Robin Hill: Another Portfolio Persona?
I thought of another use case for portfolios-- a lowly staff person who just wants to organize and store documents and notes.
Consider a departmental secretary, or junior secretary, Sarah. Some of her duties follow the academic-year cycle, and some don't. She collects graduate student applications, and maybe faculty applications, too. She is regularly asked to associate a package of documents and present the applications in a collection which is passed from professor to professor, in reverse order of rank, for tagging by them with cumulative comments, and sometimes to produce an individual one. Often the electronic version suffices, and is necessary for the faculty who are away, but some faculty request a hardcopy version. The faculty send her additional notes, via e-mail or writing, to include with individual applications for discussion at a future departmental meeting.
For her own purposes, Sarah needs standard data on each applicant, such as all phone numbers for the occasions when the department head asks her to offer an assistantship to an applicant at the very last minute. Sometimes a faculty committee will ask her for particular demographics, for example, "Do we have any grad students applicants from Europe?" And she needs to record official departmental contacts with each person, for negotiation of salary, duties, and dates.
Sarah is told to take some pictures of a building dedication, pick out the best ones, and show them to the department head. She knows that when this is done, she'll be asked to show them to someone else, then caption them and add some text written by someone else, for archival or submission to some publication. And she knows that she'll be asked to retrieve these photos, for some sudden need, months from now.
What distinguishes this case is that nobody cares what tools or platforms she uses and it may be the case that no one even sees the content in full as a portfolio. They are interested only in the end, not the means, and she is interested in collaborative platforms only for the organizational tools, and not for teaching. This use case also applies to Admissions, Financial Aid, and other offices.