Thursday, August 30, 2007


In a discussion some time ago on the Webheads' list, Sharon Betts ( gave us a nice list of definitions of tools that might be used for electronic portfolios. I cite her here with her permission:

*Blogs* - Blogs are ongoing individual postings with the ability to take
comments from readers. This is a great way to journal, reflect or get

*WIKIs* - are online editable pages available to anyone given
permission. Usually you can attach files to wiki pages and there is a
comment page connected. This is good for collaboration. It does not
fit the journal model as well as it does a portfolio / archive model.
Of course, it is also great for multiple editors of a single document.

*Forums* - threaded discussions. Can be used for the same as above.
They individualize each posting, but in a threaded manner unlike blogs
which are sequential

*Social networks* - combine all or some of the above with many added
features. If you are ready to launch your students into the cybersphere
of learning, this is the way to go. I like Ning - but it still does not
have a wiki module although the blog and forums are great.

*Course Management Systems* - also combines the above features and adds
the ability to quiz etc. It is an online class. My favorite is Moodle
(at the moment). Students are part of a class and can use the forums,
wikis, as well as complete assignments. I do not like the blogging
feature presently being used.

There are hybrids of all the above - and more appear each day. The key
is to know what your goals are for each project.

  • Is it your students first adventure into online learning?
  • Do you simply want journals?
  • Do you wish to attach artifacts?
  • Do you want to actually hold your class online with assessment and all?
  • Do you want to use these [features] in a more social atmosphere?
  • Do you have the ability to pay for a service or to host it "in house"?

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