My students used to keep a bulky three-ring binder as a portfolio of their creative writing pieces, and there is still something to an in-your-hand portfolio. For my classes, I felt that it was more cost effective to move to digital portfolios. There are many ways to do this, but I’m going to focus on Livebinders.
Portfolios are handy tools. Many universities require their students to cultivate portfolios throughout their studies, and some professionals rely on them in order to secure future employment.
1. Provide an overview of how to set up a Livebinders account and how to create an individual Livebinder. It really is a just a big ol’ binder with tabs. I recommend using a uniform system of titling and set-up for all your students. After 20 minutes of playing with Livebinders, everyone knows how to use it. Need help getting started? Livebinders has tutorial videos.
2. Throughout the course, designate benchmark assignments. I divide our portfolios into genres of writing, and I expect students to upload their best work for each genre. Students can copy/paste text into the binder, import images, link to Youtube videos, or even upload Word documents and PowerPoints. If a project exceeds the file maximum, you can always upload to something like dropbox and just link to it.
3. Stress that all work going into the Livebinder is being shared with the world and needs to be polished. I have students make corrections to their writing in between turning in their assignments and uploading them to the Livebinders. Each piece usually goes through peer critique, self-reflection, and summative assessments before being uploaded to a binder, but it’s not always the case.
4. Showcase your student portfolios. I upload them to the school’s literary magazine website. It’s a testament to what we’ve done that semester, and my students and I are proud of what’s been accomplished. You can also share links on social media.
If you have students turn in any project in a folder or binder, you could potentially use Livebinders.
If you do notebook checks or journaling, you could potentially use Livebinders.
Students could also showcase their research and summaries for research papers, annotated biblographies, or just plain article summaries.
Students could demonstrate their understanding of various objectives and use it to review for exams.
Sample Student Livebinders