Portfolio Templates Overview

A portfolio template defines the layout, style, and content of all portfolios that are based on it. If you are a site organizer, you can create templates that support the intended purpose(s) of portfolios on your site. You might create one template to support resumes or other forms of self-presentation. You might create another for displaying the results of teaching and learning as demonstrated in the contents of general education or co-curricular progress matrices. Or you might create a template that is tailored for assessment and accreditation portfolios, such as those that integrate learning across many data structures and sites to show learning in relation to institutional values or desired outcomes.

Site participants are not required to use templates for their portfolios. Within certain limits, they may also design their own portfolios.

Portfolio templates are best used when you, the site organizer, want to guide site participants in specific ways rather then allowing them to create portfolios according to their own ideas and specifications. The most effective way to work with portfolios and portfolio templates is use templates to guide and instruct participants in creating effective portfolios; then provide a variety of portfolio layouts and styles that allow participants more freedom in putting their own creativity into portfolios for similar or different purposes.

Each template is based on an .xsl file. This file specifies the layout for the portfolio, the pathways to the content for the portfolio, and, optionally, the pathway to a .css file that defines the portfolio style.

Optionally, a template can also include "outline options." These options allow participants to add content to their portfolios by keying or copying and pasting text directly into it. Outline options are often used when it is easier or more intuitive for participants to add content directly rather than creating each distinct item as a form in Resources. Outline options can be used to prompt for and collect information such as a site participant's name, a date, a title and subtitle for the portfolio, captions for images, and/or one or more reflections. They are also used when the participant needs to specify a particular level of a matrix to include in a portfolio.

Outline options are presented to the participant in aSAKAIscreen. You, the site organizer, define the fields on the screen (which is, essentially, a form) by adding an .xsd file for it to the template.

The Portfolio Layouts tool is usually located in the Design & Publish category of a portfolio site.

To access the tool, click the Launch button for Portfolio Templates. Sakai displays the Portfolio Templates home page.

The screen contains a list of the portfolio templates on your site. If the list is longer than one page, use the buttons under the Portfolio Templates menu bar to display other pages in the list.