Friday, November 23, 2007

Optimal Portfolio Organization

Standards Referenced. Artifact-Centered. Personal Bragbook.

In my last posting, Digital Portfolios: Why Do We Do them?, I discussed digital portfolios and how their primary function needs to be to act as personal testimonials about your strengths rather than a standards check sheet to satisfy "the powers that be."

These are all interesting ideas, but how will your administrator or governing body feel about this? We may want to redefine our portfolios, but what do we do about demonstrating that we have satisfied the standards that we have been asked to address?

Enter the Artifact Matrix:

This tool is designed to bring organization to potential chaos. Notice how the artifacts are listed in the second column followed by 11 columns to the right. Each of these columns correlates with a standard. Notice that it isn't like a standard-based notebook portfolio where the standards are "front and center." The matrix allows you to place the artifacts in the center of it all and then align them with the standards.

Based upon the strategy that I suggested for selecting your artifacts to demonstrate your strengths, you would probably see a collection of artifacts that address a specific area of interest. The rest of the artifacts would be ones that the educator used to fill-in the standards that weren't addressed by primary collection. Unfortunately, the example above doesn't fit this suggestion, but it wasn't created when I was advocating this new approach.

If you want to see more about this, you will want to visit our website at More specifically, you will want to read about this in the artifact matrix-specific pages on the DPME site.

So we have a strategy for selecting artifacts and organizing them in your portfolio, how should we present the artifact? It's more than just linking to the actual artifact, you need to provide a reflection about the artifact.

Stay tuned to this blog and we will discuss it in my next posting.



  1. the kitty widget is from under fun and games

  2. Hi Dr Z, I have stumbled across your work on dpme and I'm thinking of implementing a version of it using the UK National Teaching Standards ( for a project we are starting at my school.
    I would like to use the Excel version, is a blank copy available to download which I could play with or do you recommend adapting one of the examples available on the website?
    Many thanks in advance.

  3. Daniel,

    Glad to hear that you found the templates worth exploring for your UK National Teaching Standards.

    We don't have any blanks for the Excel version because they are a bit more complicated. You might try looking at one of the other sets of standard (i.e., Iowa Teaching Standards) and adapt it to your standards.

    I would be happy to work on this with you. You can email me directly at or we could talk through Skype (Leigh Zeitz)

    I look forward to hearing from you so that we can work on developing this project.


  4. Hi Leigh,

    Thanks for the quick reply. I will have a play about and try to adapt the Iowa one. I'll just put a couple of the standards in and then show it to the team I'll be working with before going any further - I think they'll like it. I'll be in touch.




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