Although I am a fan of the Mahara E-portfolio, I always like to check out the alternatives.So i had to review this recently migrated tool or Moodle 2.
The 1.9 version of this block has been around since early 2008. The Moodle 1.8 and Moodle 1.9 versions are available still in the old modules and plugins database. The Moodle 2 migrated code was released in October 2011, and has had a few updates since then to fix a few glitches. It is developed and maintained by Andreas Riepl. The current version in the database covers Moodle 2 and Moodle 2.1 with the 2.2 version to be released soon I believe!
What does it do?
This block provides a nice and simple E-Portfolio option for students within Moodle. There are many good standalone applications for E-Portfolios one of which is Mahara, however they are external to Moodle. This block provides a nice set of features within the Moodle environment.
Users can do four key tasks:
- Add files, links and notes to their portfolio, broken into categories if they so wish.
- Build pages (views) to showcase their content
- Share this page with others in the course or external to Moodle
- Export a view with the portfolio data.
These are all handled nicely within the confines of a course block, so if a course does not want students making portfolios for their course then they don’t need to add the block.
Is it simple to install?
It was straight forward to install. I downloaded from the new plugin database and unzipped it there was a folder called exaport. I uploaded this into the moodle/blocks folder of my Moodle site. When logging in as admin to the site I was prompted to upgrade to install the module. It installed and produced no errors. There was one new global setting which was to enable/disable the interaction with block exabis competencies, if installed. As I don’t have that installed, I left the setting alone.
Is there documentation for it?
Although there is no Moodle Docs page for it currently (I hope this will be added for the latest version), there is a 14 page booklet explaining how to install and use the block. This is available on the plugins website in both English and German. You can also get the information and download for the competencies Block too.
The README.txt in the zip provides an overview on the functionality, the history and installation instructions.
Does it do what it promises?
Indeed it does, good job! I like it. Although this block is not as full featured as a website creator, and hasn’t got the diverse set of features that a dedicated E-portfolio like Mahara has, it is straight forward to use and is inside Moodle for extra simplicity and activated on a per course basis.