Oxford ePortfolio blues

Was at a conference last week (in a trading estate somewhere in Oxford) about ePortfolios in eLearning personal development. Started with a plugfest (a what?!) – all about interoperbility between various ePortfolio systems, essentially based on an existing XML “standard” produced by IMS – upshot seemingly that it didn’t really cover it all but at the same time was way too complex and big.

The reason I was there was because the main work I do is for a medical trainee ePortfolio system. Many portfolio systems are quite “free form” in that people add all kinds of media – mobile phone images, movies (many stuff like a mash up). Our medical ePortfolio is much more constrained by what various governing bodies want in the trainees to do. On thing that makes an ePortfolio not just a glorified CV is the ability for trainees to reflect on training, events at work etc… and share this with a supervisor (with peers might be something we could add).

The whole point is that at the end of the period of training the trainee can pick up the portfolio and move to their next place and import their eportfolio to whatever system is running – yeah right! Luckily for us we seem to be stiching up the entire medical profession from trainee through to at least the first year or so of specialist training. We’ve had interest for ungraduates too, so working towards cradle to grave.

On a different subject, having spent ages building a rough text entry system for a CMS site I finally concluded this was a daft idea (see an earlier post) as there are some really good free (javascript-based) wysiwyg editors out there. The one I went with is tinyMCE (which might be what WordPress uses in fact). Very easy to install (literally just put some javascript in the page header and any textarea boxes on the page will become a half decent wysiwyg). Much better. The only tricky bit is how to link internally since all the page content is pulled from the database. I think I have an idea however.


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