Learning - Reflective learning, personalized learning, lifelong learning
An ePortfolio is an ideal tool for meeting the needs of established and emerging pedagogy and approaches to learning.
An ePorfolio allows for building in reflective activities for learners and staff, through blog functions and the creation of 'Critical incident diaries' in which users reflect on their learning and experiences over a given period or activity. For example, this could be reflections on how a student dealt with a problem, or processed some new information on a given topic. This can become a two way process with a tutor or peer providing feedback via the same diary.
It works as a user-centred, personalized learning space allowing the user to shape the way they present themselves to the world. Content and layout can be personalized to create multiple Views which meet the specific, differing or changing requirements of the user. This ties in with one of the key tenets of personalized learning, that students become key partners in the design of learning to suit their needs.
This education portfolio site is hosted in a Canadian cloud with all data being stored in Canada! This is an important feature for many institutions and organizations as Canadian privacy laws can restrict where and how personal data is stored.
Folioz is a SSHRC funded research platform and is powered by Mahara. Mahara is provided freely as open source software (under the GNU General Public License).
What makes Folioz different from other ePortfolio systems is that you control which items and what information (Artefacts) within your portfolio pages and collections other users see.
You control which items and what information, i.e. artefacts or learning evidence, within your portfolio other users see.
In order to facilitate this access control, all artefacts you wish to show to other users are bundled up and placed onto a page.
You can have as many pages as you like, each with a different collection of artefacts, and intended purpose and audience. Your audience, or the people you wish to give access to your page, can be added as individuals or as a member of a group or community.
ePortfolio owners create pages using a 4-step process, and page have the following features:
- ePortfolio owners can receive public or private feedback on their pages and artefacts within that page.
- Users accessing a page can report any objectionable material directly to the site administrator.
- Users can add pages and artefacts within a page to their watchlist and receive automated notifications of any changes or updates.
- ePortfolio owners can submit a page for assessment by a tutor or teacher allowing for a snapshot of the page and associated artefacts on a certain date.
Features of Folioz:
Folioz includes a file repository which allows users to:
- Create folder and sub folders structures
- Upload multiple files quickly and efficiently
- Give each file a Name and Description
- Manage their file allocation Quota
- When uploading a file users must agree to a configurable Copyright disclaimer.
- Can extract .zip, .tar.gz and .tar.bz2 from within the files area
Journal (aka Blogs)
A comprehensive journal tool is provided in Folioz, where blogs and blog postings are considered "Artefacts" and may be added to a View.
The blogging tool allows users to:
- Create blog posts using a WYSIWYG editor
- Attach files to posts
- Embed images into postings
- Configure whether or not Comments may be received on their blog
- Create draft postings for later publishing
Folioz provides a social networking facility where users can create and maintain a list of Friends within the system. ePortfolio owners choose whether other users can add them to their Friends list automatically or by request and approval.
An ePortfolio owner's Friends lists shows those Views to which they have been assigned access.
Folioz includes a resumé builder which allows users to create digital CV’s by entering information into a variety of optional fields including:
- Contact and personal information
- Employment and education history
- Certifications, accreditations and awards
- Books and publications, professional memberships
- Personal, academic and career goals
Using SmartEvidence, you can create portfolios that automatically have a competency framework attached. You can then align pages within your portfolio with individual competency standards and allow assessors to provide feedback. The built-in evidence map visualizes your progress across the framework and helps you keep track of your achievements.
Support for LTI
Folioz supports LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability) to connect to learning management systems (LMS). It allows learners who already have an account in an LMS to have an account in Folioz as well, when it is connected to the LMS via LTI.
Folioz has special connectors for Moodle that do not only allow for single sign-on from the LMS to Folioz but also for the export of content from Folioz to Mahara and for the submission of Folioz portfolios to Moodle.
Privacy and security
- Institutions required to comply with the GDPR have features available to help with that.
- Session key handling code has been tightly integrated with the core form / request APIs.
- Database abstraction prevents database injection attacks and input validation prevents script injection attacks.
- User authentication can be tied to external systems such as SAML / Shibboleth / CAS IdPs, LDAP / Active Directory, Azure AD, student management systems or other databases.