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CIO  September 2013

CIO September 2013


Re: e-portfolio


Matthew Belskie <[log in to unmask]>


The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv <[log in to unmask]>


Mon, 16 Sep 2013 10:57:28 -0500





text/plain (337 lines)

Hi everyone,

I originally replied only to Bill with this, but seeing some of the follow-up replies to his original post I wanted to reply to the full list (sorry that you'll be getting this twice, Bill!) because I think that my perspective on this is unique among this crowd.

Hi Bill,

I think that the Larry Conrad, who was CIO at UNC for a time while I worked in ITS there, came from ASU.

In any case, a move last year to the midwest precipitated by my wife accepting a professorship at Marquette landed me at the UWM School of Education, and with that came my introduction to the e-portfolio.

At UWM we use the D2L learning management system, which includes with it an e-portfolio component; and as a campus we are the single largest user of the D2L e-portfolio in the state.  The choice to use D2L makes sense for us because the LMS is provisioned through Madison - it means that a lot of the support comes we provide for it is only end-point support through school specific units, such as myself, and that we are not directly responsible for applying upgrades or server management.  At the same time that reduces our ability to customize the system, but if you have experience with highly customized ERP solutions or any other type of system you know that can be a double-edged sword.

Having come from UNC, both as an employee and as a graduate student in the School of Information of Library Science, my LMS experience extends beyond D2L to also include Blackboard and Sakai.  A lot of the functionality provided by an e-portfolio system is available in a number of learning management systems, in addition to products that aren't branded and sold as e-portfolio systems.  Writ large, the e-portfolio experience is very similar to any other portfolio experience - the collection and presentation of artifacts in evidence of a specific skill-set - but with the capability to bring in rich media forms.  From a base functional standpoint this can be accomplished with any type of content management system like drupal, blogging software like Wordpress (a personal example that I created when applying for my current position at, or a versatile web service like Google docs (one of the SOIS instructors at UWM permits her students to use this or any other online system, so long as they accomplish the goal of showcasing their work).

Probably the most valuable thing that a dedicated e-portfolio system will give you is identity management (a system that you can put behind a campus authentication service to manage enrollment), security (the ability to restrict access to what can be FERPA protected information and comply with school, DPI, and federal regulations), and ease of assessment (the e-portfolio system might include tie-ins to the LMS gradebook, to rubrics, or to other digital systems designed to facilitate the flow of dialogue between student and teacher).

So brass tacks?  You'll get as many opinions on this as people who reply.  I can tell you the things I don't like about the D2L e-portfolio, but for now I'd rather stick to the things I like.

- For us, because of the D2L arrangement, it first off means that our students and our campus pays nothing additional for students to use it.  UWM transitioned from LiveText to D2L in the year before I arrived (and I arrived in Fall 2012) in large part because they wanted to save the students the LiveText licensing fee which runs $150.  Given that just about any system can functionally do what an e-portfolio is designed to do I see no reason to spend money where you don't have to, unless there is a feature that you absolutely cannot live without that is only available in a for-purchase e-portfolio solution.

- My support experience with the e-portfolio developers has been excellent.  One of the challenges WI is dealing with is how to implement the new edTPA assessment - and it is the reason my position was created.  The D2L e-portfolio was not one of the Pearson/Stanford official systems for integrated edTPA support when I started.  In the last year I made the D2L developers aware of this new nation-wide assessment, and through subsequent emails and conference calls with them we have gotten the D2L e-portfolio on track to be an approved system.  Those experiences have all been positive, and it showed a willingness on their part to be critical of their system and design it to meet the needs of consumers.

- The support network is good.  There is an active D2L community through their forums, and one dedicated to talking about and working through e-portfolio issues.  I only discovered them when they picked up some instructional videos I made regarding how to use the D2L e-portfolio system, but having that type of community is a terrific boon.

For what it's worth, I think the e-portfolio requirement is an eminently essential one for would-be teachers.  As an educational technologist (on my own path to CIO) I try to emphasize that we need to see beyond the requirement as purely assessment, but rather as a modeling activity for the types of assignments that teachers should use with their own grade-level students to better prepare them to work with teachnology (I think I'm going to let that typo stand, "teachnology", I like it!).

