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Requirements
Logging In & Out, User Types, and Profiles
Users must be able to log in (on the first screen) and out (from any screen).
The system must allow for a variety of user types, each of which has specific abilities and limitations. User types include, but may not be limited to: student, faculty, administrator (academic, not system), master teacher.
It should be possible for a single user to belong to more than one user group.
The system must collect and store basic information for each of the user types. At a minimum, the following data should be collected: First name, last name, user name or ID, password, campus or organization, email address, and user type.
Users must be able to access and edit their profiles at any time.
Users must have control over which profile information is public and which is private.
Users should be given an opportunity to complete their profile the first time they log in (but this should not be required).
If a user does not log out, the system should time out after a reasonable length of idle time.
Users must be able to log in and access all system functions over slower connections (i.e. modems).
Associating Users and Courses
Users must be able to associate themselves with courses such that they have access to course information, peer interaction, and interaction with course instructor.
Course information should be restricted to instructor, members of the course, and specific authorized guests only.
Uploading and Organizing Work
The system should support uploading of common file types (text, image, video, audio & multimedia).
Users should be able to browse a library of all uploaded files, to search for specific files, and to select groups of files to present in mini-portfolios.
Users should be able to annotate uploaded files. Such annotations may include a name for the file, a description (or caption) for the file, and reflections about the file.
Users should be able to sort items in a portfolio by any of several criteria, which may include: standards or learning outcomes; date created/updated/commented on/etc.; course; status of work (in-progress, ready for assessment, ready for publication). Other criteria may be desired.
Users should be able to include information with a portfolio, such as goals for the portfolio; standards addressed by the portfolio; a description of portfolio contents, etc.
The system must provide adequate storage space for each user to upload and keep artifacts, reflections, assignments, and criteria for assessment.
Creating Work Online
Users must be able to create some work online (text documents such as reflections).
Users should be able to create work in the context of a mini-portfolio; such work should remain linked with the mini-portfolio, but also be available for inclusion in other portfolios.
Users should be able to browse through work created online as well as search for specific work.
Users should be able to attach comments to portfolios they have been invited to review (peer-to-peer, teacher-to-student, faculty-to-student).
Peer Circles and Support Circles
Users must be able to create customized groups which include other users. Examples include peer circles (groups of students who may be in a class together) and support circles (a student, a faculty supervisor, and a master teacher, for instance).
Users should be able to view a list of other users who are in their peer or support circles.
Users should be able to view a list of other users who may be added to their peer or support circles.
Users should be able to sort lists of other users in meaningful ways (by class, etc.).
Members of a user's support circle must be able to check on user's work, review it, and add comments.
Communication
The system should have an internal, closed messaging function such that users can send messages to each other and to groups.
Users must be able to tell at a glance whether they have new messages.
Users must be able to access messages easily.
Message listings must include information about the sender, the date sent, and the subject of the message.
When a user comments on another user's portfolio, the owner of the portfolio must be notified that a new comment has been entered.
Comments about work products and portfolios must be easily accessible to the portfolio owner.
It must be easy for a user to respond to a message s/he has received.
An authorized user (such as a department chair) can look at comments from students, master teacher and faculty supervisor simultaneously to compare their perspectives.
Notes taken in-system can be saved and/or e-mailed to any or all involved parties.
A chat function is available.
Chat area includes private chat room option.
Chat area discussions can be saved and added to user's library of materials.
Commenting on Other's Work
Authorized users must be able to add comments to another user's mini-portfolio(s). Such comments may be general (in reference to the entire portfolio) or specific to a subset of the work in the portfolio.
When viewing mini-portfolios, it must be clear which work products are included, how they are to be viewed (in-system vs. downloaded), and what software or plug-ins are needed to view them (if any). Any annotations to individual products or to the portfolio as a whole must be easily accessible.
Users must be able to find a list of portfolios they are authorized to view. Such a list should include the name of the owner and the class or group each portfolio is associated with (if any).
Reframing Portfolios for Different Uses
Users must be able to create several "mini-portfolios" using any or all of the materials in their library (uploaded work and work created online).
Users must be able to annotate mini-portfolios. Such annotations may include a name for the portfolio, a description of the contents and purpose, reflective statements about the collection, and goal statements.
Users must be able to preview their mini-portfolios and make changes as needed.
The system should record the date that each mini-portfolio was created, as well as the most recent modification date.
