I used to think that a portfolio is either a "stock portfolio" or a display of ones previous work, which usually accompanies the CV. For photographer it's some of their best photos, for graphic designer a collection of posters, envelope desings, business cards, web sites.
Now one definition seems to be "a document that describes person's learning". (reflective portfolio) To me this sounds like a "learning diary" (which we call it in Finnish). But in the same time portfolio is portrayed as being "official" enough to be a basis of a certification (NVQ?). To me the "learning diary" is a very informal document, that usually is published to nobody or to just the teacher of the subject at hand, as part of the course evaluation.
From one document: "Definitive ePortfolios are a record of everything that the owner has done over a period of time". I'm an engineer, and therefore this doesn't make much sense. Don't say "everything" here.
Or "personal collection of information describing persons achievements", that would sound like a CV to me.
At our school there is a strong branch of visual arts, and they would see portfolio as I described in the beginning, as a "representational portfolio".
I'm confused. Please de-confuse me
The problem is how should Moodle implement such things?
I too would like to see more information from people about this, preferably from those who have some experience trying to implement portfolios.
A few quick links to David Tosh over at Elgg
- Moodle is a very good tool for students and teachers to create, monitor and reflect on artefacts and the (privat/group) processes around that in a single course, ePortfolio is here no addition.
- Tools, often added to portfolio's like 360 feedback, grading scheme's for open assignments as deliverables and competencies (like Rubrics) could be better integrated in the flow of a Moodle course then in a separated, disconnected ordial.
- Moodle is weak in collecting the results outside a course and over time: (My checkmarks in the sections and the additional progress graph - see beneath - help the student also only with his time management during courses). The question is how to give a good context to all these artefacts, reflections, comments from others and new (personal) development plans for the next learning round in life. The focus is then on grow in time..
ePortfolio can help here in two ways:
- it can help to collect and organise the resources in a folder structure:
- Highest level as (learning) domains: what you already did or wish to develop.
- next level as a learn/timeline with artefacts as milestones
- a handy button to move artefacts that are yours from your moodles to your ePortfolio (without download/upload) would be crucial.
- a simple export as XML is also a must
- it can help to organise the logistics for the "after course activities" around that portfolio, like invite people to deliver comments on the products, comments on the progress, looking at the results from different periods, giving advice for the next round in life etc.. (rights & audiance: privat - inner circle - public)
- offering handy scheme's (rubrics and other fast ordial help) and the logistics is also very improtant: I look with one eye at ipeer http://ipeer.apsc.ubc.ca/ipeer_site/ and how to combine that with moodle and my current basic portfolio (with XMLexport )
- it can help to collect and organise the resources in a folder structure:
"The e-portfolios that we are, experimentally, implementing are a serious on-line presence for each student, which they will be able to use throughout their "career" at our college into FE and HE and then into their workplace. It is somewhere where digital representations of their best work efforts can be stored and accessed by interested parties. It is perhaps best described as a CV with file storage possibilities. It is entirely the students responsibility to maintain their own e-portfolios and to not abuse this privilege. You won't have to do anything but remind them to put their best work into it."
We are, of course , using moodle for this - in the hope that in 5 years time I/someone will have solved the storage/hosting issue that this creates. But I thought that we could give this a shot now because we want to use Moodle for the Dida e-portfolio requirement for our Year 10s. The following year, if it all works to plan, we will not only roll it out across the school but also to our feeder primary schools.
As mentioned elsewhere, it seems obvious to me Moodle provides a useful structure for a portfolio, helping to keep messier people tidy and yet open enough for students own creativity. I intend to set up a seperate moodle installation with pared down resources for the students, i.e. no quizzes/lessons/workshops etc.
I note that this discussion is occuring in the blog. Is this because moodlers think that the moodle e-portfolio implementation should be blog-like? (I personally hope not, but that's a different subject).
Perhaps the new k12 forum would be a better place for this and the portfolio discussion?
I must stress that I was inspired by what Geoff Knott has done over at http://www.devel.digitalapplications.co.uk/ and give credit where credit is due. They were the first to negotiate use of Moodle for Dida portfolios I believe.
We believe that Moodle satisfies Dida requirements in particular because all access to the courses/e-portfolios are logged. As you know all work done on the e-portfolio has to be supervised i.e. carried out in the classroom (for some unknown reason - but that's a completely different discussion) by referring to the moodle logs we can prove that this work has been carried out during timetabled supervised sessions. That's the #1 reason. Secondly, I spoke to the head honcho at edexcel and she is particularly interested in online portfolios that can be accessed randomly by moderators. Moodle again fits this perfectly because they simply are given the enrollment key and they can visit the e-portfolio to their hearts content and as and when they please. (Another reason for implementing the portfolio site seperately from the school "courses" site. Different authentication procedures are needed and guest access should be allowed (I think).)
