This assignment will help synthesize your activities for the semester. You will design a basic website using Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). It will document select aspects of your experiences this semester. Its primary purpose will be to record your communication growth this semester, including the specific skill of documenting. You’ll select samples of your best work (not just in this course but in other courses or in non-academic activities). You’ll show early work and later improvements. You’ll provide detailed analyses to demonstrate your understanding of communication principles and terminology. You’ll also show your ability to assess your own work with objectivity and accuracy.
As part of your demonstration portfolio of your multimodal communication skills, you’ll select one aspect of your semester’s experience that is particularly meaningful to you and one that you would like to document for your future personal use. You’ll integrate this documentary work into the overall eportfolio. Since this assignment depends on your having collected artifacts throughout the semester, you’ll need to start planning for it quite early in the course. The diagnostic activities with which you began the course were designed to preserve multimodal artifacts that you can use as benchmarks in your eportfolio to mark your growth as a communicator. If you prepare this eportfolio carefully, it will serve as an excellent memento of your early college experiences and a foundation for continuing to develop your communication skills.
While individual eportfolios will vary considerably, all should contain these elements:
- An introduction to comment on the purpose of the eportfolio, its organization, its intended audiences, tips on navigation, highlights, etc.
- At least one sample of your best communication work in each of these five modes: written, oral, visual, electronic, multimodal
- Samples of earlier drafts to illustrate your improvement
- Rhetorical analysis for each sample: a discussion of the communication strategies used in each sample using rhetorical terminology from the Student Guide: English 150 and 250
- A reflection for each sample: an explanation of your observations, emotional experience, and process in producing the sample and in revising it for the eportfolio
- A self-assessment of yourself as a communicator with goals and concrete plans for ongoing improvement
- An introduction to the special aspect of this semester that you documented
Your eportfolio will be evaluated on these main criteria:
- Do you make clear why the portfolio exists, why viewers should be interested, and how the site can be used?
- Do you explain the situation that produced the communication samples you include: purpose, audience, date, location, etc.?
- Do you distinguish between analyses and reflections? Do you discuss your own work with specificity and demonstrate that you understand basic rhetorical terminology?
- Is your information clearly chunked visually? Is your website easy to navigate? Are site subsections clear, reasonable, and accurately named?
- Do you format types of information (analyses, reflections, best work, drafts) consistently? Is text edited for conciseness and well proofread?
- Are headings informative and consistently formatted?
- Do individual pages show evidence of grid layout, visual direction, apt figure-ground contrast, spatial chunking, and color coherence?
- Is typography appropriate to the material, sized for easy readability, contrasted with the background? Are visuals of high quality, suitably cropped, captioned, documented, and integrated with text?
- Are file sizes for images, video, and audio kept to a minimum? Is HTML/CSS coding accurate and standard?
- The homepage for your eportfolio should be located in the WWW folder of your net-id account and should be named eportfolio.html so that it will link automatically to our class website.
- Use a simple text editor like TextWrangler or Notepad to create your web documents. Use Photoshop’s “Save for Web” feature to control image size and quality in GIF and JPEG formats.
- This assignment is intended as a public document, something you’ll share with classmates, family, and friends. It should not include any information that you are uncomfortable publishing for public viewing.
- While many approaches to web design are possible and much fine software exists for web design and editing, for this assignment we’ll use basic HTML with a single external CSS style sheet to handle ALL of the formatting.
- Make multiple copies of your website for backup.
- Planning is critical for a website. Plan your information structure (folder names and folder relationships). Plan the design for typical pages, using the basic visual communication principles, especially grid, direction, chunking, and coordinated color. Keep the design simple and easy to understand.
- Consider offering PDF or Word documents for download. Use representative excerpts from longer documents to illustrate specific communication skills.
- Get friends to critique your website for basic issues of clarity and ease of use.
- November 7–11: Work on learning the basics of HTML and CSS in order to mock up a design for your eportfolio.
- November 18: Present an online mockup of your eportfolio design for group feedback.
- December 9: Post the final version of your eportfolio online linked to the course website.
- December 12: Present your eportfolio to others during the assigned “Final Exam” period and celebrate your semester’s accomplishments in communication.