As you can see from the title of the post, I’m betwixted, bothered and bewildered. Why is that? you ask. Well, I’ve been playing around with the WebCT‘s e-portfolio tool. I’ve already have onsiderable experience with using PebblePAD; if you haven’t already seen what the PebblePAD e-portfolio tool looks like, there is a rather nice example of it here; and I am now exclusively using Blackboard‘s e-portfolio tool for maintaining my own professional CPD e-portfolio (as shown in “The Quantum Chimera” article).
The University did have the choice to go with either PebblePAD (a highly structured, high customisable and feature-rich site that is programmed entirely in Flash) or Blackboard (a bare bones, no frillls, “blank sheet” site). It was decided that the University had already made a lot of investment with the Blackboard VLE, we couldn’t possibly support another system.
I had argued at the time that students in other instituitions had expressed the opinion that their e-portfolio tool should be separate from the VLE (the Institutional tool) as the e-portfolio belonged to them. I had heard that some institutions had listened to the students and offered a tool that was separate from the VLE; and equally, I heard that other institutions had scrapped the personalised e-portfolio and brought it back into the domain of the Institution’s control.
The WebCT e-portfolio tool seems to sit inbetween PebblePAD and Blackboard in terms of features and functionality, such as the enhanced feedback / comment for each asset created; resume; reflection and goal creation tool along with a range of tools that enable the user to customise the interface. With my own Blackboard e-portfolio site, I am using the HTML features and have created a cascading stylesheet to manage the look and feel, so that it is “low maintenance” and “highly configurable“.
The rub that I am having with the WebCT tool is that I don’t particularly want to construct yet another e-portfolio space, especially as I already have an emotional and intellectual investment with Blackboard, despite it’s severe shortcomings – the feedback / comment element to the tool is excruciatingly poor and unhelpful. Whilst I think it would be good for me to maintain a shareable e-portfolio for my MSc studies, I would much rather maintain it on an e-portfolio tool that I am currently involved with than with one that I am not.
Phew! That was a surprisingly hard entry to write.