General Rules and How-To

The first step in starting your portfolio is ensuring your webspace is active. To do this, go to Log in using your standard St. Olaf username and password. Once you are logged in, you will see a page called your “Dashboard”. Click on “My Sites” in the upper left corner. If you see a site titled “CIS Portfolio | [Your Name]”, your portfolio is ready and you can start learning about WordPress and planning the design and content of your portfolio. If you do not see a site with this name, you will need to contact Susan Carlson in order to activate your portfolio.

Once your portfolio is active, you can return to it by visiting and logging in. The next step is PLANNING your portfolio’s content and learning about how to implement your ideas with WordPress. The best resources for this is the advice below and the Digital Scholarship Center [DISCO] at St Olaf. When considering the content, your original proposal is a good place to start your portfolio: after all, it provides a kind of road-map to the work you have proposed to include in your major.  Your home page might include the entire proposal, or at least the formal description of your major with a prominent link to the rest of the proposal.  Papers, lab reports, visual images, or other work from courses or internships should be included as separate pages; and you might start to organize your portfolio by creating links to each piece of work from the course-list section of your proposal.  You may also include a section where you keep track of evolving ideas for your senior project, with a link from the senior project section of your proposal.  Perhaps you will include a page with links to external sites you find useful. 

Best Advice:

  • PLAN your website design before you start devoting time to it.
    • Sketch a plan of your website on paper.
    • Organize your pages in a simple and coherent manner.
    • Be flexible and patient – —your portfolio will probably change over the course of its design.
    • •DO NOT procrastinate (well, try) on your portfolio because it takes more effort to accomplish than one may think.
  • USE on-campus resources such as the MDC ( Multimedia Development Center ) in IIT, and the portfolio help staff for CIS majors.
  • REALIZE that these portfolios are live and can be seen by all users of the internet until they are taken off the CIS Web Community. Keep in mind the academic goals of your CIS Web Portfolio.
  • DESIGN your portfolios with your eventual readers in mind, but BE CREATIVE with your design. This is the place where you will showcase your talent and interests. Even if you are not computer-literate, there are many free resources you can utilize to do creative things.
  • •Choose font styles, font colors and background color combinations that are easy to read for all viewers. Black text on a light-colored background is best (DO NOT choose white on black, green on orange, other high-contrast combinations).
  • •KEEP IT SIMPLE. Focus on the important aspects of your portfolio. DO NOT add unnecessary images or links that may distract your viewers.
  • SAVE SMALL IMAGES so that they will load faster on people’s computers. RE-SIZE photos bigger than 30K in size – this can be done within WordPress after uploading the photo.
  • DO browse through past portfolios to get a concrete idea of what is expected.
  • DO NOT upload any material that may have copyrights attributed to them. Your portfolio should be your own work, and crediting necessary resources when warranted.
  • AVOID publishing your personal information (other than your email) on your portfolio. Information such as telephone number, addresses and grades could be misused by internet users.
  • DO feel free to express your own opinions, as your content will not be censored nor edited. There is a general disclaimer on the CIS Web Community so no St. Olaf disclaimer statement is needed on your portfolio.
  • KNOW that your web portfolio will be kept on the main CIS Web Community through the summer after your graduation. In the fall, portfolios of the graduated class will be moved to the Portfolio Archives page for six months, after which most of them will be removed from the web site. A few portfolios may be kept publicly accessible as samples for up to two years after graduation.
  • BE CAREFUL when you include links to external site. It’s important to evaluate the reliability, credibility, authority, and possible biases of the site.