One note of caution though should be that I have yet to prove that mini (non-dynamic) web-sites could be hosted using moodledata directories and there may be problems ahead to do with file sizes. But hey, these things are sent to test us .
The real trick will be how to (in the future) bring together the Dida e-portfolio concept with the student's general e-portfolio concept (i.e. they should be one and the same and Dida should be part of the larger student's e-portfolio). But this, I think, is actually a problem in the Dida specification which will (probably) get ironed out over the next couple of years.
Like many schools, we too are looking into launching an online ePortfolio for our students.
If we are looking into rolling this functionilty into Moodle I would have one request. It needs to be able to be seperated from Courses.
"What does he mean?" I hear you ask.
Portfolio's, as allready mentioned, serve many purposes. One of these is to show a students growth and the ability for that student to store and look back onto older work. I would like my students to keep their portfolio from Years 7-12. Now obviously storing data i a categorised mannor (most probably by course) makes the most sense. But what happens when my student unenrols from Year 7 art ad enrols into Year 9 Art?
The system we implement should have a method for storing a history of the students work through the 6 years (in our case) of the secondary schooling.
Because of this I am thinking of using an external app outside of Moodle as I feel this in many ways is outside of what Moodle tries to acheive through it's course layouts.
What are peoples thoughts on this?
Would the new data module not be suitable for what you are proposing?
That's partly what I was talking about when I said I was aiming to set the e-portfolios as a separate moodle implementation and eventually as different hosting with kids who wanted to maintain their portfolio beyond secondary school perhaps paying something towards hosting.
But anyway what I have started to do is set up each student with their own course. i.e. their e-portfolio is a course which they have editing rights on - they are a "teacher", and it is set up with an enrollment key so that they have control over who has access to it. We also assign a "mentor" who, for their secondary school years would also have access to their e-portfolio to ensure they are not abusing the privilege.
This ensures that these e-portfolios remain un-affected by year on year changes.
Sorry for being unclear. Does this help?
I would say that e-portfolios have, in the main, two different purposes. 1) An employment type portfolio that showcases skills, knowledge, or products and 2) An academic portfolio that demonstrates growth. I have looked at a number of e-portfolio systems, some open source and some proprietary, and it seems fairly unusual to find anything that tries to address both purposes. For one thing, students interested in "showcasing" may not wish to retain work that is eclipsed by more recent efforts. That is at odds with showing "growth", which demands that artifacts be collected over time and hopefully show the cumulative positive effects of maturity and instruction. I expect trying to do both is a daunting task for the software developer.
Institutions often wish to leverage portfolio artifacts to provide information that assists them with assessment--not only assessment of an individual student, but if possible, to aggregate data from multiple artifacts over time to provide information on whether or not courses, programs, or institutions are producing the desired outcomes in their students. This desire may be at odds with the students' desires to create a more flexible, personally meaningful record of his or her work.
The main weaknesses of most portfolio systems I have seen are:
1) Some of them are limited with regard to the types of files they can accept. All artifacts are not single files (i.e., webpages) and some artifacts can be very large (i.e., 30 minute videos). Some are text based and some will contain multimedia content. And you have to worry about inappropriate or illegal (copyrighted) content on the school servers.
2) Many of them are limited with respect to the templates students can use. For the most part, an admin at some level sets up the objectives that he/she wants the students to address with the chosen artifact. This may influence/limit the type of artifacts that the student may choose to use. The student does not have the option of proposing objectives that were personally important, or have flexibility with regard to layout, images, look and feel, or anything else that might be desirable for personalizing the portfolio. This is good for the student who appreciates the structure as a time saver, but can frustrate the student who desires some artistic control.
3) Virtually none of them allow for cross referencing artifacts. Instructors who are evaluating the portfolios do them by student, not by outcome. I was always astonished that so little had been done with the database capabilities behind the portfolios--no searching, no querying, no sorting.
4) Many of them are not very accessible for the disabled or impaired.
Two portfolio systems that I have seen that come very close to "doing it all" are LiveText (proprietary) and Denver University (Denver, Colorado, US).
LiveText has an interesting marketing plan--they charge students a one time initial fee and the students own the portfolio until they graduate (I believe undergraduate, here). My recollection is that the fee is <$150--about the price of a new textbook. After graduation, the students may retain the portfolio for a reasonable yearly fee. The institution is granted a powerful portfolio system without investment by this means.
