As this is a longish comment on “The ePortfolio Debate” by Mike Bogle, I post it on my own blog.

Hello Mike,

Thank you for bringing the Twitter conversation onto your blog. That’s how I realized that there was more going on than just the 2 tweets I had seen earlier. 🙂

You are correct when you say that e-portfolio solutions (no matter what they may look like) be available beyond educational institutions to ensure that (former) students continue to use them. In contrast to LMSs, e-portfolios center around the student.

I have not yet met anybody from the efolio provider in Minnesota, but from what I can gather from the web site, Minnesota provides space for all its residents to create an e-portfolio at eFolio Minnesota for free (to a certain data allowance).

For Mahara, there are services around that offer free hosting (again, up to a certain data allowance). I do not know how many there are, as there is not yet a list of them, but I have seen FolioSpaces (hosted in Australia primarily). Ian writes a bit about FolioSpaces outside of their web site here. If anybody knows of others, I’d like to hear from them.

In New Zealand, the MyPortfolio services for schools and tertiary education are hosted Mahara solutions that do not sit on an institution server. Thus it is easy for students to take along their portfolio when they switch schools. On they only have to be put into a different institution. There is not even the need to export and import a portfolio. If they go on to study at university, they export their Mahara portfolio and have it imported into Later on they can export it again and use on another hosted solution or even a different portfolio system (that follows the LEAP2A portfolio standard).

It will be interesting to see how far we can take “lifelong” in the electronic world. Will it actually be feasible to work with one (dedicated) portfolio software for more than 5 or 10 years or will we have to find other solutions and try to archive a certain phase instead of having to upgrade everything to the current software?


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2 thoughts on “Response to the e-portfolio debate

  1. Thanks so much for all these references and for sharing your experiences, Kristina. From what you’ve pointed out I was quite clearly quick to jump the gun on a few of the statements I made – particularly surrounding free hosted versions of Mahara – and am quite happy to be wrong.

    I’m quite interested to see what the experiences of these projects has been so I’ll be sure to have a good look at each of them. Your post here was exactly the sort of discussion I was hoping to see emerge from my initial post – so thanks very much for that!

  2. Hi, Kristina,

    You may have come across my posts to Australian and NZ forums, but just to expand on eFolio. I am licenced to supply eFolio in the UK and Europe and although not free it is still extremely low cost and answers Mike’s concern about technical competencies.

    Firstly, from my research I had decided that amongst other things the ePortfolio had to be simple to manage if 5yr-olds were to manage their own ePortfolios, or for that matter aged granny, or those with disabilities. Unless this criterion was to be met how on earth could anyone claim that their product was Liflong and Lifewide?

    Secondly, as an experienced teacher/Head of Dept etc, I wanted a system that schools could use without causing any extra effort by teachers or technicians. I provide a system negotiated and configured (for free) to the school’s own specifications including as little or as much scaffolding as required.

    Thirdly, the system had to be easily reconfigurable as the learner matures – we all know what young teenagers are like, changing their loyalties to pop-groups or football teams. If the ePortfolio was to be really an expression of ‘ME!’ than it would need to be capable of regular reconfiguration.

    But not only that it should be easily reconfigurable, it should also be capable of presenting different ‘personas’ to different audiences. – The patois of peer-review would not be appropriate for showcasing to a potential employer or college entrance application.

    So, without abusing your blog, and without demeaning the virtues of other products, I would just modestly say that I think that eFolio is far superior to all other ePortfolio systems.

    You can see more of my arguments at:

    Best Wishes,
    Ray T

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