Saturday, March 29, 2008

ePortfolios 201 - Investigation/Preparation

If you know you/your school/your institution wants an ePortfolio system then it's time to figure out what the requirements are -- what you want IN an ePortfolios system. Know your user; know your user's needs. Review ePortflios 101 (previous post) so you know the theories behind what an ePortfolio system can offer. (See the poster.)

In 2002 - 3 we did a survey to collect what the schools of ed wanted in an ePortfolio system, and gave that to vendors so they could respond (an RFI or Request for Information). As I describe in an earlier post, the vendors did not have many of the features, but within a year they had made great strides to accommodate our every wish!

San Francisco State and San Jose State did pre-implementation surveys. San Jose ended up with one product for use campus-wide, and SFSU ended up with multiple products used in multiple disciplines.

In 2005-6 I was involved with the EduTools/WCET review of products. See Seven partners determined the vendors to review and came up with a list of 69 features to be evaluated. We reviewed seven products. The information is from 2005 - 6, however, the data continues to be helpful and is reviewing the features and glossary.

Things to think about:

  1. Know your users - think about who will use these and why.

  2. Survey the users to determine their needs.

  3. Review products carefully.

  4. Keep your tech support staff in the loop.

About Accreditation:
Accreditation agencies have become more outcome driven, requiring examples of student learning as well as an aggregation of assessment data for internal program evaluation. In 2005 Ralph Wolff (WASC President - Western Association of Schools and Colleges) gave a speech claiming “We are moving from assessment to accountability. Shifting the National, State, and System levels as opposed to local” AND “assessment should be a systematic process about setting goals.” Some vendor products are design to help with accreditation, so choose carefully. (See the poster.)