ePortfolio Ideas: The Library

Reposted from Anna’s blog, Bricological

There’s no single ePortfolio tool out there (as far as we can see!) that offers everything our faculty and students need an ePortfolio to offer.  Often an ePortfolio tool will focus on one particular component of ePortfolio-building while neglecting the others.  For example, a tool that excels at making an attractive ePortfolio may not offer any satisfactory, private way for the student building the ePortfolio and his/her faculty evaluators to discuss and assess the ePortfolio.  Nor might a tool that offers a strong assessment feature have the kind of library functionality that a student building an ePortfolio longitudinally would need.  Hence our brainstorming sessions to design our ideal ePortfolio tool.

While we discussed all three states that we consider elemental to ePortfolio building– the library, the presentation, and the feedback– we focused primarily on the first (the library) for this go-around.  Here is my mockup for a library space that doubles as a useful working space for students who want to make their ePortfolio-building a steady habit rather than a last-minute hassle.

We’ve discussed the importance of organizing principles like “collections” for helping ePortfolio builders keep their drafts, final papers, and other files (“evidence” in the ePortfolio lexicon) collected in an orderly way that assists with future retrieval and integration in an ePortfolio view.  Other features of my mockup include multiple ways to sort evidence (based on elective metadata like “status,” which would include finished/draft/outline/etc., or “authorship,” which would help in distinguishing co-authored evidence from single-authored evidence or other imported sources– or even further “form,” which would distinguish evidence/artifact from reflection or other discussion that goes on around a piece of evidence).

A small box with a symbol or letter would appear beside the file’s representation, indicating whether or not an annotation or reflection has been attached to that file.

Finally, the drop-down menu that appears when one clicks on a file would allow the ePortfolio builder to:

  • open to annotate: open a document or other basic file type (undecided on whether just text or not) in the browser to annotate on-screen at the paragraph or document level
  • open to edit: open a document or other basic file type (undecided whether just text or not) in the browser to edit on-screen, bypassing the use of an external application
  • link to reflection: link to another text document marked as a “reflection”
  • link to feedback: connect an artifact and a piece of feedback or correspondence that has been collected that relates to that artifact
  • copy public link: copies to clipboard a public but disguised link that would take an outside user directly to a viewing screen for that artifact alone, a la Dropbox public links