I hope this helps you out, and if you have any follow-up questions please feel free to contact me.

Take care,

Matthew Belskie, MSIS
Educational Technology Coordinator
School of Education
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bradley C Wheeler" <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Monday, September 16, 2013 10:43:59 AM
Subject: Re: [CIO] e-portfolio

I can speak for Indiana University on this matter. 

IU, like many of the early Sakai founders and adopters, continues to make very productive use of Sakai as our LMS. We upgraded from 2.7 to 2.9 in May, and use remains extremely strong across IU campuses. As we have stated to the IU community, IU will be using Sakai for at minimum several years to come. 

As Scott notes, IT and the world continue to evolve, and last summer, IU kicked off a very broad assessment of the landscape with a number of small-scale pilot trials ( ). That evaluative work continues through this academic year as well. 

As we all know, this is a period of many developments for both the models of instruction and the technologies that aid learning. 

Cheers --Brad 


IU Vice President for IT & CIO, Dean, and Professor 

Indiana University, 

-----Original Message----- 
From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Scott Siddall 
Sent: Monday, September 16, 2013 10:57 AM 
To: [log in to unmask] 
Subject: Re: [CIO] e-portfolio 


I'd like to know more about the source of information about Sakai since your comments don't match up at all with what we see in the Sakai 

Community. We can report that Sakai is doing quite well. 

The founding schools for Sakai - Stanford, Michigan, Indiana - are still 

using Sakai CLE as their primary, internal platform. Several major 

institutions have recently jumped onto the Sakai bandwagon (Duke, Columbia, NYU, Loyola of Chicago) so there's a new generation of core Sakai institutions. 

The founding schools are indeed looking at alternatives, and so should we all, all the time, because innovation drives all products to be better, 

even those developed by higher ed itself. I'm aware of many hundreds of 

hours of development work on new features in Sakai just in the last few months as higher ed institutions drive the evolution of Sakai to meet their needs for learning analytics, mobile delivery, sequenced content, portfolios, course evaluations. Sakai CLE is open source backed by a 

completely open community of stakeholders. You can own and control it on 

your own terms, so I'm convinced that it's far less risky than many options. 

I'm sure there are some corporate users of Sakai CLE, but there are several hundred higher ed institutions with several million students worldwide using it. 


PS I know some on this list don't wish to hear from vendors, and I am a 

vendor who's extremely passionate about Sakai, but back in the day, I moderated this list for three years as a member of the CIO community. I know the rules and hope you feel that vendors can add value to your 

discussions from time to time. Thanks.... 

-----Original Message----- 

From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv [ mailto:[log in to unmask] ] On Behalf Of Rob Gibson 

Sent: Sunday, September 15, 2013 11:15 AM 

To: [log in to unmask] 

Subject: Re: [CIO] e-portfolio 

I personally use Taskstream for a graduate program - combined with a rather sophisticated portal product for digital content, eTextbooks, and multimedia. The ePortfolio (Taskstream) component is useful and powerful for certain aspects of a course, but in my opinion it cannot yet serve as a successor for the core elearning application. It's useful for rubrics, outcomes, assignment submissions, plagiarism detection - using Turnitin, grading/competencies, and other fundamental assessment activities. There was a significant adaptation/rewrite of Taskstream for this particular university. It's not out-of-the-box. However, it's missing many critical teaching and learning features/components faculty have come to expect in contemporary products. Too many to enumerate. Online communities in my program fall to social media applications - external to the products themselves. 

It's a nice adjunct to an LMS or other enterprise product, but I don't believe it's a replacement. At least not yet. Reminds me of when New York Times Epsilen made a big splash a few years ago - "the LMS killer." Didn't happen. I would go so far as to say that the notion of a separate ePortfolio utility will soon become an anachronism. The core elearning products are becoming so sophisticated that data aggregation, outcomes, reporting, at-risk identification, artifact collection/reflection, external publishing, content repositories, data warehousing, etc. are now fundamental and required features. 

As an aside, Ed's note reminded me that Sakai is a risky investment these days. I discovered last week that even Indiana University - one of the original universities in the development partnership - is moving away from the product. Sakai is now purportedly carving out a niche in corporate - competing with systems such as Saba. 