The user should control the point at which a mini-portfolio becomes available to groups s/he has elected to show it to (publishing vs. work-in-progress). Users should still be able to edit published portfolios.
Mini-portfolios should contain links to uploaded work and work created in the system.
Authorized users (such as department chairs) can create and save reports with links to work by users in relevant group(s).
For use in reports, personal information about users may be removed from display (although their work may still be displayed).
Users should be able to archive their work in a variety of formats (CD, DVD, HTML, PDF).
Users should have the option of taking their portfolio with them when they move to another institution and/or maintaining it on their own after graduation.
Course Management
Users (of appropriate user types) should be able to set up courses.
Users who have courses should be able to access a list of those courses and edit the course profiles.
Course profiles should include (at minimum) a course name and description. Other options may be desired.
Course creators must be able to easily associate their courses with the national, state, or school standards that are addressed by the course.
Course creators must be able to find a list of users who are enrolled in the course.
Course creators must be able to find a list of the assignments they have associated with a course.
Assignments
Course creators will be able to create assignments for course users.
Assignments may include instructions and a due date and may also be associated with uploaded files (such as templates).
Course creators will be able to preview their assignments and make changes before posting the assignment to the class.
Users enrolled in courses will be notified when a task has been assigned to them.
Users must be able to download non-system files (such as templates) associated with an assignment.
Users must be able to associate a piece of work, created within the system or uploaded, with an assignment.
Users must be able to associate an assignment with national, state, or school standards addressed by that assignment.
Course creators must be able to access information about which students have completed an assignment and which have not.
Course creators can view any student's completed assignments for that course.
Course creators can view all of the student's assignment responses at once, provided those responses were created in-system.
Responses created in-system may be viewed in-system (no downloads necessary).
Course creators can attach comments to their students' completed assignments.
Course creators can attached uploaded documents to their students' completed assignments.
Help System & Technical Support
A robust, accurate, and useful help system must be accessible from every screen.
When a user logs in for the first time, there should be clear instructions as to how to get started.
Help screens should be formatted such that they may be easily printed out.
The company that created the product provides competent, accessible technical support which either comes with the product or can be purchased.
TPE/TPA Support
Work in a user's portfolio can easily be evaluated against a TPE/TPA template (that is, authorized users may create and/or upload templates listing specific requirements or standards which match those used by the student so that student work may be easily evaluated in the context of those requirements).
Customizing the Product
Unique department requirements can be entered and associated with courses in that department.
Unique university system requirements can be entered and associated with courses in that university system.
Authorized users may configure the system, adding or removing available functions as required.
Comparing Data
Authorized users should be able to compare comments from a variety of support circle members and from the user him/herself for a given work product or portfolio.
Reports
A variety of reports can be generated by authorized users.
Reports can be customized and formatted for printing.
Reports can be saved to disk.
Security
Different groups should have different levels of access to members' portfolios; for example, members of peer circles may have less access than members of the student's support circle.
Wherever appropriate, the student should control the level of access that non-support circle members have to his or her own work.
A user should have control over who may view comments attached to his/her portfolio (at least among his/her peers).
Users should have control over who may view the mini-portfolios they create.
Users should be able to restrict access in specific ways (allowing a certain user or group of users to view, for example, an artifact only; and artifact and reflection; or an artifact, reflection, and feedback).
A user should have control over who may add comments to his/her portfolio.
The company's privacy policy is clearly written and easy for users to find.
Usability
It should always be clear what options are available to users at any given time.
Tasks should be easy to accomplish; instructions should be clear and concise.
All necessary system functions should be ADA-compliant (accessible by persons with disabilities).
The system is accessible to users on different platforms (Mac, PC, UNIX) and via all commonly used web browsers (if web-accessible).
Desired Features
The system should have the ability to tie into existing course management systems (WebCT, Blackboard, etc.). Note: Some of the requirements listed above may be met by the course management system, and not the portfolio system, provided the tie-in is available.
The user should be able to customize the look of his/her portfolio(s) as much as possible to allow for creativity in expression.
The company that created the product provides opportunities for training in the use of the product.
Product-Specific Questions
Do you host your system, or is it installed and hosted by each customer?
If we host it, what technical requirements do we need to meet?
If you host it, how much storage space is allotted to each user?
Are there any file types that may not be uploaded to your system?
Thank you for taking the time to fill out this sheet. Your answers will help us select and recommend a system or product for use by the California State University System.