LaGuardia Community College
LaGuardia Priorities for OSP 2.5
(Roslyn Orgel, Tony Camilli)
The ePortfolio Initiative at LaGuardia is an integral part of students' experience. In existence since 2001, over 7500 students are working on some aspect of ePortfolio construction; some are simply depositing work into Resources; others are building complete ePortfolios. Our website provides several examples of student ePortfolios: http://www.lagcc.cuny.edu/eportfolio, and provides a history of the project at LaGuardia.
We've been using Concord/Blackboard as the platform for the last five years. Less than happy with it, we're now actively pursuing a transition to OSP. As newcomers to the community, we thought it would be useful to provide a little bit of background on our current approach, and the rationale for our interest in OSP's free-form portfolio.
We now have three levels of ePortfolios: Basic, Intermediate and Advanced. The Basic level ePortfolio has a templated structure. Our entry level students start with Basic, but quickly exhaust its capability for full creative and artistic expression, and tire of the similarity in look and feel. Our Intermediate and Advanced level portfolios are more difficult for students to create, but result in greater student engagement, and once they overcome some initial confusion, they catch on fairly quickly.
Students constructing Intermediate level portfolios use Netscape Composer and a zipping and uploading process that is fairly cumbersome, but does result in more open-ended ePortfolios that are far more interesting to students, faculty and external audiences. The Advanced level ePortfolio is created mostly by students in our Computer Science courses, and by our ePortfolio Scholars, a select group of students who receive extra instruction in Dreamweaver, Fireworks, etc. Samples of all three levels are available at our ePortfolio gallery: http://www.lagcc.cuny.edu/eportfolio .
We have experimented with using the OSP free-form portfolio, and believe it will be relatively easy for our students to use. It will also allow us to continue to have the kinds of creative and open-ended portfolios that have become the norm, and are, in fact a priority at LaGuardia. We have some questions and concerns about the current design, and would like to ensure that these issues are addressed in 2.5.
Freeform Portfolio Tool
When creating a freeform portfolio with one or pages, if the advanced navigation check box is checked, each page will output 2 links – "previous" and "next". A more intuitive option might be to output a link for each page in the portfolio.
Single Rich-text Layout
OSP OOTB should include a "single richtext" layout page with one, 800 x 600, WYSIWG editor as a defined layout. The demo layouts included are not the most intuitive and may be a barrier to the exploration of the freeform tool.
It would be nice if Layouts were applied to a Portfolio, not a Portfolio Page, similar to the way Styles are handled. Using the FreeForm tool, this would be useful for a student wishing to apply a consistent layout to every page and would reduce a few clicks.
User should be able to import a .zip file and all the HTML and images will be created as Content Resources / Content Collections in "My Workspace" resources.
Student Centric vs. Site Centric Portfolios
Students should be able to create a portfolio in "My Workspace" rather than courses or CIGS. "Lifelong" student portfolios need the ability to persist beyond the existence of a course or CIG. This implies the ability of a portfolio as an entity to "span contexts".
Alternatively, student should be able to publish to any group/user that is in the larger set of groups/users, of which the student is a member. At a high level, this is along the lines of a "publish global" functionality that exists for forms.