Thursday, January 18, 2007

Epsilen ePortfolio tool

I created the 23rd version of my ePortfolio using the Epsilen ePortfolio tool, created at IUPUI CyberLab. The tools is free for anyone with an EDU email address. Since I copied the pages from another HTML version of my portfolio, all URLs came over as weblinks. The tool allowed me to reconstruct my portfolio in about than an hour, copying and pasting the information.

The software includes a blog and has elements of social networking built in. The ability to control who views each page can be controlled through customized access keys. Documents can be saved in files and folders, but the storage is limited to 75 MB. There is also no data management tool, to aggregate assessment data. Therefore, this tool would work for formative assessment (providing teacher and peer feedback on student work through the blog, QuickNotes, and an internal email system).

The user interface needs a little work. I had to figure out that to add additional pages to my portfolio (not the ones in their template) I had to select the Options Menu. The portfolio itself has a few other selections on the page that I did not put there (Access key, Login). However, it automatically generated the navigation bar on the left side of the window. Once I figured out how the basic software worked, it went pretty smoothly. If I wanted, I could change colors, but did not find any other design templates available.

One option that could be added is a Personal CMS toolset that features a complete Course Management System (CMS), offering tools such as Lessons, Chat, Drop Boxes, Grade Book, Course Mail, and Forums for discussion.

On the whole, the system let me work around its template structure, and create my own portfolio. It also offers a lot of additional features that I did not try.

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