Core Activity 3.1: understanding eportfolio software
Having an eportfolio is a new concept for me, so following advice from others I’ve given foliofor.me a go. It’s been a bit of a frustrating process, but that is possibly partly me, I need things to be very straightforward . . .
f4me (my chosen abbreviation) offers some of the core functionality required of an eportfolio system:
- Ability to import files including video, photos etc
- Write into a journal (blog) for reflection
- Plan your learning and personal development and record your achievements
- Create pages of content, add pictures etc work collaboratively on content development
- Share content and publish collections
- Present content for formal assessment
- Create your CV
- Export content to another location
- Create groups of users
It is based on the Mahara open source software and originated in New Zealand. I’ve found various other eportfolios based on this including FolioSpaces which looks very similar.
However, on my first attempt to populate my portfolio with any content (such as a response to one of my course activities) I struggled – I didn’t find it very intuitive, there was mention of using ‘code’ to do some things (that fills me with fear). I couldn’t find a ‘help’ button or obvious ‘hints and tips’ section. I want to link this blog to it but so for can only find the proprietary blog pages and the help link I eventually found didn’t seem to work and the only link to ‘tutorials’ was to a commercial provider, nothing for free! Of course, there is google and youtube to find help, but I did expect to find it within the site itself – not unreasonable.
This left me feeling a bit knocked back and lacking in confidence. It also saps my energy when things don’t happen, when I think I’ve done all the right things, and my page still doesn’t appear . . .
One good thing was that, when I went back to my course forum and posted a message about my frustrations, I was rewarded overnight with a step-by-step guide from Ian and a screencast from Clem of how to load content to a page! This actually gave Clem a learning opportunity – he’d meant to try doing a screencast before (short ‘video’ sharing his screen, demonstrating step-by-step process, with audio) and it showed me that I shouldn’t suffer in silence!
Ian congratulated me on my success when my page did appear and has also set up a group discussion asking others how they are finding foliofor.me. This has encouraged me to log back in and make a contribution to the group discussion and to continue to explore the functionality.
I hope I’ll be sharing it more widely once there’s something to share!