How to Bulid e-portfolios using web2.0 tools (2009)


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Used at a conference:

Future- Proofing PDP and e-Portfolio Developments': University of Reading, Thursday 18 June 2009

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How to Bulid e-portfolios using web2.0 tools (2009)

  1. 1. Building an ePortfolio using web 2.0 technologies Matthew Mobbs an ePortfolio using web 2.0 technologiesThis guide is intended to introduce some of the web 2.0 tools that are available to assist indeveloping an effective ePortfolio. ePortfolios are used as part of the PDP process in highereducation, PDP is a process of collection, reflection and progression of skills and academic ability.ePortfolio - WetpaintThe technology recommended to construct an ePortfolio is a wiki. Afterextensive testing of several wiki environments the one that comes the mosthighly recommended is Wetpaint (, as it is self-explanatory in editing abilities and versatile in terms of content.Creating your ePortfolioThis can be set up in three steps from the front page of the Wetpaint site.Step 1, this asks you to name your wiki, create a URL, state the purpose and select a category. Forthis I would recommend:Name Your Name ePortfolioURL (keep the URL lower case)What is your wiki about An ePortfolio for…Category EducationWho can view your Select your preferred optionwiki?The second part of Step 1 requires a decision on who has permission to edit the wiki. This can rangefrom everybody to invited members. As this is a personal repository, the most secure level isrecommended which is invited members. This is only for editing permissions, viewing rights areavailable to all.Step 2, ‘the fun bit’, allows you to select astyle for the ePortfolio, there is a widerange to choose from. However, this canalways be changed at a later time if you areunhappy with your original decision.Step 3, the final step, requires you to createa user account, if you don’t already have aWetpaint account. It requires you to createa username, password and enter a contact email.Once you have completed these steps you will be taken to your ePortfolio.Designing an ePortfolioBefore extending the Wetpaint ePortfolio beyond the start-up stage it is important to consider thecontent and how it will be structured. Here is an example structure for a student ePortfolio: 1
  2. 2. Building an ePortfolio using web 2.0 technologies Matthew Mobbs Home Career Student Computer Modules Reflection Fun Stuff Planning Experience StuffStructure ExplainedHome The main introduction and navigation page The student can describe themselves at this point and hyperlink to relevant pagesModules This section can be made up of several individual pages, one for each module. This is where the student can record marks and tutor feedback. Furthermore they can personally reflect on the module.Reflection This area is used for more general reflection on their achievements, targeting progress for the future.Career Planning This area can be used to plan their career path, highlighting activities undertaken to assist along the way. This area can also be used to maintain a CVStudent Experience An area used to reflect upon extracurricular activitiesComputer Stuff This area can be used to ‘weave their web’. Bringing together online accounts via RSS feeds.Fun Stuff Hobbies and other experiences Adding Pages in WetpaintTo start extending the Wetpaint ePortfolio pages can be added and edited. To add a page select the‘Add Page’ link, located in the navigation box on the left-hand side of the page. Add Page: Select the link in the navigation 2
  3. 3. Building an ePortfolio using web 2.0 technologies Matthew Mobbs the ‘Add Page’ link is selected a dialogue box (as seen here)will appear. It requires a ‘Page name’ and it can be labelled with‘Keyword tags’. The tags enable related content to be linkedtogether. Finally, a template can be chosen, for a standard textpage use the ‘Blank page’ option.Adding Pages Tip: Wetpaint wikis can be sub-categorised intosections. When adding a top level page into the wiki, as shown in the structure outlined in theprevious section, this has to be done from the ‘home page’. Adding a sub-category page, has to bedone from the top-level pages created, e.g. in the Modules section, a page can be created for eachModule, this is done from the Modules page, select ‘Add a Page’, and the appropriate page namecan be entered, usually the Module title.Editing Pages in WetpaintTo edit a new or existing page within a Wetpaint wiki, whilst on the page thatneeds editing, select the icon seen here. This will only appear to registeredusers of the wiki. To edit aOnce selected Wetpaint will go into editing mode, this presents the ‘EasyEdit page selectToolbar’ seen below. This enables the page text to be entered and formatted. this iconThe ‘EasyEdit’ uses ‘What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG)’, meaning theediting and formatting that is produced in the editor, will be exactly how it appears in the liveversion.The formatting allows the font to be changed manually or selected from set styles. The ‘EasyEdit’also allows tables and images to be added, although images have to be uploaded into the wikibefore they can be placed into pages.The ‘EasyEdit’ mode can be used to insert hyperlinks into the pages. These can be links to externalwebsites or to other pages within the wiki. Once the wiki has grown to a substantive size, it isrecommended the ‘Suggest Link’ feature is used. This will match the words in the text to pages ofthe same name within the wiki, creating links to the pages. 3
  4. 4. Building an ePortfolio using web 2.0 technologies Matthew Mobbs Wetpaint PagesThe tagging abilities within Wetpaint enable related pages to be linked together. Tags can be addedwhen a page is added to the wiki or anytime when viewing a page. To add a tag when viewing apage the ‘Edit tags’ link is used, this is found in the shaded grey box at the bottom of the page, asshown here.When selected, the Edit Tags box will appear. Tags are added oneat a time however, a page can have as many tags attached to it asrequired.Once the tags have been added and saved, any pages that aretagged with the same keyword will be listed in the ‘relatedcontent’ list at the bottom of the page. The example seen here isthe modules section of a student’s ePortfolio. In the ePortfolioeach module has its own page, each tagged with the keyword ‘Marks’, therefore they all appear inthe Related Content section.Inserting Widgets into Wetpaint pagesThe ‘widgets’ in Wetpaint enables the embedding of webcontent external to Wetpaint into the pages of yourePortfolio. For example, the bookmarks from orpostings from a Twitter account outlined in the WebServices and Account Guide.To do this, view the page that the widget will beembedded into and select the ‘EasyEdit’ button. In edit 4
  5. 5. Building an ePortfolio using web 2.0 technologies Matthew Mobbs place the cursor at the position where you wish the widget to appear. From the ‘EasyEditToolbar’ select the ‘Widgets’ button, this will open the ‘Add Widget’ Menu, there are a selection ofstandard widgets. To embed your own content from a web service select RSS, the RSS URL of theweb service you wish to display then needs to be copied and pasted into the prompt box.Then select ‘Add to page’, this will return you to the edit screen. If you do not wish to make anyfurther changes, select ‘Save’. Back in the live view, the widget will then say ‘Loading RSS Feed…’and shortly after display your content. Here is an example of a and Twitter feed in aWetpaint Page.Assessing Wetpaint ePortfoliosIn an educational context it may be necessary for tutors to assess the ePortfolios of their students.To do this it is recommended tutors subscribe to the RSS feed from the Wetpaint wiki. This willinform the tutor of any changes made to any page within the ePortfolio.This process make assessment more efficient, as the tutor will be informed of any changes, opposedto having to regularly visit the site and identify changes.Contact MeHope you found this guide helpful.There are many other features Wetpaint that can be used in an ePortfoilio, if you have any questionsplease visit our project site or contact me at 5