Hi, I have just been appointed the postgrad development personal advisor at my uni. We are looking to bring in an e-portfolio for the PhD students to use for the purporse of defining learning needs, recording learning and reflecting on this learning. At the moment we don't have a formal system in place. I have started searching through the options but I really would appreciate some feedback from PhD students that use these e-portfolios. I have to be honest and say that I never used anything like that through my phd studies (which are not finished yet, cursed write up phase!) so any feedback from any body who has/does would be really useful.
Things like:
1. which e-portfolio system does your uni use? e.g. pebblepad, skills forge, etc
2. Do you find it useful?
3. If yes, why?
4. If no, why?
Thanks ever so in advance!:-)


======= Date Modified 13 Feb 2011 13:21:46 =======
Hi, I trust that this does not come under the heading of 'advertising or spamming' - however I would like to respond to your request.

I am the authorised re-seller of eFolio in the UK (see my blog at http://www.efoliointheuk.blogspot.com)

I am convinced that the ePortfolio system that you require should be free-standing of any institutional system (see http://issuu.com/efoliouk/docs/ten_prime_directives)  Although the 'Ten Prime Directives' document is written for mainstream education, the eFolio tool is highly appropriate for PhD students. I give a couple of examples here: http://paulgorski.efoliomn.com/  and  http://vanceholmes.efoliomn.com/metro_state/Home

I do not see the ePortfolio as belonging to the institution and laden with their assessment tools, but rather a personal 'learner-owned' document that is therefore truly portable and self-representational as the examples above indicate.

Although eFolio is not a 'free' product, (as we provide extensive educational support) the costs are significantly lower than other products (less than half) and eFolio is particularly designed for Lifelong or steadily maturing use.  I would be more than happy to supply free evaluation for up to one year, if a group of your students were interested.

Kind Regards,
Ray Tolley


======= Date Modified 13 Feb 2011 13:47:16 =======
Hi Blueberry,

I don't know much about e-portfolios, though I believe it has been mentioned by my uni at some point (though I haven't heard anything since!). I was wondering how these would be any different to giving students a general overview of how they might use the web, having their own websites, blogs etc, plus the technical background about how to do this, which is what we had? I wondered whether it was basically the same thing, but without the label (e-portfolio) and not tied to a particular product.


Ray - PM sent.


Hi Ruby, the key feature that we require as I understand it is that the tool should enable reflective analysis of skills by each student. Is that the kind of thing that the training that your uni provided offered is a less informal setting? The idea is that each student can quantify (with help as needed) their current skill level, where there are deficits, identify ways to remedy this (ditto ways to simply 'develop' as a postgrad) and some way of recording and reflecting on what they have learnt along the way, etc. There are loads of packages available now from what I can tell. Something called Pebblepad seems popular, there is also something called Skills Forge and loads of other versions of these things. All, as far as I can (but I am very new to this so finding me feet TBH), are basically a formal e-based way of achieving the above. I never did anything like this. I simply kept an excel spreadsheet with the relevant info on but unis seem to be driving more towards this format post the 2010 Smith report.