Frequently Asked Questions

Students can create their portfolios on WordPress with a UBC blogs web address (http://blogs.ubc.ca/). Each student is responsible for creating, designing and maintaining their own WordPress portfolio, although you can download a template to build on. In classes where an ePortfolio is a required assignment, your prof or TA usually will arrange for guest speakers to come into the classroom to help with your progress. For more instructions visit the homepage for your course. Click Getting Started for detailed instructions, or check out an Example Portfolio.

You can also make a portfolio on WordPress.com with a free account. Unlike UBC Blogs, WordPress.com allows you to build portfolio projects (these are different from posts and pages). This link shows how to enable the portfolio content type. https://en.support.wordpress.com/portfolios/

These are some WP themes that have some special features for portfolio content type.
https://theme.wordpress.com/themes/illustratr/
https://theme.wordpress.com/themes/espied/

If you are building an ePortfolio as a part of a class assignment, check with your professor before creating one that isn't hosted by UBC Blogs.

Some professors make an ePortfolio part of their assignments for a course. Different professors will be looking for different things: some will only grade the ePortfolio's course-related content; others will be interested in how you communicate your learning across the whole site. Read your syllabus or assignment description carefully to make sure you understand your professor's instructions.

While putting a link to your ePortfolio in your resume or cover letter might be the most obvious way to include it in your job search, you can also put your ePortfolio to use as you plan, network, and interview.

As you plan a job search strategy, reviewing and revising the material in your ePortfolio can help you to connect your interests and strengths. Having multiple samples of your work in one place will help you to see all the work you have done, and develop job application materials that speak authentically to your abilities.

As you network, and as you reach out for informational interviews, an ePortfolio can help your contacts to get a picture of your experiences and skills. A well-organized ePortfolio that contains multiple examples of your work--and that has well-written descriptions explaining both the context in which the work was produced and your perception of what you produced--will help prospective contacts to understand you better.

And, finally, as you interview for jobs, an ePortfolio can provide evidence to back up your claims. For instance, in answering a behavioural-based interview question--that is, a question in which you are asked to narrate an experience you've had or a problem you've solved--you might call up your ePortfolio on a laptop or tablet to show, rather than simply describe, the end-product of the story you're telling.

As with those using an ePortfolio in a job search, your ePortfolio for graduate school will help you to plan, network and interview.

Applying for graduate school usually involves a statement of interest, in which you describe what specifically you hope to study, what you bring to your chosen program, and why your selected school is a great fit for you. You can review the academic work samples you have included in your ePortfolio as you write this document, to achieve the necessary level of detail for this document.

Since speaking with a faculty member in your program of choice in advance of applying for graduate school can help you to ensure that you're choosing a school that is a good fit for your interests, it's a good idea to ask your favourite professors if they have colleagues that you ought to be in touch with. When you first email these contacts, you can pass along the link to your ePortfolio. A well-designed ePortfolio that shows the connections between your scholarly interests--in addition, of course, to samples of your work with well-written abstracts--will help a prospective graduate school supervisor to understand your perspective better than a brief, stand-alone writing sample (although they may want that, too!).

And, finally, some graduate programs include an interview. As with those using the ePortfolio in a job interview, prospective graduate students can refer explicitly to work samples from the ePortfolio to better demonstrate accomplishments and experiences.

You can and should include whatever you need to paint a picture of yourself as a polished, professional, insightful, analytical, creative and/or intellectually curious person. This might include:

  • a YouTube video of you performing, dancing, singing, or competing at an event;
  • descriptions and examples of accomplishments in your work;
  • photos or videos related to volunteer work;
  • awards;
  • audio or visual samples of art or music;
  • photos, videos, or blog entries from a study abroad term, co-op work term, or internship;
  • original poetry, short stories, or published articles that you wrote.

Whatever you choose to include, ensure that you provide contextual information so that a reader who doesn't know you personally can understand the 'what, where, and why' of your samples. Ideally, you should be able to connect all your samples--academic and non-academic--so that they create a cohesive picture of who you are and what you've done.

Consider having a look at some of the example ePortfolios for inspiration.

Widgets are tools or content that you can add, arrange, and remove from the sidebars of a blog. Widgets allow you to share your most recent posts, photos, tweets, and so on, without having to know HTML. You can customize your widget to show you most recent 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 posts or photos or tweets, but you can't rearrange the items within a widget. For more on widgets, see the UBC Blogs Wiki pages for Widgets and Widgets for WordPress.

Yes, you can change your privacy settings once you’ve created your ePortfolio. To do so, navigate to the Dashboard, then to the Reading section under the Settings tab. You will find the five privacy settings on this page, under Site Visibility. Once you’ve made your change, make sure to hit the ‘Save Changes’ button.

ePortfolios privacy settings site visibility levels

Although password protecting individual pages and posts is easy from the creator’s end, passwords can make for a poor user experiences. We advise against password-protecting sections of your site for two reasons.

  1. It can cause frustration for professors who need access to a password-protected page for grading, and would thus need to keep track of their individual students’ passwords.
  2. Putting your portfolio online is an act of publicly sharing your accomplishments. Unless your work samples contain highly confidential, proprietary information that cannot be shared with the public, your portfolio should have no password-protected sections. A password is a barrier between you and a potential employer. Even when you provide a password to selected individuals, locating and entering this password creates a cumbersome and unnecessary extra step. If you’re not comfortable posting your resume, photo, or contact information on your ePortfolio, that’s OK—it’s your site.

If you don’t want your site to be accessible by everyone, using Visibility Level 3, 4 or 5 is a more efficient way for you to restrict access.

When you select Level 3, you are granting everyone on the network access to your ePortfolio – this means anyone with a UBC Blogs account can look at your site. Level 4 gives access to a subset of these users – they have to have a UBC Blogs account as well as ‘Subscriber’ status to your ePortfolio, a role which you assign. The subscriber can leave comments on your site, but cannot edit or create any part of it.

The administrator is anyone who has editing privileges for your ePortfolio. Unless you are part of a group making a site together, you will be the only administrator, which is why choosing level 5 visibility is often only really effective when you’re in the process of developing your site. However, if it makes sense to grant everyone viewing the site with editing privileges as well, level 5 is the right option.

Source: UBC Wiki. "Documentation: UBC Blogs/FAQ."

If you accidentally deleted content while writing a page or a post, then click on "revisions" on the right-hand side of the page (under "visibility" and above "update") to view previous versions of your content. A version of your page is saved every time you hit the blue "update" button.

If you accidentally deleted an entire page or post, go to the section of your dashboard where you can view "all pages" or "all posts," and look for your deleted content in the "trash" link at the top of the page.

To delete a site from your UBC Blogs account, visit the UBC Blogs wiki. To delete your UBC Blogs account, visit the UBC Blogs FAQ page.

After graduation, you have two options:
1. Export your ePortfolio to your own WordPress.com site. WordPress has some additional functionality that UBC Blogs doesn't have, giving you more options to play with.
2. Keep your ePortfolio on UBC Blogs. There is no end date for the UBC Blogs service.