From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of Carnwath, Thomas [[log in to unmask]] 

Sent: Sunday, September 15, 2013 9:00 AM 

To: [log in to unmask] 

Subject: Re: [CIO] e-portfolio 

While we first looked at Digication for our ePortfolio system, we discovered that it might serve as a replacement for our entire Learning Management system. When we started to assess the course management piece and the assessment tools we thought this was ideal for what we were trying to accomplish in one system. So we started the fall with course management and ePortfolio and some trial assessment rubrics within our core curriculum that all students take. I will be in a better position to assess how this goes at the end of our first semester. 


Thomas H Carnwath | Vice President | Technology and Information Services The University of the Arts | 320 South Broad Street | Philadelphia, PA 

19102 | T: 215-717-6440 


Need Assistance? Call Oops (215-717-6677) to get answers. 

OTIS will never ask for your personal information or password in an email. 

Never share this information with anyone. 

This message and any attachment may contain confidential or privileged information and is intended for the intended individual named as addressee. If you are not the intended recipient of this message, please notify the sender immediately by return email and delete this message and all attachments from your system. Any unauthorized disclosure, use, distribution, or reproduction of this message or any attachments is prohibited and may be deemed unlawful. 

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From: Ed Garay < [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask] >> 

Reply-To: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv < [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask] >> 

Date: Sunday, September 15, 2013 8:46 AM 

To: " [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> " 

< [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask] >> 

Subject: Re: [CIO] e-portfolio 

I take it, the small liberal art school is looking for a teaching/student e-Portfolio environment, and not an institutional e-Portfolio system (like the kind you use for institutional assessment and accreditation-related purposes). 

Anyway, one desirable characteristic of a student e-Portfolio platform is a seamless, perhaps, deep integration with the school's LMS. Schools also often have discipline-specific student e-Portfolio requirements, whereas, for example, a College of Architecture & Graphic Design might need different e-Portfolio feature sets than, say, the College of Medicine, Engineering, Business Administration, or a small Liberal Arts program. 

If the school in question runs Desire2Learn as an LMS, they are in luck, because D2L's e-Portfolio add-on component is rather good. Sakai has been integrated with OSPI and Mahara. Blackboard's own e-Portfolio offering is still rather limited, but I think Mahara has a seamless integration with Blackboard Learn (and Moodle) 

I am familiar with Mahara and think it makes for a very good general-purpose campus-wide student e-Portfolio platform. Epsilen is also a very good option. 

I have also played and like OSPI, TaskStream and LiveText. The UIC College of Edication has been using TaskStream for years. 

Another option, btw, is architecting simple yet pedagogically effective student e-Portfolios using miscellaneous Web 2.0 and cloud-based software. 

I've been impressed with what many of the e-Portfolio solutions some of my Academic Technologies colleagues have built, using, Google Drive, Google Sites, miscellaneous Blogs and Wikis, Learning Objects' Campus Pack, WordPress, Joomla, GoingOn Course Network, and even private Google+ Communities, or a combination thereof. 

Those Educause and ELI resources are indeed very good. For more on Teaching & Learning e-Portfolios, I would also recommend attending the ELI 

(February) and Sloan Consortium (November) annual conferences. There is also an upcoming e-Portfolio specific conference very soon, that I could not go, hence I cannot remember where. Ask Bob. 

Greetings from Chicago. 

--- Ed Garay 


Sent from Nokia Lumia 1020 Windows Phone ________________________________ 

From: William Lewis< mailto:[log in to unmask] > 

Sent: ?9/?13/?2013 7:26 PM 

To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask] > 

Subject: [CIO] e-portfolio 

As an old time CIO at Arizona State University, whenever I had a question as to what is going on as far as technology at schools across the country, I would post to this list and always got great information. So when my daughter, who teaches at a small liberal arts school in the mid-west, called and asked me about e-portfolios I thought of this group. She has been asked by her president to investigate what is out there as far as e-portfolios so they can look into the feasibility if making something available to their students and faculty. 

Any input you can provide will be greatly appreciated. 



William Lewis, Ph.D. 

Emeritus Professor 

Arizona State University 

[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask] > 

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