The student grants the instructor access to the work, and as an institutional partner, the instructor is allowed to build the set of objectives and rubrics for which the student selects artifacts. The student can also create a personal area to upload whatever they like. Students control access: public, private, or by invitation. LiveText has an impressive rubric/scale system that can be tied to each artifact (as others in this topic have discussed), and the rubrics are also tied to standards that have been published by national or state organizations or the institution itself. The institution can then gather data across semesters, across courses, or across instructors.
The DU system is similar and it was being provided at no cost to interested US universities, but it was not open source and required oracle (I think--it was a couple of years ago when I saw the demonstration) to run it. One of the things I remember about the DU system is the provision for dealing with artifacts that could not be captured in the portfolio system. Example: civil engineering. You might upload a picture or a report, but the evaluation took place on-site. It was merely recorded against a place-holder in the portfolio. It is rather like the offline assignment in Moodle.
So there you go. Portfolios are different things to different people. There is a strong movement for using portfolios to assess learning by examining student work. "Authentic" assessment and constructivist learning go together very well, because many types of learning simply cannot be measured or verified by objective means, such as paper and pencil test. The electronic portfolio is an emerging tool that employs technology to capture, tag, sort, and record information in a way that can demonstrate growth and development for an individual student, a program, or an institution. If well designed, it can also provide students with a way to "showcase" work for prospective employers, or for personal goals. Electronic portfolios have great potential. The software challenge is to meet the needs of such a variety of users.
I agree that most eportfolio systems only seem to do half the job. We have developed a system here at the University of Wolverhampton which we feel goes further than any other system (see http://www.PebblePad.co.uk ). The system has been developed with commercial partners, so it is being released as a commercial product.
There are no restriction as to the types of files other than those imposed by the IT department (no .exe or vbscripts) for security reasons. All artifacts are single items and can be reused in multiple webfolios (we call the whole system eportfolio and the bit that displays content from the eportfolio a webfolio).
Webfolios can be published via a moderated gateway if copyright or other issues are a concern.
There are style templates in the system for webfolio look and feel. We are currently on version one and allowing users more freedom to create their own styling is something we want to tackle. However, pebblePAD is designed to be an open system that allows users to create webfolios that do not force a particular structure so users can create anything from a single page webfolio through to a multi page site that includes weblogs, streaming media and any other asset they may have.
We see cross referencing at essential to creating a useful webfolio. Any asset can be linked, have it's own discussion forum and have access permissions controlled.
Searching and sorting are easy so if you want to see all your action plans it only takes one click when your are in the asset store area.
PebblePAD uses Flash at the front end so making it accessible is a challenge, however a full time accessibility specialist has been employed in the development team. It work with the JAWS screen reader, has unlimited zoom so uses can make the text as big as required and all screens have logical tab order for navigation.
Students found the flexibility of controlling access to their assets gave them the confidence to write more honestly and openly than they would in a more public system. As they control the access to their assets they can decide who sees their work which allows them to share with peers or tutors as required.
Academic staff have found the system allows them to respond both quickly and personally to students in a very focused way (around an individual item or collection of items). They also find being able to mark students work without having to lug tons of folders around liberating. Through pilot use the system has developed to include assessment gateways where students publish WebFolios for marking and of course feedback/discussion.
At Wolverhampton we have used the system with undergraduates, postgraduates and staff doing continuing professional development and their annual appraisal. During the coming year we are using it as part of a regional project involving 2 schools, 3 colleges and 2 universities. So fair to say there will be some interesting times ahead.
We think that eportfolios have a great potential and we have deliberately built a generic system that can meet the needs of the widest range of users.
Sorry if this sounds like a big advert, which I guess it is as PebblePAD is now a commercial product!
We have been using a standards based teacher education eportfolio in my college since 2001. The way we define it and use it, wouldn't fit the definition of an eportfolio for many...but it suits our purpose and fills our needs.
We will be moving our eportfolios to Moodle this Fall...by October, I'll have over 200 new teacher education students starting their eportfolios in Moodle.
When trying to envision how to set-up an eportfolio for students from within Moodle, I kept running into problems until I stopped thinking about how to set this up for Moodle "students" and started thinking about setting it up for Moodle "teachers".
What we will be doing this Fall is creating a Moodle course for each of our students to use to create their eportfolio. We will make each student a "teacher" in his/her own course and will not enroll students...access to the eportfolios will be via guest access and each eportfolio owner can require an enrollment key or not to view their eportfolio. We are in the process of customizing the language files...renaming "course" to "eportfolio", "Teacher" to "Portfolio Owner", "Student" to "Portfolio Visitor" etc.
