DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
Default CSS for Student's ePortfolios

body {


  color: #222222;


#site_topnav ul li a {



#header_container {




#header_container, #main_container {




  border-width:0 10px;



#header_container .title {

  border-bottom:2px solid #CCCCCC !important;




  border: 1px solid #ccc


.navigation_topnav {



.navigation_topnav a {


  font-family: Verdana,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;


#footer_container {


  border-top:1px solid #AAAAAA;





#footer {


With the exception of an original header and maybe a little color, students’ ePortfolios often all look the same to me.  It's like wordpress blogs where you can tell right away which theme the writer is using such that each blog looks exactly like the next one.  The stock template simply erases many writers’ designs, abilities, and visual rhetoric.  Creating a classroom (as well as my own ePortfolio) where students and me would take control of our own visual design meant that I had to learn CSS though, at least enough to understand the code of our ePortfolio platform, digication.


Though I had previously found scholars like Tara McPherson compelling in her argument that digital literacy requires some basic coding abilities, I wasn’t exactly compelled to start coding.  McPherson suggests that humanities scholars especially need to think of code in the same way as they do critical theory: as language and meaning.  


I introduce the CSS of our ePortfolio platform to my students as yet another language.  I remind students that there were more than 10 languages already spoken in any classroom that they entered at the college; adding one more shouldn't be that difficult.  


I initially created a handout that explained how the code worked on the platform and more than 1/2 of the students reported in exit slips that they would like a digital space that would help them more.  So a new ePortfolio was born, orally directed by the students' expressed needs.


Today, the most valuable aspect of our ePortfolio platform, digication, is that it offers such a compelling and user-friendly way to introduce code to my students.  Of the more than 150 students who I taught in my first year of using ePortfolios, only four of them had ever done any kind of code work before the class.  What students did not know, however, they made up with the ease and speed at which they learn to code.   


Code Website as Directed by Students (click image for link)
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.