Technological Adaptability: Building A Technology-Rich Portfolio


Melonie McMichael
Senior Instructor, University of Colorado Colorado Springs and proprietor of the consulting firm Technodaptability

Technological Adaptability: Building A Technology-Rich Portfolio

2 October-6 November (Tuesdays) | Asynchronous (Self-Paced)

A well-designed and executed portfolio can help significantly in the job search process. This course will take the participant through a step-by-step process for planning, designing, organizing, and producing a digital portfolio that exemplifies their technical skills and abilities as well as their other communication skills.

In the process of producing their portfolio, participants will learn about the different areas in the technical communication field (Technical Writer, UX Designer, Instructional Designer, etc.) and how to tailor their portfolio to their desired area including what technologies, skills, and genres to emphasize. They will learn how to organize and expand upon the content to make the greatest impression and impact. The participants will learn how to accept constructive criticism to produce an outstanding final product.

Session Descriptions

This week, we will learn about the many different sub-fields of technical communication (technical writing, UX, design, etc.). We will determine the priorities, interests and focuses of employers in the desired field. In the first step of building a portfolio, the participant will research the audience and employment landscape.

This week, we will study ways to organize a portfolio for maximum impact and to display technical ability. The participants will produce a site map and choose a platform for their portfolios.

This week, we will look at ways to expand on the information typically found in a hard-copy portfolio. The participants will round up the projects for their portfolio and annotate them.

This week, we will examine first impressions of employers. The participants will design the home page of their portfolios and a resume-type page.

This week, we will examine the technological issues with building an expandable portfolio. The participants will complete a draft of their portfolios.

This week, we will discuss ways to handle criticism and input. The participants will review other participants portfolios and finish their final portfolios.


Having been in the field of technical communication for 25 years, Dr. Melonie McMichael has experience in both industry and academia. She worked as a technical communicator in Austin’s high-tech sector for over a decade, including multiple stints at AMD as well as contracting work for 3M and working as a lone writer for a small software company. She held multiple roles in the field that ranged from production through writing to print buying. In 2010, Melonie earned her PhD in Technical Communication and Rhetoric from Texas Tech University where she taught for five years. Since 2011, she has taught at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs in the Professional and Technical Writing emphasis. With over a decade’s worth of workplace experience and another decade teaching technical communication, she brings both scholarship and industry knowledge to the classroom.

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