Theresa Kinnison's ePortfolio mini-FAQ

Theresa Kinniston asked so many questions in her comment on my last post that I decided to pull them out into a mini-FAQ. Strictly a QAOO (questions asked only once).

How do you create a new card and therefore have new tasks?

There may be a terminology issue here. You create a new Task under the “Create New Task” tab. Cards are subsidiary components of Tasks. As a task author, you create cards by adding questions. The student will see a separate Card for each question.

You can also allow students to add blank Cards as they go along. For example, DiDA’s rules require that students starts with an almost blank eportfolio, and decide for themselves how to structure it.

I suppose this is a standard process in Yacapaca?

The Task/Card structure really only pertains to the ePortfolio component. We are working on integrating the ePortfolio more closely into Yacapaca, but the teaching requirements for subjective vs. objective assessment are quite different, and the structure of the software has to follow that.

Can you upload graphics, if so how do they appear?

Task authors (i.e. teachers) can incorporate graphics using standard HTML in the instructions. There is no provision for you to save the graphics on our server, but you can easily use a photo-upload service such as Flickr.

Students can upload any type of file to each Card, if that has been permitted by the Task author. They can then incorporate viewable file types (jpg, gif, png) into the eportfolio using standard HTML.

There is an added wrinkle here. As teacher, you may not want students putting all their energies into beautification until they have the raw content written. So there are two modes – Draft and Layout. Layout tools are only available in Layout mode, and the teacher decides when to switch this on.

What control does the student have over the portfoloio, since this is one of the guiding principles that Becta and DfES are working with, for e-portfolios?

Lots, if the Task Author permits it. Our model for student control was My Space, which is such a riot of teenage-ness that I don’t even dare to link to it here for fear of triggering schools’ hormone filters. On top of unrestricted HTML, students can even get into the CSS and amend that.

That said, it is worth stating that we designed this as a general-purpose subjective assessment tool. By leaving just three tickboxes blank, the author can use it to create simple short-text questionnaires. I have seen a worksheet converted from MS Word to ePortfolio in 10 minutes, and observed the lesson when it was used, too. Very simple, very effective.

Like that facility for peer review.

Peer review is on the development plan, but not implemented yet. So far, we only permit teacher review.

Am enjoying looking at your resources, and like the model of sharing that you have developed.

Thank you! All Chalkface has ever done in its 16-year history is collate and organise the work of teachers, for other teachers. The web offers new ways for us to do this, which I think is a contribution that we are uniquely-placed to make.

Do you have many users from FE or ACL sectors?

Not many, but there are some. There are also primary schools, home schoolers, out-of-school projects, business trainers and some bods whom we haven’t a clue what they are, but they seem to be finding use for it anyway.

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