[Portfolio] Word documents vs. Forms in Portfolios

Zaldivar, Marc mzaldiva at vt.edu
Thu Jul 7 10:37:44 PDT 2011


We go through this decision with each project, in fact almost with each artifact choice for each project.  In our estimation, OSP forms give the opportunity to translate the contents of an assignment into a web-accessible format.  For instance, if we want to take the contents of a reflection or document and post it to the presentation template so it can be shared via the web, we'd recommend it being a Sakai-based form; or, if the content of the artifacts needs to be accessible to some potential report coming from the data base, it would also need to be in the XML-ready forms.  However, if all that is needed is the archiving of the assignment, or if linking to the artifact is enough for the web-based public template, then uploading a PDF or Word document is quicker and easier for all involved.

If you want some specific examples, here is a portfolio where we've drawn the content of the forms directly onto a web-based presentation: https://scholar.vt.edu/access/content/group/97b91a99-7258-44a2-8002-9b7c83a84bd5/WebDev/Website/Gallery/EnglishEducation/ePGalleryCrystalB/index.html  (each tab of the portfolio, especially the NCTE and INTASC tabs, is being drawn from a matrix-based XSD form and presented on the screen in its entirety.)

Here is a portfolio where the artifacts are simply linked to, not drawn in automatically: https://scholar.vt.edu/access/content/group/97b91a99-7258-44a2-8002-9b7c83a84bd5/WebDev/Website/Gallery/SecondLangEd/KellyAnneS/index.html  (See the ACTFL tab especially.  The "reflection" at the top of those pages is drawn from a XSD form, but at the bottom of the page we simply create links to specific, whole artifacts rather than requiring each of those to be converted to a form.)

In short, we only develop forms where we absolutely feel a need for reporting or re-use of the content of the artifact.  The challenge isn't really one of assessment or evaluation -- in fact, Word/PDF might provide some ease of use in those cases -- the advantage comes into the pulling into a portfolio view.

Hope that helps!


On Jul 7, 2011, at 9:32 AM, Eric Hanson wrote:

> Good morning,
> The Uniformed Services University is launching into portfolio use for medical students starting on campus this Fall.
> Our courses and clerkships have a number of assignments and forms that they now use and they wish students to complete and submit those in OSP.
> A fundamental question we have is the pros and cons of developing the XML-based forms and associated code versus simply having the students upload the assignment or document through assignments or the portfoliio.
> What are the drawbacks of primarily using word documents to populate the matrix?  Are there challenges for feedback or evaluation?  What about pulling those items into a portfolio view?
> Thanks, I have a feeling I will be on here a great deal over the next month.
> Eric Hanson
> Eric E. Hanson, MBA
> Chief Knowledge Officer
> Office of the CIO
> A2027
> Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
> 4301 Jones Bridge Road
> Bethesda, MD 20814
> (301) 295-3352
> eric.hanson at usuhs.mil
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Marc Zaldivar, Ph.D.
Director, ePortfolio Initiatives
Learning Technologies
2210 Torgersen Hall
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061
marcz at vt.edu

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