We have also removed a lot of the options in each course that would not be of use for our eportfolios...you can see a couple of screen shots below of what we have removed from Course Administration, Course Settings and Activities...we also removed a lot of Blocks, and Modules. Actually, we haven't physically "removed" any of these items...we just hid the blocks and modules and commented out the code to remove the other items. This will allow us to add anything back in the future if we decide we do want to make additional items available to students. We're also keeping a log of all code changes and database changes so that we can easily find everything we changed and apply them to any upgrades.
This will be an interesting experiment for us and I'm sure we will change things as we learn what works and doesn't work. But, I think this will work well for our needs. The web address is http://www.ekuprofessor.com/eportfolio/
Check back in a couple of months and see how we are doing.
I was just about to make a post about have a new course format when I saw your response, Steve.
If you code available as a separate course format or is a hard-coded into the moodle install?
We have a separate Moodle install that we will use only for the eportfolios, so we just made the changes to the Moodle files. As for course formats, I've actually removed the weekly and social formats so that all eportfolios will use the topics format...we have no need for the others. We have created a simple eportfolio template (sample course) that we will set-up for each student to start with and then they can change it to their liking as long as they include the required content.
I'll be hiring two graduate assistants this Fall to develop student documentation and to create some alternate course themes for students to choose from...at that point, we may decide to work on a custom course format.
The issue I'm currently working on is to find a way for faculty to assess the eportfolios online. We are currently doing this on paper, so there is no big rush to figure that one out...we'll just keep doing hard copy assessments until I can set-up an easy online evaluation and feedback system. The future Moodle database module may be the answer to that problem.
Having a "browser-based" eportfolio system will be a huge jump forward for our students. Our current system has served us well, but students must be on campus with a network connection to work on their eportfolios....this will free them of that requirement.
I hope you're still looking at this discussion, and that it's the right place for this question
I've just started with Moodle in a Secondary (11-18) school and as we have a need for an e-portfolio platform, I thought we might be able use Moodle much in the way you are doing.
Have you found a way to give students a template course from which to start developing their portfolios?
Yes, I "think" I have
I've developed a system using Moodle that we have decided to adopt this term with our entering graduate education leadership students...will be about 60 students. We are in the process of getting everything set-up to move our complete website to the "Moodle e-Portfolio Portal" (Impressive title huh? ).
By the end of March, we'll have the first 60 or so eportfolios initiated on the system...if everything works out well, we hope to have something that we will be proud to show off by summer....we're still getting all the bits and pieces together now.
You can see the work in progress at the link below....I'll be moving this to its own domain by the end of the month....more to come later....
Steve, this is very useful, thanks for sharing it.
Wow, Steve. The template is great. We have admin's right now looking at companies like task stream to allow teachers to create portfolios as a piece of their professional development plans... I have been thinking that there has to be a way to facilitate this in Moodle... I just did a search to see what people had posted on portfolio's... I would love to see this become a module. You have given me food for thought, I am going to start playing around.
Great...let me know if I can be of any help. We are going full-steam ahead with this in our college...by the end of this term (Dec), I'm sure I will have learned a lot of lessons from "trail and error".
You have done a wonderful job of customizing moodle to your particular situation.
I like the fact that one doesn't see courses but instead things you want to show on the main home page, but through login. You say:
"We have also removed a lot of the options in each course that would not be of use for our eportfolios...you can see a couple of screen shots below of what we have removed from Course Administration, Course Settings and Activities...we also removed a lot of Blocks, and Modules. Actually, we haven't physically "removed" any of these items...we just hid the blocks and modules and commented out the code to remove the other items. This will allow us to add anything back in the future if we decide we do want to make additional items available to students. We're also keeping a log of all code changes and database changes so that we can easily find everything we changed and apply them to any upgrades."
There is a hide button indeed for blocks and activities. Which files did you open to uncomment these. I am generally interested in being able to put in my own logo, change the title of the main blocks and activities around. Which file(s) are these in. I am not a programmer. But since I am still experimenting/evaluating Moodle flexibility (no data to lose), I am ready to play around.
I have learned from the website that the Concord masterfile content and e-portfolio system for blackboard/WebCT have integrated content management with electronic portfolio system (http://www.concord-usa.com/cs4bb.htm). I would like to know if such an integration exists or is possible with moodle and OSPI
ospi is java-based software. i could imagine that, in time, a good integration with moodle would be possible, using export/import and web services.
I'm a developer who has some funding to work on an e-portfolios solution, and it looks like I've had many of the same ideas you all have had, except that I'd like to automate and integrate lots of it. (For example, if you install and enable the portfolios module, you should be able to create a portfolio course for each student by clicking your mouse a couple of times.)
I'm also a graduate student, though, so my time comes in waves, and right now I'm between waves. If anybody else has already done some work to create a portfolios module for Moodle, please contact me so we can work together!