ePortfolios is an online tool for the creation of teaching and learning content, enabling students and staff to publish short posts in chronological order or static webpages. ePortfolios can have one or more authors who can add links, images, videos and podcasts within their posts and pages. It can be set to allow comments on posts from other students and staff. ePortfolios is a tool based on the popular WordPress system but with extra class management features.
Why use ePortfolios?
There are many benefits to using ePortfolios for assessment. If you are considering using them as part of your teaching we recommend reviewing the helpful guide below or contacting your eLearning Advisor.
Assessing with blogs – authored by the University of New South Wales – this guide includes details of when to use an ePortfolio/blog tool, possible challenges to overcome and strategies for incorporating the tool into your teaching.
To start using the ePortfolio system, please contact your eLearning adviser to discuss your requirements so that they can create the ePortfolios sites are required. Some possible configurations are detailed below;
Option 1 – e.g. Reflective Individual Sites: Students have individual private sites, these sites are attached to a class management site which gives teachers the ability to access students sites and stop them from publishing after a deadline.
Option 2. – e.g.Peer Review posts on Individual Sites: As above but students have the ability to read each others posts and comment on them. These comments can also be moderated by teachers. (n.b. posts only, not pages)
Option 3. – e.g. Peer Review posts and pages on Individual Sites: As above but students have the ability to read posts and pages via a My class widget on the class management site. They can also add comments which can be moderated by teachers.
Option 4 – e.g. Collaborative class site: One class site is created that students and staff can post to. Students can comment on each others posts. Configure the settings so that all students posts must be reviewed by the lecturer before they are published.
Option 5 – e.g. Group project sites: Group sites. Sites can be shared with a group of students who can post and comment on each others work. E.g. assign students with the task of keeping a digital diary based on a shared task such as a presentation. This can increase the students ownership and responsibility of the task set as well as helping to reflect and improve on the final task.
You can also choose to design a template that can be attached to all student sites e.g. so they start with a specific design/theme or have pre populated pages with content added. For example, you may wish to include pages with headers as prompts or perhaps you set questions you require the students to complete as part of their diary entries.
Once you have discussed the set up for your ePortfolios your eLearning Advisor will set them up the sites for you. You can then log in using your regular Roehampton username and password at http://eportfolios.roehampton.ac.uk.
Accessing your students sites via the My Class Site
The My Class option gives teachers the ability to access students sites and stop them from publishing after a deadline and is one of the benefits to using ePortfolios as opposed to free tools that are not supported by the university.
- Click on your My Sites menu in the top left corner. A drop down menu will appear showing all the sites you have access to. Your class sites should all show under the My Class Blogs grouping at the top of the list.
- Select your Class site from this list. If you can’t find it you may need to check the main list.
- Once you have clicked into your class site, it will take you to the Dashboard, with your site admin menu in the left column.
- Click on My Class from the left menu to got to view the list of student sites.
- For each site there is an option to view the live published site (click Visit) or access the students dashboard. You can also see an overview of how many posts and pages have been added to the site.
Adding staff to your class blog
N.b please do not add student this way- contact your eLearning Advisor for student sites.
- To add staff to a class site, make sure you are viewing the My Class Site, not a student site.
- See the steps above for finding your class site.
- Click on the User menu in the left column.
- Click Add New and type in the staff’s Roehampton username and select Teacher and click Add User.
- You need to undertake a last action to push this enrolment! Go back to My Class in the left menu, click on the Settings option and scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Save.
Your dashboard is made up of your main navigation on the left hand side. Hovering your mouse over a menu item displays all the submenu options under that item. For example, to write a new post hover your mouse over Posts and click on Add New.
You can return to the dashboard area of your blog from any page by hovering over the site title at the top of the page and choosing dashboard from the submenu.
The Reader Feed
If you choose for students to share posts with the rest of the class then the My Class feed under the Dashboard will allow teachers and their students to quickly read and comment on all posts published on the class blog and student blogs from directly inside the reader. The Pending folder in the reader is where teachers can quickly checked pending comments and posts. The number of pending posts or comments is indicated next to the Reader menu item.
Click on the Pending tab to view pending posts or comments.
Click on Read More if you want to read the full post or click on Publish for the students if you are happy to publish the post. For information about this option please speak to your eLearning Advisor.
We’ve provided help with the most commonly asked questions and you can also use the Help guides found at http://help.edublogs.org/user-guide/.
