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Evolving List of ePortfolio-related Tools

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on January 18, 2009 at 12:24:09 am

ePortfolio-related Tools and Technologies

(listed in alphabetical order)


Disclaimer: Please note that the purpose of this list is to provide a comprehensive overview of available ePortfolio-related tools (the definition of what is an ePortfolio is broadly defined).  EPAC does not advocate nor support any specific ePortfolio tool, product, or technology.  Inclusion in this list should not be considered an endorsement.  However, we do try to keep our community informed about the range of products currently in use in order to allow our members to exchange personal experiences, best practices, and suggestions for what questions to keep in mind and issues to consider when deciding which ePortfolio technology to adopt and implement.  This initial list was compiled from existing resources and we welcome any and all suggestions from the EPAC community.


Most of the above represent some kind of online tools and services.  Other kinds of tools being used to create ePortfolios include:



Helen Barrett's Categories of ePortfolio Tools:



EIfEL ePortfolio Solutions Center



EduTools ePortfolio Review (also includes criteria for evaluation ePortfolio tools)



Richardson, HC and Ward, R. (2005) Developing and Implementing a Methodology for Reviewing E-portfolio Products: version 1.0 [Online] JISC. Available from: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/uploaded_documents/epfr.doc [accessed 14.11.06]

http://personaldevelopmentplanning.blogspot.com/2006/11/how-good-are-free-e-portfolio-solutions.html [accessed 2009.01.16]


Sweat-Guy, R. & N.A. Buzzetto-More. (2007). A Comparative Analysis of Common E-Portfolio Features and Available Platforms.  In Proceedings of the 2007 Informing Science and Information Technology Conference, Ljubljana, Slovenia, June 22-25, 2007.

http://proceedings.informingscience.org/InSITE2007/IISITv4p327-342Guy255.pdf [accessed 2009.01.16]


2008.12 - Choosing ePortfolio Software

From Steve Ehrmann as cited in the TLT Group's recent TGIF (TLT Group Information Forum) Year 3 Issue #7 email:


I'm in Australia at the ascilite conference. Lots of interesting conversation about ePortfolios, a hot topic here.

I was asked for my thoughts about how to choose a software package. I think it's a mistake for institutions to assume that a) one software approach will serve all ePortfolio uses, or b) that choosing software is the place for institutions to start. But suppose we're talking about just one institutionalized use of ePortfolios. How should one choose the software?


I have one thought to add to the discussion. It begins with a story from 20+ years ago. (That figure is significant, as you'll see.) Around 1985, Prof. Greg Crane and his colleagues from Harvard visited me at the Annenberg/CPB Project, seeking funding for a project to be called "Perseus," a resource for the study of classical Greece from Homer through Alexander the Great. It would include a vast repository of texts, photographs, archaeological documents, and educational material.


Greg, a brand new assistant professor, said something in that first conversation that I've always remembered. "If classics professors see Perseus and don't have faith it will be around for 20 years, they will never use it." We agreed that that would be one of the design principles of the project. Because no one could anticipate changes in operating systems, one corollary of the principle was, "The architecture of Perseus ought to enable one to write a program to translate the whole thing, relatively automatically, into a different form that would run in a different operating environment."


That threshold was a tight constraint. Within two years several staff, including one co-PI, had left because several ambitious features of Perseus wouldn't fit it.


Subsequent research revealed that rewriting educational courseware for a new operating environment was expensive (e.g., writing a Windows version of software that, like Perseus, had been originally written for a Macintosh). the cost of 'porting' to a new environment could easily equal, or exceed, the original development costs. When it came time to port Perseus twice, to the Web and to Windows, the Macintosh version had cost around $3 million. But porting it twice cost only about $50,000.


Here's Perseus, 23 years old, and still rowing upstream.


So let's return to ePortfolios. It can easily take 5-10 years to institutionalize the reorganization of academic work. It's unlikely that the software one adopts today will still be in use by the end of that period, let alone later. So let's adopt a criterion for system selection: the software should allow one to either (a) export the whole content -- artifacts, reflections, assessments, and relationships -- into a standards-based file that could be uploaded into a different system, or (b) to write a software program that would automatically create such a portable file later on.


What do you think? Write me at ehrmann@tltgroup.org.

(For information on how to subscribe to these weekly mailings, please visit http://www.tltgroup.org/TGIF_subscribe.htm)



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