Tag Archive for portfolio

Lightweight electronic portfolio

Fundamentally, an electronic portfolio allows students to publish their exemplary work, reflect on their learning, and invite comment. Some schools (1, 2) roll out full-blown electronic portfolio software that can access files from their learning management system. This may be a great approach if a school has adopted electronic portfolios as a major initiative for the year.

In our school, we have not yet explored the topic of whether we should all move to electronic portfolios. We have paper, in-person based portfolio exhibitions in third through eighth grades, but the high school does not, and faculty meeting time is fully consumed with other discussions about teaching and learning. At the same time, we have groups of students and teachers who want to publish exemplary work either to the Catlin Gabel community, project mentors from outside the school, or college admission offices.

In response to this level of interest, I decided to provide a very lightweight electronic portfolio tool. I used an existing feature in our Drupal website (rather than a new tool) to allow students and teachers to publish exemplary work in multiple media forms, reflect on their learning, and invite comment. Students simply create a blog post but then mark the item for inclusion in their portfolio. They can also make the item publicly viewable if they choose. The “portfolio” home page is really just the student’s blog, filtered by one or both of these flags. The way Drupal works, if a user is not logged in, they only see the items marked public.

blog checkboxes

So far, art seminar students have created public portfolios of their work, principally for the college admission process. Here is a portion of one. In May, all seniors will blog about their individual senior projects. Some may choose to make these posts public for their on-site mentor and others to see.

<%image(20091203-portfolio example.png|450|318|portfolio example%>

Techies out there may find the following Drupal module code useful.

function cgs_blog_form_alter(&$form, $form_state, $form_id) {
  if (isset($form['#node']) && ($form['#node']->type == 'blog')) { // apply only to "create blog entry" form
    // add a submit function
    $form['#submit'][] = 'cgs_blog_form_submit';


function cgs_blog_form_submit($form, &$form_state) {
  // load content access functions
  require_once(drupal_get_path('module', 'content_access') .'/content_access.rules.inc');
  // load node object
  $node = node_load($form_state['values']['nid']);
  // set anonymous user grant array
  $settings['view'][0] = 1;
  // change node access permissions for this node
  if ($form_state['values']['field_blog_public'][0]['value'] == 'Make this post public') {
    // add view grant for anonymous users to this node
    content_access_action_grant_node_permissions($node, $settings);
  } else {
    // remove view grant for anonymous users to this node
    content_access_action_revoke_node_permissions($node, $settings);


Web Site Design Portfolio

This portfolio shows major sites I have designed and built for organizations.

Catlin Gabel School (2009-present)
The school’s main, public-facing website provides a complete content management system, multimedia publishing tools, user accounts for students, staff, parents, and alumni, and ties into the school’s student information system. A layer of the site is login-protected, so that community members may publish articles, photos, and videos to the school community.

Catlin Gabel website

Tools: Drupal and Blackbaud, including custom PHP development.


insideCatlin (2006-present)
This intranet web portal provides operational tools for the members of Catlin Gabel School. Teachers provide students with course materials and interactive discussion areas, departments publish commonly-used forms, and individuals schoolwide exchange information such as community service hours and textbook orders. The portal is organized by commonly-desired content and transactions, rather than by tool.


Tools used: Moodle, Drupal, Blackbaud database access, and custom Perl and PHP scripts.


Shasta Mountain Guides (2005 – present)
The guiding company uses this site to publish trip information, collect reservations, solicit customer questions, and sell merchandise. Customers may browse through trip descriptions, photos, and testimonials and then book a reservation online, including payment. The co-owners maintain the Backcountry Blog and photo galleries on the site. A live weather feed and equipment lists help hikers plan their trips.

Shasta Mountain Guides

Tools: Drupal, osCommerce, custom Perl scripts, custom graphic design


San Diego Hat Co (2001 – present)
This web site allows the company to quickly publish an online catalog of hundreds of items to wholesale customers twice each year. Within the login-protected site, customers browse or search for hat styles, zoom in to view close-up detail, and see available colors for each style. The site also includes static pages for company information and an online store for retail customers.

San Diego Hat Co

Tools: Web Site Baker, osCommerce, custom Perl scripts.


Maru-a-Pula School (2006 – present)
The school upgraded its web presence with a content management system and custom graphic design (Elavacion, Inc.). I moved the hosting service to the U.S., to improve upon the reliability of Botswana-based hosting services.

Tools used: Drupal


San Francisco University High School (2002 – 2006)
This site provided for all of the public-facing web site needs of this school community: a description of the school program, faculty and staff contact directory, admission inquiry toolkit, alumni profile and notes tools, and Arts department mini-site.

San Francisco University High School

Tools: Dreamweaver, custom Perl scripts.

insideUHS (2002-2006)
This intranet school portal provided the community with communication and information tools: course web sites, athletics schedules, community service project database, independent study project database, community announcements, schoolwide events calendar, student photo directories, online file access, and student discussion forums.

Tools: Moodle, YaBB, phpBB, FileMan, Blackbaud database access, custom Perl scripts.


site snapshot at The Internet Archive (original site no longer available)

Gateway High School (1999-2002)
The graphic design of this site communicates the school’s unique position as a public charter school in San Francisco. Learning Center and People receive high visibility, and student work is featured on the home page.

Gateway High School

Tools: Dreamweaver

www.gwhs.org at the Internet Archive