Portfolios.lincoln Views 3. Adding artefacts.

Up to now, most of these posts have concentrated on building a portfolio for employability. That’s fine, and a very good reason in itself to build an e-portfolio, but by adding some of the work you’ve done to your portfolio you can do much more.

First, from an employability point of view, you can provide evidence to back up any claims you’re making in your CV. You can also make your CV that much more interesting by including links to the things you’ve done that you’re most proud of. Secondly, though, a portfolio doesn’t have to be used solely for the purpose of getting a job. They are sometimes used for educational assessment, or they can be used as a sort of self advertisement. Like it or not it’s quite common to “Google” new acquaintances these days, so you might want to show the best of yourself on the Internet and an e-portfolio is a good way to do that.

So, what artefacts can you add to Portfolios.lincoln? The simplest, and in many ways the most useful is the “Text box” as this can be used to describe any other artefact or group of artefacts, and of course, can become an artefact in itself.

Text box

You find the text box by clicking on the “General” tab in the view editor.

Text box icon
Text box icon
. As usual, just drag it to the column in which you want it to appear. You should give it a title, as if you don’t it will just default to “text box”. There are some basic word processing tools for you to write a short introduction. You can import images, change the font and colour of the text and if you are familiar with HTML, (the markup language used to write web pages) you can add slightly more advanced formatting to the text box. (Although, frankly, this feature needs a little bit more work at the moment.)

Adding files to a view.

Remember the post on uploading files? Well, here’s how to put your files into a view. You have a choice. You can add either a whole folder, or a single file. You can also add images and HTML files into your portfolio. [nggallery id=”Add_file_blocks”]

Drag the relevant icons into the appropriate place in view. Each icon gives you a range of choices.

Dragging the A folder icon into your view will, as you might expect, ask you to select one of the folders you have created. Note that you can only select one folder at a time. If you want to show multiple folders in your view, then just drag the folder icon into your view again, and select a different one. Note, that if your folder contains images, the view will display a list of thumbnails (very small versions of your images) along with the file names.

Dragging thefiles to download icon into your view gives you a list of all the files you have uploaded. You can select as many of these from the list as you like. The user will be presented with the option to download the files you have chosen to their own computers.

Dragging the An image icon into your view offers, as you might expect a list of all the images you have uploaded. However, it’s important to note here that images are not automatically resized. You have to choose the width in pixels when you upload the image. (The picture will be scaled according to the width you enter)

1 column = 800 pixels
2 column = 400 pixels
3 column = 250 pixels
4 column = 200 pixels
5 column = 150 pixels

Note that these are only guidelines, and are based on symmetrical layouts. If you have chosen an asymmetrical layout you may need to experiment further with width.

You can give each image a title, and you also have the option to show the description of the image you entered when you uploaded the file.

If you write web pages, you can save HTML files to Portfolios.lincoln and you can include these in your portfolio by dragging the Some HTML icon into your view. Again, you’ll get a list of files to choose from.

The last type of file that you can embed is a media file. There are two options here. You can upload your own media (video or audio podcasts) or you can embed files from video sharing sites. Currently you can use You tube, Google Video, Teacher Tube and Scivee.tv.

If you want to embed one of your own files, then drag the embedded media icon into your view.

Embedded media block
Embedded media block
. This will present you with a list of the media files you have uploaded. Select the file you require, and choose the width and height of the display. (This isn’t quite so important with an audio podcast as it will simply show the play controls.)

One of the drawbacks with embedding your own media files is that video files do tend to use a lot of space. Portfolios.lincoln gives you 50mb of disk space by default, but if you have a lot of video clips, you may prefer to share them on YouTube, or a similar site.

If you do you can embed them into your portfolio by dragging the external video block into your view.

External video block
External video block
. This time, you must copy the “embed code” from the video sharing site, and paste it into the video URL field. You MUST also set a height and width in pixels for the video clip.

In the next post, I’ll look at how you can set up a blog in Portfolios.lincoln, and how you can add it to your views. If you are already blogging, using a different platform such as WordPress or Blogger, I’ll illustrate how you can add that to your portfolio,

4 thoughts on “Portfolios.lincoln Views 3. Adding artefacts.

  1. Hi, Julian,
    I’ve read through all your e-Portfolio posts and really feel most frustrated in that you have a very narrow perception of what an e-Portfolio really is, and therefore you have an equally narrow view as to the functionalities that one would expect from a ‘real’ e-Portfolio.

    If you can consider that an e-Portfolio is ‘for life’, or ‘from 5-95’ or as Dr Barrett says, ‘from sperm to worm’, you will appreciate that the one tool must be far more user-friendly than your somewhat technical solution suggests.

    Secondly, the e-Portfolio is the centre for all sorts of learning external to ‘school’ or ‘college’ and as such must have within it a number of e-safe tools which allow peer-review, collaboration, polls, surveys and questionnaires etc.

    Thirdly, within the context of the percieved audiences, there must be simple tools to control who sees what and when.

    Fourthly, and this is my chief complaint with Mahara, the e-Portfolio tool must be capable of using a number of templates, colour schemes and fonts which allow some degree of personal self-representation.

    Fifthly, you mention nothing as far as I can see, about ‘transition’. Although there are ‘fixes’ for allowing some level of interoperability with Mahara, you do not warn people that the Mahara solution will probably not be of any use to learners once they move on from their present institution.

    You can see more of my thinking on my blog or my website: http://www.maximise-ict.co.uk/eFolio-01.htm

    Kind Regards,
    Ray T.

  2. Hi Ray.

    Thanks for your feedback. I do in fact agree with most of your points and share some of your frustration that I haven’t been able to explore the whole range of e-portfolio building as my main purpose was trying to raise awareness of one of the tools available for PDP within the University community. My own personal preference would be to build a web based portfolio, but there is a compromise to be struck between holding people’s hands (especially if they’re new to the concept of portfolios) and inflicting complete freedom on them. (Many colleagues seem to find that rather threatening!) For what it’s worth I’m wholeheartedly with you on Mahara’s lack of personal customisability and transferability. I will have a look at your web site with interest.


  3. Thanks for the notes on using mahara .

    There are some points about mahara on customisation and transferability that should be clarified.

    Content is created by a web based editor that allows different colours and fonts to be used. There are limitations to web safe colours and fonts.
    Layouts can be changed for the number of columns and width of columns. There will be customisable themes available in the new release.
    Templates can be created and copied and also worked on collaboratively.

    The new release of Mahara will be able to export and import portfolios that conform to the LEAP2a standard and also export to html.

    Mahara can integrate with Moodle so is able to make use of the polls, collaboration features.

    The user interface is also being worked on to make it more user friendly.

    I wouldn’t give up completely on Mahara as it is rapidly gaining users and could reach a critical mass to allow developments to be funded.

  4. Thanks for the comments.
    Don’t worry, I’m not about to give up on Mahara, and I didn’t intend to give that impression. I do think E-portfolios are conceptually quite difficult for many students to understand and I think Mahara does tackle that quite well. When you log into it it does give you some idea what to do.

    But I see it as one tool among many. If Pebble Pad or even a plain old Windows folder structure work better as an e-portfolio for a student then I’d encourage them to go for it.

    But thanks for the feedback. I’ll look forward to the next release with interest.

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