This past weekend, I participated in the NCPH Roundtable "Teaching Sustainability in Digital Los Angeles." First of all, I found the discussion that followed to be incredibly energizing. We discussed the ways LA lends itself to digital history, barriers to enacting digital projects, strategies used by K-12 teachers, and methods for addressing varying levels of digital literacy in the classroom. We asked the audience what types of questions would be most useful to discuss as we moved beyond the conference. One question posed regarded the organization of digital portfolios and it is to this inquiry that I'd like to turn.
In my paper "Teaching Sustainable Digital History," I discussed the use of digital publishing to create teaching portfolios. I suggested that digital portfolios offer one strategy for making our projects sustainable because they allow us to curate and reflect on our own pedagogical practice. Media-rich publishing opens the door to new ways of creating teaching portfolios and for my own I’ve used Scalar, an open-source platform for born-digital scholarship. I like Scalar because it allows me to create different paths under the larger umbrella of pedagogy. If you'd like you can create your own, free, Scalar account here http://scalar.usc.edu
My own digital portfolio mirrors that of a traditional teaching portfolio in many ways. It includes a teaching philosophy, diversity statement, copies of sample syllabus, and examples of course exercises. I've also included copies of materials I might not normally include in a hard-bound portfolio, such as photos, assessment of public history projects I've been involved with, and copies of digital media projects including video clips. As an authoring platform for born-digital work, Scalar is especially suited to the former cause. Plus, because it allows the viewer to follow various paths, I did not need to edit the amount of materials I included. The viewer her/himself could make that decision.
I'd be curious to hear what other folks have included in their portfolios or what they think should or should not be included. And for those assessing portfolios, what would you like to see included?