There is a low learning curve for learning how to use the application.
    • A user can quickly learn how to create posts or pages on their site.
      • The post/page creation tools look much like those in MS Word.
        • There are special buttons for uploading/attaching media files to the postings/pages.
          • PDF, DOCX, PPTX, XLSX, MPG, etc.
      • It is easy to create links to external and internal documents.
      • Posts can be published directly from MS Word 2007 (as drafts or live postings).
      • Posts can be published directly via email.
  • Because the WordPress application was initially a blogging tool, it is perfectly suited for presenting a running dialogue sequentially.
    • Each posting (an article, comment, reflection, etc.) can be categorized (multiple categories may be chosen for a single posting) so that all postings under a specific category may be viewed as a whole.
    • Some categories might include: “community service”, “daily journal”, “reflection”, “extra curricular”, etc.
  • Applying a “theme” to the site, easily changes the “look and feel”.
    • There are thousands of free themes. *Not all themes are appropriate or will work well with an eportfolio layout.
    • Applying a theme provides some individuality while maintaining sufficient structure for effectively presenting the necessary materials.
  • Individual documents may be password protected.
    • The user could password protect their resume so that only those viewer with the correct password could view/download their resume.
  • The entire site may be made “private” and only select users granted access to it.
    • Up to 35 users may be granted access. More users are available by upgrading site.
    • Each user must have a valid WordPress.com account.
      • Users do not need to create a blog site, just an account to be applied to other sites for access.
  • The software maintains a document history. All changes to documents are recorded so that the user can revert to a previous/earlier version of a document. It is also easy to compare two versions of the same document.
  • Site content is easily exported for archival purposes, or for porting to another WordPress site. *All site text content is exported as a single XML file.
    • Students and faculty could share course or project templates that are used, but become eportfolio “proofs”.
  • It is easy to create a site template which includes pages, posts, categories and documents, which may be imported into a student’s site.
    • There could be a generic eportfolio for entering Freshmen which could be used until the student declares a major.
      • An eportfolio site might be encouraged as a “recruitment” tool. Suggesting that potential students create an eportfolio site with the “generic” template before entering the institution.
    • An additional eportfolio template that has curriculum (major) specific pages, posts, categories and documents could be applied to the generic site, thereby fostering a continuity to the process.

Specific pages could be made invisible or deleted as necessary when they are no longer beneficial.