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Tuesday, 5 May 2009

eFolio v 2 has arrived!

Well, we've been waiting quietly but excitedly for the arrival of our new baby! Well, not new as such and not so much of a 'baby' - it's really very big once you get to know it! The 'new' eFolio might on the surface look very much like it did before BUT the whole of the 'back office' working has been revamped to meet the needs of the new web 2.0 generation.

Everything you thought you knew about eFolio is about to change… and it is not only because the look and feel of the interface are different.

Electronic portfolio users have often focused on the eFolio tools and resulting portfolio sites. This has, in the past, created a gap in development and process. Unfortunately that gap has directly impacted the value portfolios can play in the assessment of learning. We often refer to the gap as “portfolio thinking”…representing elements of design and planning needed by both educators and learners. I look forward to what users will experience in filling that gap as they discover what the new version of eFolio tools are positioned to contribute to learning communities, social learning, and teaching strategies.

Start now by thinking about content as discrete objects that can be used in many ways within a single portfolio. The simplest example may be found in the data fields identifying self, a peer or professional contact. Change your thinking that those “contact-related” fields create items about a person that contribute only to a “Contact Me” or “References” page.

A contact may now be identified as someone who contributed to your work on a project or was a mentor in an activity. A contact might be identified as an employer associated with a past job or a professor who evaluated your class work. As such, the contact can be linked to an artifact, event, or affiliation. Resulting content combinations will, in turn, be available as items posted on the pages of your portfolio site.

The difference is that each content object (such as a contact) also remains uniquely available for re-use in a different context on a different page or within the pages of an alternative site. The possibilities are endless when expanded to address the advantage of owning multiple personal portfolio sites as part of one account (e.g., Personal, Career, Coursework, Work Experience) or the existence of shared sites available to members of defined groups and learning cohorts.

Perhaps this is what excites me most, that objects can be re-used for different audiences and for different purposes - and all at the same time!

Join us over the next several weeks as we begin to discover how eFolio’s expanded toolset will promote your experience with the power of portfolio thinking in a content/object-oriented interface.

Thanks to Lynne Groves at Minnesota for much of this text.

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