At Rochester College we are requiring some of our graduate students to create an e-portfolio upon entry into their graduate studies and then move their portfolio along with them throughout a variety of online and blended courses. I wonder if this community would have a suggested "best practice" for accomplishing this task.
Ideally, I would like to hear what "might" be the best software to create the portfolio in, and then how Blkbd can store this for instructor/student access throughout many courses.
Deborah SchummerDirector Online LearningRochester College
It will really depend on your institutional environment as to the best option for creating and managing ePortfolios. You may need to look at a suite of options.
Blackboard LS "Classic" and Blackboard Learn 9.0 have a few different portfolio options built into the Bb Content System and Outcomes System. The rumour mills say that Blackboard is working on a new ePortfolio system that will be the "best of the various eportfolios from Blackboard and WebCT".
Because we had a bad experience with the WebCT Vista/CE eportfolio and we now have three LMSs on campus (Bb Vista, Bb Learn, Moodle) along with a home-grown curriculum management system in the Faculty of Medicine, we are looking at eportfolio solutions that are not part of any one LMS.
One option is a metadocument-based eportfolio as found with Adobe Acrobat Pro Extended (http://www.adobe.com/education/products/acrobatpro/). Extremely portable and students are fully responsible for managing artifacts. The eportfolio document can be easily uploaded into any course.
Another option is an eportfolio system on campus. Two open source solutions that come to mind are Mahara (http://mahara.org/) and Open Source Portfolio project (http://osportfolio.rsmart.com/). Some institutions are using WordPress (http://wordpress.org/, http://mu.wordpress.org/) and similar content management systems for their eportfolio systems.
Along the lines of an eportfolio system on campus, there are several hosted solutions such as Chalk and Wire (http://www.chalkandwire.com) and LiveText (http://www.livetext.com) along with content management systems like WordPress (http://wordpress.com) and PbWorks (http://pbworks.com)
With an eportfolio system, either on campus or hosted, you need to make sure students can get the content out of the system in a usable format. The old WebCT ePortfolio system failed because there was never an export option to provide the students with nice packaged collection of linked content. Some institutions have gone to Wordpress because of it's excellent blog export/import features.
A final option some are looking at for eportfolios is using "The Cloud" such as GoogleApps and related cloud technologies. Check out "ePortfolio Mash Up with GoogleApps" (http://electronicportfolios.com/google/) by Dr. Helen Barrett as a good example of "small pieces loosely joined".
Finally, this appeared on an educational news feed recently that may help, "The Prime Directives for an e-Portfolio" (http://maximise-ict.co.uk/Prime%20Directives-2.pdf) in defining your eportfolio needs.
Hope this helps...
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