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Creating Assignment Portfolios in WordPress

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Hidden above the tasty smells, on the second floor of H building, Ian Mcvitty is hard at work trying to integrate video and blogs into his course routines. But this time the blogs are being used in a completely unique way.

The Hospitality Marketing course offered in the Hospitality Management program has a portfolio project where the students put together a series of assignments and personal critiques. Traditionally Ian would have stacks of paper portfolios to go through at the end of term but now he is viewing his students work in their WordPress blogs.  Take a look at his sample site by clicking HERE.

By using the blogging tool WordPress as an aggregator for assignments instead of a place for opinions and information only, Ian has made the project more engaging and appealing to his students.

All the assignments are still there, but now the students can also incorporate banners, photos, links, and videos with ease. Having the assignment portfolios online also means that they will never be deleted and can be accessed and used for future reference.

While in the college the portfolio assignments are viewable only to Ian and his students. In fact, Ian chose WordPress over other tools because it is secure, flexible, and professional.

The results of switching the content from hard copy to digital have been astounding; students are adding personality and flair to this assignment in ways they couldn’t before, and Ian can mark at his own pace from any computer without carrying pounds of paper around everywhere he goes.

The only drawback of incorporating a tool like WordPress into this course is the learning curve that comes with teaching a range of students to use a new tool. Ian’s advice is, “keep this in mind when adding a new tool to your course; keep the assignments basic at first with the option of advancing. With such diverse students at Algonquin you will always need to allow time for the learning curve.”

Ian has put together a guide for his students on “how to get started with WordPress” and has been using the tool for 4 years now. It’s exciting to try something new and Ian has set up his teaching so that it doesn’t take long for students to feel comfortable and understand WordPress.  He uses Jing to produce ‘How to’ videos to walk them through the learning.  But that’s another case study all together.

Written by Peggy Prahl, Public Relations 2010

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2 Comments

  1. Pat Lychak
    Pat Lychak05-04-2010

    I love the versatility of blogs — and your idea of an online portfolio of sorts using WordPress is a great one. I can see the potential it might have in the courses that I teach.

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