If you are using ePortfolios as an assessment tool for your students then when your deadline is reached, you will need to turn on moderation. Students will then be unable to make changes to their post and page content. (If you have a student with an extension, you can amend their access to allow them to submit late). For information on how to do this please use the guidance below;
Check students are attached to the class blog
In order for staff to manage student ePortfolios and to enable moderation on the deadline you should ensure that all students ePortfolios are attached/linked to the modules class blog. In many cases this will have already have been managed for you by your eLearning Advisor but it is still a good idea to check that all the students are on the class list;
- Your eLearning Advisor may have added a direct link to your class ePortfolio site on your Moodle module (hidden from students). If this link is not available go to My sites at the top left of your ePortfolios account (after login)ad click See All to select the correct class site > e.g. My Class: English- ENG020N215Y 2020-21. Alternatively you can work out the link as follows – eportfolios.roehampton.ac.uk/[insert your module code]202021 (ensure all is in lower case)
- On the page that appears click on My Class (left hand column) and then check your list of students.
- If any students are missing contact the moodle helpdesk firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
On the assessment due date
Please note moderation has to be set at the time of deadline as there is no function to set a specific date/time to turn moderation on.
The moderation function stops students publishing changes to their post and page content on their live ePortfolio site. Once the moderation is switched on students will not be able to publish any changes to their live ePortfolio. Follow the steps below to enable moderation;
- When the assessment due date/time has passed (2pm) then change the moderation setting as per below.
- Your eLearning Advisor may have added a direct link to your class ePortfolio site on your Moodle module (hidden from students). If this link is not available go to My sites at the top left of your ePortfolios account (after login)ad click See All to select the correct class site > e.g. My Class: English- ENG020N215Y 2020-21. Alternatively you can work out the link as follows – eportfolios.roehampton.ac.uk/[insert your module code]201920 (ensure the module code is in lower case)
- When you are on the correct class site click on My Class (left hand column) and then Settings.
- Next to moderation on student blogs select I must approve all posts.
- Click Save.
- You can then access the work by clicking on My Class and then Student Blogs. From here you can click a students blog name or URL to view the published version/live ePortfolio site.
- Students will no longer be able to update work or publish new pages/posts to their live site (this is the view that you can see when you visit their blog url).
- There may be instances where students are submitting late and have the option to submit work for review however students should be advised that they must publish their work and to enable them to so this you should use the steps below.
Students submitting late with or without mitigating circumstance approval
If students are submitting late whether or not they have mitigating circumstances the process is the same. You will need to update their access on their own sites (not the class site) following adding the moderation settings above;
- You will need to go directly to the students ePortfolio dashboard, IMPORTANT! you should not amend their access on the class site.
- Either find the link via a submission link in the module and navigate to the students dashboard by hovering over the site title at the top of the page
- Go to the My Class site (see above for instructions on finding the site).
- Click on My Class in the left hand left hand column (do not give the student access to the class site- ensure you go to the students own ePortfolios)
- Find the student blog that has been given approval for mit. circs.
- Click on the dashboard link to go to the students blog
- On the students own ePortfolio dashboard click on Users (left hand column)
- Tick the name of the student and from the Change role to… drop down menu select Administrator and click Change.
- Please let mit. circs. students know that they will be able to continue to edit and must publish their work before their new deadline. You will then need to revert their permissions back to student using the same technique after the new deadline has passed.
- Please ensure that you are editing users on the student ePortfolios and not the users on the modules class site. Please ask your eLearning Advisor for assistance if required.
Releasing grades and feedback to students
There are several ways in which you can give grades and feedback to students using offline marking options on Moodle. Please contact your eLearning Advisor to discuss the best option for you.
You can request to add additional staff to the ePortfolios such as External Examiners to view students ePortfolios. Please contact your eLearning Advisor to request.
If you are viewing/marking work on ePortfolios please view the guidance below;
- For the many modules, students will have been asked to post links to their ePortfolio pages into a Moodle submission inbox. You should be able to click on the inbox in the module and click the submissions to view the ePortfolio links. You may have to scroll along the page to find the links.
- For University of Roehampton staff please use your University of Roehampton IT login details, to login to the ePortfolio site via the links. External staff will be emailed with login details.
- If you do not have individual blog links to follow from Moodle or directly from module convenors then you can login directly to http://eportfolios.roehampton.ac.uk/ to find the students blogs.
- Go to My sites at the top of the ePortfolios page and from the dropdown menu select the correct class site > e.g. My Class: English- ENG020N215Y 2020-21. If you cannot see the blog you may need to Select All.
- On the page that appears click on My Class (left hand column) and then select Student Blogs.
- This will then show you the page with the link to all the student blogs. Each box displays the students blog title and the blog URL with their username. Click on the Visit option to visit the published blog.
If you cannot view the student blogs you require please contact the lecturer responsible for the module.