Presenting Pegasus at ELI

Earlier this month, four of us attended ELI 2012 in Austin, Texas.  During our session entitled Social Media ePortfolios, we unveiled Pegasus, a tool we are currently developing here at CNDLS.

Matthias framed our presentation by pointing out the power that learning spaces have in shaping the sorts of interactions that happen inside them.  While his illustration was architectural, the parallels with online learning spaces became evident as he talked about the importance of reflection in both public and private.

I then moved on to relate Matthias’ thoughts on learning spaces to CNDLS’ mission and history by explaining our commitment to designing new environments for teaching and learning.  This, complemented by the university’s emphasis on “contemplation in action,” has led to our interest in learning portfolios, and we have implemented several ePortfolio tools over time.  I charted our previous involvement in ePortfolios and described the types of user interactions we would like to see that the tools we have tried simply haven’t supported.

Justin then described our process of brainstorming a “wishlist” of features and capabilities that we think ePortfolios should have.  Circling back to Matthias’ earlier discussion of the importance of public and private reflection, Justin showed how we’d like to see nodes of both types of reflection at all stages of the ePortfolio-building process.  He also described the four steps– collecting, selecting, presenting, and assessing– that we thought the ideal ePortfolio tool should have.  He explained how we then moved on from brainstorming into development, building a new ePortfolio tool, Pegasus.

Marie offered a live demo of Pegasus, emphasizing the array of creative features for enriching learning that we’ve envisioned for the tool.  These include reimagining comments as iterative and reusable, designing varied spaces for reflection on artifacts and connections between artifacts, and extremely granular levels of permission for sharing.  All of these, we believe, are useful and academically sound as well as compelling and novel.

The presentation was well-received, and we fielded a number of questions about future use cases, our development process, and the sustainability of users’ accounts.  We look forward to sharing more as we continue to develop Pegasus.