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Random Thoughts on Instructional Design

Portfolios for Teaching, Learning, and Presentation – Part 2

Overview of PDF Portfolios

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A portfolio created with Adobe Acrobat 9 is a container for a variety of digital objects. The files in an Acrobat portfolio can be in different formats, created in different applications. An Acrobat portfolio can combine all the documents for a specific project: text documents, images, videos, Flash movies, illustrations, PowerPoint presentations. The original files retain their individual identities but are part of one PDF portfolio file. Each component file can be opened, read, edited, and formatted independent of the other component files in the portfolio.

Electronic portfolios can typically be used for the following purposes:

  • Class Projects – have student develop a collection of work for a particular assignment or collect materials gathered by an individual student or peer group over a longer period of time for a larger project.
  • Student Progress – gather student products and reflections across course(s) for assessment purposes. Instructors can use Acrobat review and comment tools to provide feedback to students on their work. Students can also reflect on their work as a whole.
  • Program Portfolios – collect a representative sample of student projects, course assessment tools and department documents for advisory boards and regulatory agencies.
  • Teaching Portfolios – Offer evidence of teaching performance for a certification process or to show implementation and response to a teaching methodology. Some of the things that can be included are: lesson plans, lecture notes, teaching philosophy, images of student work, videos of lectures and classroom interactions, and learning materials.
  • Professional Portfolios – create a digital resume to aid students or faculty in acquiring employment, or for entrance into graduate or post graduate programs.

The Acrobat portfolio tool also provides autonomy in publishing. Instead of waiting for someone else to write just the right textbook with exactly the right materials, you can package your own anthology of lessons, readings, assignments, and course guidelines.

A portfolio built with Acrobat and viewed with the free Adobe Reader is a robust mechanism to deliver content to a variety of audiences. You can present any number of files in one accessible Acrobat PDF. You can also control the presentation of those files with sophisticated navigational structures that require minimal effort to implement.

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This entry was posted on June 27, 2010 by in Tools and tagged , .

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