Overview

Welcome to the TAMU Professional Portfolio Builder
This online resource has been created to help you, a TAMU teaching faculty member or graduate teaching assistant, develop a professional development--teaching or course portfolio: portfolios that can be presented online or in printed format. A portfolio can be used to organize course materials, document professional development, create job prospecting materials, evaluate teaching practices, as well as a leave legacy for graduate students or others carrying out the work you have begun. And, it can serve multiple purposes, for example, performance reviews, career advancement, and 
self assessment of  teaching and other professional activities. 

Defining an E-folio
What is an e-folio? While a portfolio documents professional activities, includes artifacts of supporting evidence,and reflections that assess teaching practices, and e-folio permits quick access for revising and sharing for multiple audiences and contexts.  It is "an electronic record that can be constantly sorted and culled and curated over time. It is an active repository with many management tools that can generate Web presentations for particular purposes. It is a resume maker with linked evidence" [1]. 

Determining the Scope
In order to develop your portfolio effectively, you will need to identify the scope of its context and use: What is the scope of the audience and purposes to which you are directing your portfolio and thus tailoring your presentation? Is your portfolio solicited or unsolicited? Are you developing it at the prompt of a review (a solicited request), where requests for information are clearly stated? If so, you can use this request to identify specific information that will direct the development, organization, and design of your portfolio. Or, is your portfolio unsolicited? An unsolicited portfolio will mean that you determine how it should be developed based on your understanding of your audience's needs and its potential uses and contexts. Either way, begin by learning as much as you can about your audience, their expectations, and the contexts that your portfolio will or could be used. Doing so will help you know how to develop it effectively to reach the contexts you wish to target.

Getting Started
  1. Look over the materials in the Resources section to help you learn what information is available for creating and editing your online portfolio.
  2. Determine your preferred platform. Several options include the following:
    • create a site from scratch using Google Sites (see Template Tips) or another web site creator (such as WeeblyBlogger, or Wix)
    • use one of the templates and modify it as needed
    • prepare a hard copy from scratch using the prompts and other resources to help you develop each section
    • prepare a hybrid: a Word document (or PDF) that includes hyperlinks to each online section for more information. 
Note: Web pages in Google Sites can be  saved as PDFs, which include the hyperlinks! (See print option at the bottom of the screen.)
Overcoming E-folio Anxiety
Be careful not to become overwhelmed by all of the content and artifacts that you could potentially include in your portfolio and therefore get discouraged because the task seems TOO BIG. 

Thus, the best advice is this:
  1. Take one topic (or tab) at a time.
  2. Just start. 
Remember that you can always add to and revise your work and you can always learn how to use the "tech tools," but don't let technology or procrastination keep you from making progress on your e-folio. 

Continuing the Process
Consider your e-folio as a "living" document, one that is easily and continually revised. Add new content, sections, tabs, files, etc. as needed. Use the templates to prompt reflections and to provide ideas about how to develop each section. 

Tip: Duplicate the site to create different versions of your e-folio, adding or deleting sections that match the audience and purpose you want to target. (You may even want to change the site theme to give the site a different look.) Learn as much as you can about who will be reading your portfolio and for what purposes; tailor your portfolio to meet those purposes.  Make the portfolio what you want it to be so that it does what you want it to do.

Image credit:
Blogsmonitor (Blog). Social Anxiety. http://www.blogsmonitor.com/news/social-anxiety/. 30 June 2013.