Gender Communication Summer 2009

A space to critically engage gender and communication topics

Web Portfolio Guidelines & Tips May 12, 2009

In addition to the instructions I included in the welcome post, please consider the following style, content and technical guidelines as you go about creating and maintaining your individual blog.

Please remember that while the “graded” purpose of your WordPress space is to compile your final portfolio of gender artifacts and concepts, a secondary goal is to pull other students and readers to your site to engage critical concepts of gender and communication. For this reason, it is imperative to tag each post properly and usefully, as well as be sure that in your WordPress Dashboard you subscribe to certain tags. First, tag all posts with (and subscribe to) the following tag: comm33009. Second, tag each post with appropriate content-specific tags. For example, if your artifact post is about sexist language in television advertisements, you might use the following tags: sexist language, TV commercials, and so on. You can use the tags I add to our course blog topics as a guide. However, feel free to be creative, yet accurate, in your tagging. FYI: the tagging feature is located on the right side of the Create/Edit Post Dashboard. Be sure to click “Add” for each tag you type in the box.

While tags are helpful in pulling in readers to your blog, using categories helps to organize your posts once readers are on the site. You add categories just below the tagging feature in the Dashboard. Simply click “Add New Category” the first time you use a category. Once you’ve used a category in one post it should come up as an option for you to check a box if you want to use the same category again in a future post. For the purpose of the portfolio, I suggest using categories specific to the type of artifact discussed in each post. For example, categories that will be most helpful in purposeful reading (and, ahem, grading) include the following: personal experience, advertising, TV, film, music, social media, sports and so on. As some of you may use your blog to include post beyond what you include in your online portfolio, please also categorize each entry that you want included in the portfolio as: web portfolio.

When possible, please embed images, video, and especially, links to the content you are analyzying in each post. For technical guidance on how to do so, as well as other tech support blog features, please see the course blog page regarding Blog Settings & Features. Again, one of the guiding features of using this type of space to discuss gender  topics is that communication is not linear nor simply text-based. By including images, videos and linking to other sites, we expand our conversations and critical inquiry.

Your final step in putting together your web portfolio is writing the 500-word wrap-up essay. I suggest writing the essay in a program such as Word, then copying and pasting the essay as your last post, which means it will appear as the “first” post at the top of your blog home page. Be sure to read carefully through the assignment description in the syllabus regarding the role of the essay. In short, the essay should summarize the major themes of your portfolio selections. I would also encourage you to explain any unexpected or interesting findings/concepts/facts you learned while putting together the portfolio.

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