Case Study of Implementation on an ePortfolio System in a university in Singapore

(2002) When completed, our system allows students to enter mid and final term reflections for every module they do and lecturers can reply to these if they choose to. Students can upload artifacts which they consider to be an outstanding achievements for a course module. Awards, student co-curricular activities, employment history, part time on-campus employment and community service. Input from faculty members is strictly on a voluntary basis. If they choose to, lecturers can comment on a student within the class he/she is teaching or enter achievements for that student. There will be a section which allows students to plan for the courses they want to take, do career research, plan for life long learning, personal goals etc. The prototype will be ready in November this year. Students can use these information and artifacts to put up a resume. Is this an e-portfolio? 

I would see an e-portfolio as more than Assessment Management because when I tend to associate assessment management with formal courses/modules and it seems to imply that faculty members must contribute a fair amount of work to assessing students in the el-portfolio. Our local context does not allow us to put access burden on the faculty members. We do have constraints with regards to this. These constraints are perculiar to our local context which is why we have decided not to join IUPUI but to develope our own integrated system. Many issues can be discussed relating to this point. For example, without faculty verification, how can one assure that student input is authentic, honest and genuine. How do we ensure academic standards? What do we mean by achievement? The list of questions go on. We intend to address these issues as we go along!!!!!!

Since Helen mentioned about MIT's OKI. I've visited their very much publicised website. We discovered that it is like any other course website. We cannot download any applets, shockwave animations or learning objects. Some of my colleagues were rather disappointed but I tend to be optimistic and appreciative because intellectual property or information is available for use without cost. Any one has any comments on this? My reaction was that they should have placed all these materials in a repository of learning objects.      

Finally, we really don't want to be left out in the cold, all alone developing our own e-portfolio in South East Asia while the all of you are in North America and together! So if you have any ideas about what an e-portfolio should be or if you have comments about our design, please share the information, idea or knowledge. We can all learn together. 

(2003) As you know, we've implemented an eportfolio system in our university with 28,000 undergraduates. This is research university in Asia. We did a quiet launch of our eportfolio system in Feb of 2003. We placed a link in the LCMS of the university. We made absolutely no publicity. Our purpose is to test the system and catch technical and design bugs before a full "loud" launch in late July. This is a really wise move. We want to see if students find their way to the eportfolio without pubilicity and training. Well, here is the experience with eportfolios.

  1. Students find their way to the eporfolio. They browse around, clicking on links. Many tried writing in the e-diary, mused at their activities and the amount of information in the system. Students are very open to new ideas of this kind. Many wrote to thank the team. Our students are wonderful.
  2. Many are concerned with privacy issues and have written letters of concern to me.
  3. Not every student is tech savvy. Training is required in the use and rationale of the system.
  4. Local students know what reflections are, they know its benefits but unfortunately, the teacher-student gap is too wide in an Asian society. Students are very uneasy that lecturers get to read reflections. They used the e-diary instead. The e-diary is not opened to lecturers or anyone. Most of the time, teachers and students sit on opposite sides of the fence.
  5. Students here are not familiar with the concept of buidling a portfolio of artifacts.
  6. Lecturers have more reason to welcome the eportfolio system tha students because now, they have an all rounded profile of the student in their class. They are not required to assess students' work. Lecturer's participation is voluntary, this is a large research university.  
  7. Students are particular with "looks". They would write to me just to say the color is dull, the system needs cosmetic makeover.:) They like bright colors which in "our" opinions look "yakie".

I'm new to this eportfolio project. Never in my life have I been so disappointed with the "theory" of database integration and information sharing. I actually have worries about IMS standards of interoperability between eportfolios. Students are already so frighten that we will share their information without permission. Is this system a monster where student profile is so easily shared and nay, transfered?