Creating in the Clubhouse - Portfolios: How to Keep Track of Work

November 1, 2003

Setting up systems for saving the creative work that Clubhouse regulars produce is valuable for a wide range of reasons:

  • To save the work is to place an inherent value in it - it signals to Members and others that the work matters.

  • It helps to track individual progress and experimentation over time, which can serve as the basis for evaluation. Preserving creative work samples is a way to demonstrate to those outside of the Clubhouse, like potential supporters, the growth and skill development Members have experienced over time. For instance, Coordinators may wish to include sequences of portfolio pieces in proposals.

  • It is a place to turn when a Member is stuck and has difficulty coming up with new activity ideas. Staff can look in the folder of work, and think of follow-up activities that the Member might not have thought of.

  • Incoming Staff and Mentors can review portfolios to familiarize themselves with Members, to get an "in" into the work.

Daily Creativity Log
Being aware of everything going on in a bustling Clubhouse is a challenge. Because of this, it is important to find strategies that can help you keep track of what's going on.

One strategy is for Staff (Coordinator, assistants, Mentors, jr. Staff) to meet at the end of every day for 10 - 15 minutes, and do a little "Wrap" session, discussing what they've seen: what kind of stuff Members are doing, who's working on what, what Members newly discovered that day, etc.

Another strategy is to use the Daily Creativity Log, which a Staff person can complete in a few minutes each day. Not only is this useful for "charting" what Clubhouse regulars are learning, it also can help Staff and Mentors know how to follow up in future conversations.

Folder Coversheet
While it is important for Members to have knowledge of where and how their work is saved on a server system, and to display Members' work on the Clubhouse walls, keeping Member Folders is important as well because it lets Members see - in very tangible ways - what they have created and how their abilities and interests are evolving. Folders also serve as a first step toward developing a portfolio. Folders contain many versions of many different projects that a Member both has done and is working on currently. A portfolio, on the other hand, is a subset of the work contained in the folder - it is the highlights of what the Member wants to show off to others.

My Artwork Now
Similarly, setting up an In-Box allows Members to share their work with the Coordinator and other Staff even if there isn't time for a face-to-face interaction that particular day. Members simply drop their work into the In-Box, knowing that someone on the staff will look at it before placing it in the individual Member Folder. To help the Staff person know what the piece of work is - and what the Member thinks about it - Members can attach a My Artwork Now tool to the piece. Then, the staff person can make a note of the new piece of work on the Folder Coversheet, which is on the outside of each Member Folder.

Stages of Creativity
Another way to think about the creative process and portfolio development is to consider where an individual piece of a Member's work falls along the Stages of Creativity. This document discusses five important dimensions of potential growth in the Clubhouse and is organized across three stages that describe a Member's increasing awareness and accomplishment. You may wish to use these Stages to guide conversations about which pieces of work Members want to include in their portfolios. Together, you can talk about which projects represent particulars skills and growth. (To see how researchers at CCT evaluated individual pieces of Members' work, see our Year Two Evaluation Report. Search "Intel Clubhouse" at the CCT website:

Creating in the Clubhouse: Thinking About Creativity