Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Portfolios in Blackboard

Welcome to the New & Improved Hosted Blackboard

We now have Portfolios within our Blackboard system. Below are some key information about the Bb portfolio syste.

  • Portfolios sit "outside" of courses.   This means students and teachers can access Portfolios even if access to a course has been restricted.
  • Portfolios can be submitted by students to teachers using the Assignment Tool.
  • Students can take a regular assignment and convert it into an Artifact to use in a Portfolio
  • Students and teachers can share Portfolios with other individuals or classes using traditional sharing methods.  This includes
      Share Options
    • Other users on the Blackboard Learn Platform
    • Classes / Organizations
    • People that do not have user accounts on the Blackboard Learn Platform
  • Shared Portfolios will be a "snapshot" of the Portfolio as it existed at the time of sharing.   
  • Portfolios can be exported as an HTML package
  • Portfolios can be built as new or based upon a pre-existing template
  • While Portfolios are part of Content Management , they do not require individual access to the My Content area.
  • Files stored in Artifacts do not count against Content Quotas
  • This fall assignments and other Bb activities may be automatically uploaded to your portfolio.
 What exactly is a Portfolio Snapshot? 
Portfolio SnapshotsWhenever a Portfolio author shares a Portfolio with other users, each “sharing event” creates a static snapshot of that Portfolio at that point in time. What is shared is the static Portfolio Snapshot, so even if the Portfolio author makes changes in his Portfolio, the recipient is still looking at the static Portfolio Snapshot of that Portfolio as it existed at the time it was shared.

For example, imagine a common program level Portfolio assessment scenario where a student in a 2-year graduate program must maintain a Portfolio over the course of the program representing his learning activities and reflections. He may be required to submit that Portfolio for evaluation at the end of each semester over the 4 semester program.
At the end of each semester, he shares his Portfolio. Each time he does this, it is a static snapshot of the Portfolio as it existed at that moment.  He can continue to work on the same Portfolio knowing that any changes that he makes does not affect the shared Portfolio.

The Portfolio tool is part of Blackboard Learn Content Management.  While it can be shared with course users or submitted as an assignment within a course, it sits outside of courses.  This means users can see, edit, and share Portfolios outside the constraints of a course.

Global Navigation MenuWhere to Find It
In previous versions, the user had to navigate through several tabs and menus to find the tool.  Now it is part of the Tools section of the Global Navigation Menu that is accessed by clicking one's name in the upper right corner of the screen.  
Portfolio Tool Sections
There are four main sections for the Portfolio Tool interface.
    • Regular Users See These
      • My Portfolios - where the user creates and manages their Portfolios
      • My Artifacts - where the user creates and manages their Artifacts
      • Received Portfolios - where a user accesses Portfolios that have been directly shared with him by other users
    • System Administrator Sees Additionally
      • Portfolio Templates -- where the System Administrator can create templates
Portfolio Menu

Types of Artifacts Artifacts
  • Artifacts are the building blocks of Portfolios.
  • They exist outside of a Portfolio.
  • A single Artifact can be used in several Portfolios.
  • An Artifact can be
    • Generated free-form content created using a Text Box Editor
    • A file (or files) uploaded from the local computer or selected from the Content Collection
    • Both (free-form content + files)

Types of Artifacts
  • Options to use Assignment Artifact
    Personal Artifacts are created as listed above.
  • Assignment Artifacts can be created by students by turning a course Assignment into an Artifact.  Among the options, the student can choose from are
    • Assignment Description
    • Assignment Name
    • Feedback (from instructor)
    • Grade (from instructor)
    • Submission Information

Continue to watch the IT Blog to learn more about Bb Portfolios. In the meantime, if you want assistance with your portfolio contact the Help Desk at 540-665-5555 or submit a work order at workorder@su.edu.  

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