e-Portfolios: the big questions

In a previous posting (Aug. 8, 2006: e-portfolios, preliminary thoughts) I summarized the state of eportfolios, provided some links to colleges that are using them, tried to map out a definition, and asked some questions.
Two of the over-arching questions are not technical, though how they are answered might drive the technological decisions about which applications to pursue:
1) who owns the portfolio
2) who is the audience
For example, if the portfolio is to be owned by the student both while at UVM and beyond, it cannot be hosted by a system or within an account that expires after the student leaves UVM.
If the portfolio is to reflect the student’s entire UVM career, it cannot be composed in a system that ties the portfolio to a single course. (Blackboard/Vista’s portfolio program seems to have finally figured out the limitations of a course-based approach. The demo appears to show that each student has a MyPortfolio folder to which they can save material from any of their Blackboard courses. That material can then be presented, as desired, to a number of outside constituencies. Bears further exploration…can one also save materials from courses that have no corresponding Blackboard component?)
If the portfolio is to be used for assessment as well as reporting for accreditation purposes, it should easily integrate with UVM’s current student information systems.
And none of this addresses how to build a “portfolio culture” within UVM…

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