We had a burst of interest after our October 2002 Electronic Portfolio Dialogue Day, but there has been a long lapse in our efforts, with some fall out from a not so great experience with an external project. But just in about the last 3 days, we have started a new experiment, running a test version of the ePortfolio tool developed at one of our colleges, Chandler-Gilbert Community College.
The faculty and students at Chandler-Gilbert have really taken to wide use of this home grown tool, and it is very much widely accepted for s simple reason– it is easy to use. See their collection of sample eportfolios.. It offers a rather flexible method of creating document/page types including a welcome page, collections pages (collections of documents or web links), slide show pages, a formatted (e.g. HTML) or regular document page (e.g. Word, PowerPoint), a calendar. Users can create any number of page types, re-order them, etc. The samples show some teachers using them for generating assignment, project examples, etc, and students using them as part of their required class activities. I see they are also doing something with group portfolios as well.
What is pretty unique is that they have included a blog tool inside the eportfolio, providing a place for reflective writing and public commenting on portfolio items (still no RSS feed on the blog tools, but the suggestion has been made). I’ve not seen much like that in other eP systems.
The college has greatly enjoyed being able to have their local and brilliant programmer add features as needed.
Okay, the formatting may not be cutting edge web design, but it is not bad, and there are openings to customize quite a bit of options. Users can also export their entire eP as a ZIP file, so it can move to another server or be archived on CD.
Audree set up version of the Chandler-Gilbert system on one our servers (same XServe hosting this MT blog) so we can provide a place for faculty form the other 9 colleges in our system to explore this tool. I think it took her about 2 hours to remotely install this, amazing.
I do not have a whole lot to show yet, but I spent part of day playing around and created about 8 different parts of my own ePortfolio in about 90 minutes. One of the fun parts was using the Templated Document feature to upload my own HTML file- I made a part of my ePortfolio that uses our RSS2JS code to display in a web page contents from the RSS feed from this blog for my conference presentations.
After a bit more testing, we will be opening it up to faculty in our system to start their own experimentation.