Building your online portfolio

Fall 2013

Amanda Licastro


Use this to download this outline and take notes:

Part I

  1. Cultivating your online presence:
  1. What are the advantages of having an academic blog?
  1. My top considerations:
  1. Exposure - getting your ideas out there, building your online identity, providing evidence that you are relevant
  2. Experimentation - creating a sounding board for your argument, finding your audience, building new digital design and implementation skills
  3. Aggregation - building a profile that connects your research, pedagogy, and social networks allows you to present yourself to interested parties all in one place (job market! prospective students! potential collaborators!)
  1. Further reading:
  1. Derek Mueller’s forthcoming chapter “Every Mad Scientist Needs a Tower, a Monster, and a Telegraph Wire: Blogs as Research and Pedagogy Laboratories for Graduate Students” -
  2. Lee Skallrup Bessette’s compiliation of academic blogging resources -
  3. Cohen, Dan. “Professors, Start Your Blogs.” Oct. 21, 2006. Oct 2013. <note, this is also a great example of an academic blog>
  4. Cambridge, Barbara, Electronic Portfolios: Emerging Practices in Student, Faculty, and Institutional Learning, American Association for Higher Education, 2001.
  1. Can you give me some examples of successful academic blogs?
  1. Madgrical, Alexis C. “The Best Academic Blogs.” The Atlantic Online. April, 12 2013. Oct 2013.
  2. Professional level examples (all retrieved in Oct 2013):
  1. Edwin's research
  2. A very long list of scholarly blogs -
  1. Graduate student examples:
  2. (Amanda Licastro)
  1. Hosting your ePortfolio:
  1. Where should I host my academic blog?
  1. Should my site be hosted by and affiliated with CUNY?
  1. Credibility
  2. Filter power
  1. What happens after I leave CUNY?
  1. Export your blog to your own domain
  1. Why Wordpress?
  1. A huge % of the Internet is run on Wordpress, so starting here will give you tangible, “real world” skill that are transferable and can build to a more complex understanding of web design (think alt-ac careers!)
  1. The CUNY Options:
  1. Academic Commons
  2. OpenCUNY
  1. Alternatives to hosting with CUNY
  2. Other possibilities?
  1. buy your domain, host on your own server
  2. use another platform such as Drupal, Blogger, Weebly, etc

 Part II

  1. Getting started with WordPress
  1. Set up a “sandbox site”
  1. This is a site to play around and test different features before installing them on a live site. Make sure you keep this private! Keep is going to test plugins and theme changes before you alter your public facing site.
  1. Choosing a theme
  1. What to consider - you should think about information architecture; consider the design elements you need, then filter themes by features.
  1. Custom menus
  2. # of columns
  3. Layout functionality
  4. Theme suggestions
  1. The WP themes are always a good place to start: Twenty Twelve, Twenty Thirteen, etc
  2. Weaver
  3. Arras (3 column)
  4. Cutline
  1. Building menus
  1. The importance of information architecture
  1. Pages vs Posts
  2. Categories and tags
  3. Creating custom menus and sub-menus
  1. Enabling plugins
  1. Where to look and who to trust
  2. Suggestions:        
  1. Where to look and who to trust
  2. AStickyPostOrderER
  3. Google Docs Shortcode
  4. NextGen Gallery
  5. FeedWordPress
  6. PageLinksTo
  1. Activating widgets
  1. Customizing sidebars
  1. Footers
  1. copyright info:
  1. RSS feeds and social media
  1. Socialize
  2. Social
  3. Add RSS
  1. Content
  1. About/CV
  2. Teaching
  1. A great guide:
  2. Elements to consider: teaching philosophy, courses taught, student projects, evaluations, syllabi, assignment sheets, etc
  1. Writing
  1. tips and tricks to writing good posts:
  1. Presentations
  1. Consider posting conference and workshop material and disseminate it before/after the presentation
  1. Projects
  1. A place to archive past and present work - think of this as a showcase or gallery
  1. Spreading the word!
  1. Twitter
  1. Ryan Cordell on why you should tweet: