Planning & Developing Your Public Portfolio
Your Public Portfolio is a public website that you develop to further your post-graduation goals. It should be directed at a specific audience (e.g., employer or grad school admissions officer)—NOT your CxC Representative or your Faculty Advisor. It must showcase your knowledge of the field you are pursuing and your exceptional communication skills. Think of it as your online résumé and presentation of work samples and relevant experience, but communicated in a multisensory narrative. Distinguished Communicator candidates are also required to attend at least one ePortfolio workshop to ensure they are accessing and reviewing helpful resources.
Identified in consultation with their DC faculty advisor, DC candidates will be asked to include the following materials in their public portfolio in addition to any other materials the DC advisor identifies as important for the student’s professional trajectory:
- Demonstration of exemplary multimodal communication skills within the discipline
- Inclusion and articulation of experiences beyond the classroom that enable you to practice effective communication skills and prepare for your future field, including one which enables you to serve in a leadership role
- A Spoken Sample that appropriately demonstrates your mastery of oral communication
- Downloadable, print-ready résumé in a pdf or similar format (no word documents).
As you put together your portfolio, you should use the Final Assessment Rubric to critique the evolution of your portfolio. Candidates rated ‘outstanding’ during the final review receive the title of LSU Distinguished Communicator.
Building a Better Public Portfolio
While the design and content of your public portfolio is completely dictated by you and your intended audience, there are several things CxC encourages you to consider while planning and building your public portfolio.
The first step in developing your Public Portfolio is to draft a plan. You should do this by completing the Public Portfolio Plan with your faculty advisor. This is an electronic document allowing you to continue to review and edit your plan. Once you’ve drafted your plan, meet with your Faculty Advisor to discuss your plan and ideas, and use your plan to work through the process of developing a great portfolio. Remember to consult your CxC Representative and Faculty Advisor throughout this process.
The CxC Studios can help you with any Distinguished Communicator requirements, including building your website. Your CxC Rep can help you plan your website, talk with you about visual design, and assist you with technical issues. Distinguished Communicator candidates are also required to attend at least one ePortfolio workshop to ensure they are accessing and reviewing helpful resources.
Your Spoken Sample must be included in your ePortfolio. With with your Faculty Advisor and CxC Representative, you determine the length and context for your spoken sample. Your sample must be substantive enough that the Review Panel can observe your skills, but brief enough that you enable the Panel to immediately identify your communication prowess.
At the time your final portfolio is complete, you will also submit your Dear Reviewer Letter, which is your formal introduction of you and your portfolio to the Portfolio Review Panelist assessing your skills as a candidate for the Distinguished Communicator Medal.
It is okay; many people don’t. Learning to build a website is a skill you will be able to put on your resume, but don’t get caught up in the technology. Like past Distinguished Communicators, you will learn quickly. The overarching purpose is to get you to think critically about the work you produce, the skills you need to showcase to accomplish your post-college goals, and how you can best communicate all of this to your intended audience (e.g., employer, grad admissions officer, etc.).
Yes, your Public Portfolio must be a working site published live to the Internet.
CxC may use your Public Portfolio and Dear Reviewer Letter to help LSU faculty become better teachers. Additionally, your materials serve to demonstrate the quality of skill LSU students possess and CxC may use them in public settings (unless you denote in your exit survey that you do not grant CxC permission to use them publicly.)
Your ePortfolio should be a useful tool for you even after you graduate as a Distinguished Communicator. An effective portfolio is something you share with new and potential collaborators and employers, and as your career trajectory grows and changes, your ePortfolio can change along with you.