19 March 2009

Batson's short article on the lack of "there" in ePortfolio

Campus Technology's Trent Batson wrote about ePortfolios earlier this month in the article, Eportfolio: There's No 'There' There.

The article presents basic descriptions of the ePortfolio (a place to put your stuff, a technology for assembling evidence of your learning) alongside the potential for student-centered learning (students owning their own work and tying it to their curriculum). And Batson presents larger issues, too: open education, longitudinal learning.

It's always a pleasure to learn of Batson's thinking (even in a short article) but the real learning of this piece comes from the reader comments. The mix of responses supports one of Batson's points (made in his first paragraph), that "ePortfolios mean differing things to different people."

You won't find brand names in Batson's piece or in his readers' comments. In fact, one of the points made is that a technology need not be called an ePortfolio to be used for that purpose. In my experience, I think the most user-friendly and powerful non-ePortfolio technology is the PDF (best manipulated in Adobe Acrobat). It has a learning curve and it's a creation tool, not an assessment tool. Among the technologies that call themselves ePortfolio, I like TaskStream's LAT or Learning Achievement Tool. It's user-friendly for student-authors and also provides assessment functions for instructors.

(Blogger disclosure: I have consulted for TaskStream but I always like to point out that I was a customer first.)

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

1 comment:

dave said...

I think it's often lost that probably the most important point to a portfolio system is to capture authentic student work. Every complication that stands in the way of that reduces the effectiveness. But I have a bias against complicated systems anyway :-)