I’ve been looking at “eportfolios” recently – specifically Mahara & MyStuff, though previously I’ve experimented with elgg too. I say “eportfolios” because I’m not 100% certain what an eportfolio is and just to confuse me further elgg seems to have repositioned itself and dropped that moniker completely:
electronic portfolio, weblog, resume builder and social networking system [Mahara]
OU’s ePortfolio tool [MyStuff]
social networking platform. It offers blogging, networking, community, collecting of news using feeds aggregation and file sharing [elgg]
And one more I haven’t looked at yet (because it costs!)
much more than an eportfolio. It is a Personal Learning System [Pebble Pad]
Blimey! My exploration has been partly initiated by some interest from within the LSE but also by the need to keep an eye on what’s out there… and there’s certainly plenty of talk about eportfolios. I’m still uncertain as to how such a system might be used here, so some initial thoughts:
1) What’s the purpose of them? OK, some possible uses?
- Recording & Presenting
- Organising & Planning
- Communicating (as “eportfolios” seem to be transforming into social networks)
Let’s assume that a student wants to do some of this or a teacher wants his/her students to… next question:
2) Are they the best tool for the job? Are there other tools that students and staff might choose to use over an institutional eportfolio system.
Some specific examples:
- Teacher-initiated self-reflection activity – VLE, personal blog or eportfolio?
- Formative assessment that involves presenting (or handing-in) a digital artefact (ugh!) or collection – VLE, social media website(s) or eportfolio?
- Staff providing employer with evidence of personal development or achievements – VLE or e-portfolio? (But more likely email with attachments or offline!)
- Students communicating in an informal study group to discuss homework, work on a project etc – Facebook, IM, email or eportfolio?
OK, that’s enough for now. I’m sure to return to this soon but it would be great to here from my 1.3 readers 😉