Rose Colored Glasses

Random Thoughts on Instructional Design

Portfolios for Teaching, Learning, and Presentation – Part 5

Creating the PDF Portfolio

To create a PDF portfolio, first you have to gather and organize the artifacts you what to include in the portfolio. Such artifacts probably fall into one or more of these categories:

  • Digital Artifacts – collect all digitally created documents into topic specific folders. Please keep in mind that if you want files to stay in their native format, you can add them directly into the PDF portfolio without converting them to PDF, but the viewer will have to have the software or associated players on their computers (i.e., Word, Excel, etc.). If you want to be sure viewers can read the files, convert them to PDF first so the files will play automatically in Reader.
  • Media files – Collect video and audio file (i.e., Flash movies, QuickTime videos, Podcast, audio lectures, Captivate and Camtasia movies, etc.) into topic specific folders for inclusion in the PDF portfolio. These would be media files you have chosen to add directly to the PDF portfolio rather than embed in a PDF document. Note: MAC Viewers can interact with QuickTime and Flash Player media. Windows viewers have more player options available to them. Make sure that you know your audience – make responsible predictions about the capabilities of the computers that viewers might be using.
  • Scanned Documents – You might want to include artifacts that exist only on paper. Scan the documents into Acrobat as text based document, and save them out as PDF documents.
  • Web & Online Courses – Use Acrobat to collect online artifact from websites and the course management system (see the “Preparing Files for the Portfolio” section for instructions).

If you organize materials into folders on your local drive, you can use the same organization in your PDF portfolio with minimal effort. You simply drag the top-level folder into your portfolio work area, and all of the files will be copied into the PDF portfolio. The folders are copied as well, maintaining the organizational structure.


The following tutorials step you through adding content to your PDF portfolio.

Adding files to an empty portfolio

Creating a new portfoilo folder

Closing opening the edit portfolio window

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This entry was posted on July 18, 2010 by in Tools.
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