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Portfolio Tool

The Portfolio Tool is the place where Ultraversity Researchers go to manage their profile, assessments, Individual Learning Plans (ILP's), File cabinet (files submitted for assessment)

Portfolio tools (again)

Stephen Powell and I had a rather enlightening conversation about future portfolio tools for Ultraversity. Many of you will know that Ultralab's efforts in recent months have been to somehow work our way through the muddy waters of open source, proprietary and custom built (in-house) software.

Our discussion was another chance to think outside the box - breakaway from the mould which we have created in the form of the current Portfolio Tool and see if we had the chance to do it all over again, what would we do next time. Technology has moved on, in the way of blog technology, rss, open source, podcast, single sign on.

Our conversation helped us to realign our belief that the portfolio tool (in whatever guise) is about the learner, the researcher. The artefacts should be within the control of the learner who then chooses which artefacts to present for assessment.

We also talked about the need for a commenting 'engine' - the ability for whoever to comment on everything and anything - with a users & groups permission set.

File cabinet developments

It has been several months since the file cabinet space for the Ultraversity Portfolio tool was developed. The file cabinet allows researchers to upload portfolios of work for assessment by facilitators. Ultraversity researchers and facilitators have lived with a filename length limit of 32 characters for a few months now. This was imposed by FileMaker's poor handling of files, probably inherited from Mac OS 9 days....

Last week, Mark and I configured FileMaker to use the Web Connector tool which allows us to serve all requests through the Apache webserver in Mac OS X Server. This has resulted in removing the 32 character limit for all uploaded files.

Anyone who writes a piece of software with a numerical limit ought to be shot, luckily I escaped the firing line this time around. Maybe I should warn people at FileMaker HQ?

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