Edutools ePortfolio Comparison / Changes to the Edutools Review Process

I wasn’t really a part of this project, but my colleagues at Edutools have put the comparison of 6 eportfolio tools into our comparative analysis tool so you can now do some easy side-by-side comparative analysis of them.

Now’s probably as good a time as any to mention a change to the overall review process on the Edutools site, specifically with the better known Course Management System comparison site.

The big issue with running this site has always been how quickly the reviews go out of date and the effort involved with maintaining them (on the old site, we had active reviews for 25+ CMS). That’s why we’ve changed our review model. Instead of only one person doing all the reviews, anyone is free to post a review of a new product or a revision to one of these. We’ve also built some feedback mechanisms and associated discussion forums with each of the reviews in the hopes that the community will police itself – the reviews are partially constrianed by a set of checkbox features, but there are free text areas as well (these are clearly demarcated on the site) to allow for additional comments outside of the standard feature comparison.

So I am no longer actively writing these reviews, they are being upkept by various people, including the vendors themselves, and we encourage you, if you find the site useful and have issues with a review, to read the Editorial FAQ and follow the dispute process if there are issues in what you are reading. – SWL

University of Washington’s Catalyst team releases Solstice Perl Framework

Oren Sreeby wrote me today to let me know about the recent open sourcing of Solstice, a Web application development framework for Perl which the University of Washington has developed to power their suite of Catalyst tools. Solstice itself is just the framework used in the development, but the team is also apparently at work to open source the actual web tools themselves. This is exciting news as people who have seen the Catalyst tools will know that they represented an early and quite innovative approach to providing teaching and learning tools (including a much lauded eportfolio tool) that wasn’t simply replicating the same CMS over and over again. Ed Tech Perl developers, are you listening? – SWL

CMS and ePortfolio: At the Crossroads

Well worth the read, this measured and non-reactionary piece by Stephen Acker contemplates the need for institutions to engage and integrate eportfolio systems with their existing course management systems in order to facilitate both sides of the teaching and learning equation. As much as I am at times attracted to ‘loosely-coupled small tools’ visions of some of my fellow edtech bloggers, this strikes me as closer to what will actually emerge in most institutions over the next few years. – SWL

University of Denver Portfolio Community

While I expect it is not news to folks thoroughly immersed in ‘eportfolio’ projects, I found this site from the University of Denver to be very helpful in illustrating some of what one can accomplish through these systems. As a member of the public one can get a free account which opens up some searches not otherwise available (like the Rubric and Element libraries) but, as one would expect, the portfolios of students and staff are browse-able by anyone. – SWL

AAHE Portfolio Program Search

A searchable database of 51 institutions using electronic portfolios courtesy of the American Association of Higher Education (note this is the same resource that used to be hosted by Kalamazaoo College at Found it via the Kalamazoo site, which also contains this useful biliography relating to e-portfolios, as well as their own portfolio site. – SWL