Use WordPress.com to create a teaching portfolio

Jeff Neely developed his website when he took Mass Communication Teaching in 2007.

Creating a teaching portfolio can be helpful as you prepare to enter the job market for a faculty position. Some job postings will ask you to submit a teaching portfolio or materials that would be in a teaching portfolio, such as a syllabus you’ve developed or a teaching philosophy.

A great way to have those materials available for others to review and to demonstrate your own technology skills is to have your teaching portfolio posted online.

As your final project for the course, you are to create an online teaching portfolio, using materials that you have been developing this semester, including your vitae and your undergraduate course materials.

You will be creating the portfolio as a WordPress blog. Advances in WordPress have made it a great choice for developing what used to be termed a website. More organizations are converting from coded websites to WordPress blogs. Our college’s “website” is, in fact, a WordPress blog — http://www.jou.ufl.edu

In Monday’s class, we’ll have workshop to work on your WordPress site. Here’s what you need to do.

Start mapping out what you’d like your online portfolio to include. Make a list and have your materials as digital files. Photos should be optimized for the Web. Slide presentations should be saved as PDF handouts. If you aren’t familiar with how to do that, we’ll review in our workshop.

Set up your WordPress account. Be sure to set up a free WordPress.com account and not a WordPress.org account. Start exploring the site. If you’ve selected a theme, that can help you be better prepared. A theme I think would work well for a portfolio is Twenty Eleven, which is the theme I used for this blog.

Watch Lynda.com videos to help you learn about using WordPress.com. As a UF student, you have access to hundreds of free Lynda.com videos. This is a great resource. To learn about WordPress, I’d suggest that you watch tutorials in WordPress.com Essential Training by Morten Rand-Hendriksen. (When you go to Lynda.com, click on the B for blogging and then select this training package.) You’ll see that the training is divided into dozens of short videos — similar to the Khan Academy approach to training. You can watch some of these tutorials prior to our Monday workshop and then watch others as you continue to work on your online portfolio. Most are just a few minutes.

Bring with you to class: Your laptop (be sure it’s charged) and digital files. Those files can include your bio, a headshot (and I’ll bring my camera to take headshots), your vitae, your course syllabus, your slides from your teaching presentation, etc. And I know you’ll bring your I’m-ready-to-learn outlook.

Here are two sample online portfolios from former students in Mass Communication Teaching:

Katie Abrams was a doctoral student in UF’s Ag Communications program. Visit her website to see how she organized materials.

Jeff Neely (website at top of post) developed his website in 2007 when he was a student in Mass Communication Teaching. At that time, we created online portfolios in Dreamweaver. Using WordPress.com makes the whole process much easier!

If you’re interested in learning more about blogging, which could become an asset for your future teaching, you should consider taking Multimedia Blogging (MMC 6930) next semester with Dr. Judy Robinson.

Students in the course develop their own blogs and learn to self-host and incorporate multimedia — including audio and video —  into their blogs.

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3 thoughts on “Use WordPress.com to create a teaching portfolio

  1. Pingback: Teaching Portfolios: Who Needs One? | Stable Transitions

  2. Pingback: Teaching Portfolios: Who Needs One? | Stable Transitions

  3. Pingback: Creating online teaching portfolio helps you demonstrate teaching and technology abilities | Strategies for Successful Teaching

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