The following is a compilation of the questions and issues identified in an informal polling of eportfolio community members during spring 2011. The answers are the vendor's responses.
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What vision or understanding of learning informed the design of your tool?
Foliotek was designed in conjunction with a consortium of Teacher Education programs who met with us to communicate the needs of Higher Education in relation to ePortfolios. Our work with the University of Missouri led to the creation of Foliotek. They hired us to build them an ePortfolio online application after failing at a project to do so for themselves. We were successful in implementing a solution for them. When other institutions started to contact us, we decided to re-write the application to be configurable for any type of academic program.
How does your vision of learning promote a student-centered approach to education? (e.g. student ownership of his/her learning)
Our vision is to work with each program to determine the best methods to promote student ownership of his/her learning. We provide flexible tools which may be calibrated from the constructivist to the positivist approach; or, anywhere in-between the two sides of this spectrum. For example, elements of the portfolio can be pre-determined (and aligned to program competencies) or student created (and aligned to program competencies).
Does your tool allow students to control permissions? Can they share with people outside of the institution? How? (e.g., advisor, prospective employer, etc.).
Yes, students may choose to create presentation portfolios to share with any audience they desire.
What is the process for inviting feedback on work or artifacts?
We have both formative and summative feedback tools. Students can request formative review on any portfolio element. Formative comments are stored within each element of the portfolio. Faculty may also leave summative comments as they complete the summative assessment process.
Students may also choose to include a comments area within any presentation portfolio.
Describe how your tool promotes and supports student-to-student collaboration.
Students may share any element of their portfolio with any students for tracked feedback discussion within the portfolio. Students may also choose to create a presentation of any part (or the whole) portfolio to share with others for review and collaboration.
Describe how your tool promotes and supports student-to-faculty collaboration.
Students may request reviews from faculty for formative review and faculty may also leave collaborative comments as part of the summative review process. Configurable forms and journals may also be used to promote collaboration.
How does your tool support and encourage the reflection process for students and faculty?
Reflection components can be built into the assessment structure as desired by the program. These components may include journals with prompts and/or forms with reflection questions for students to address. We design each structure in conjunction with the program in order to meet their goals in this regard.
How does your tool address and support institutional level assessment needs (e.g., aggregating student data and generating reports for accreditation)?
Each tool for collecting data comes with several corresponding reports. These reports can be generated at any time to document the performance of any individual student, group of students, program of students, or a campus of students. The way that portfolio structures, forms, journals, assessment rubrics, and forms are configured leads to the types of reports that programs need for accreditation and program improvement.
Does your application integrate with enterprise systems? Which ones? Do you have examples of effective integration in support of advising or other student services you can share?
We have a robust API which is designed to allow for integration with any other data system. Information can be imported to Foliotek or exported to other systems.
We have successfully integrated with systems like eCollege as well as several other student information systems.
What is the main strength of your application?
Ease of use is the main strength of our application. Configurability goes along with this as a system that is highly configurable to the needs of each program in inherently more intuitive.
What weaknesses have been identified relative to the user experience and shared with you?
The need for administrative effort to schedule summative evaluations has been communicated to us. We are attempting to address this issue by adding new features for student driven evaluation submission. The first phase of this feature is already in use and we are working on phase two in order to be able to reduce necessary administrative effort.
The lack of an activity logging tool has also been communicated to us. We are in the process of defining a feature to handle this as well.
Please share some examples of user feedback.
We get a lot of feedback on the intuitive nature of our interface.
We have also received a lot of positive feedback on our newly enhanced presentation portfolio tool. Students in the Dallas Community Colleges system have provided a lot of positive feedback while utilizing this tool.
The University of Missouri-St. Louis has recently switched to our system. We have received a lot of feedback from their administration about how well it is working for their students and faculty.
Please share examples of the successful use of your application to help students achieve their goals undefined admission to graduate school, career placement and advancement, etc.
When I was teaching at the University of Missouri, I used Foliotek to help our pre-service teachers apply for their student teaching internship. Students were required to create a presentation portfolio with artifacts including a Philosophy of Education, sample Unit Plan, Sample Lesson Plans, and a Professional development plan. Students submitted their portfolio for review by the principal who would then interview them for the position of student teacher at their school. Our goal was to encourage students to learn about the job search process in conjunction with giving principals the ability to accept or reject interns from our program. Most students were successful at getting their first choice placement. Those who were not accepted received remediation prior to trying again. Every student found a placement by the time they went through their three top choices for their student teaching internship.
The Dallas Community College system is using our Presentation portfolio for students to gain knowledge of their own strengths and weaknesses. We have received a lot of positive feedback about how at risk students in their program have made remarkable progress in the areas of self-awareness and motivation.
What key changes or features do you plan to introduce in the near future?
We are working on more robust student driven evaluation processes. We are working on adding an Activity Log feature.A key change will be to have a community aspect of our system which will promote communities of users to be able to share presentation portfolios with designated audiences.
System Requirements End User:
Internet connection and an updated browser.
System Requirements Server:
We provide the servers, thus no requirements for users.
Yes, we host.
Storage Capacity (per account):
Standard account comes with 250 mb, however this number can be configured to any size limit for programs who require more space.
Foliotek data exports adhere to standard XML practices for data structure. Exporting data in this form allow for the greatest flexibility for other systems to accurately import data into their structure.
Section 508 compliance:
Currently Foliotek is 100% compliant with all Section 508 compliance requirements which are directly related to web-based internet information and application systems. Our VPAT is available via a link on our home page.
Every Foliotek portfolio can be exported in either HTML or XML format allowing for both a universal “view” structure and data “view” structure of an individuals portfolio.
Systems Integration (list known):
Foliotek has an open Application Programming interface (API) which allows any third party to interact with Data stored in Foliotek’s infrastructure.
Accepted artifacts/media (pictures, video, audio, text, html, documents, etc.):
Any electronic file type can be stored on Foliotek.
Foliotek works with hundreds of programs across the US and is researching potential markets in central Europe. Educational partners range in size from 10 to 80,000 users.
Student license pricing model:
Student accounts are offered from 1-6 years in length. One year costs $40, 2 years costs $59, 3 years costs $87, 4 years costs $112, 5 years costs $120, and 6 years costs $125.
Institutional pricing model:
We do not charge institutions for use of the Foliotek system unless they wish for us to write additional code to facilitate integration with other systems. Most of our clients who choose to write their own code to avoid this cost.
Postgraduate/transfer student license model:
Students may choose to continue using our product at the same rates paid while in school. Transfer students may use their Foliotek account at another Foliotek institution at no additional cost (a code is used to give them the new portfolio structure).
Institution service agreement model:
We have a standard institutional subscription agreement which provides language for such. We can provide a copy of this agreement upon request.
Online support information
See answer to #40.
Institutional support services (Free):
- Context specific help menus
- Email support
- Phone support
- Chat support
Institutional support services (Feebased):
We are available for hire to write code to facilitate integration. The fee for this is $125 per hour. Most clients avoid this cost by writing their own middleware code.
IT staffing requirements:
A staff member is needed to administrate the Foliotek System. This may be an IT professional, an administrative assistant, a graduate assistant, a faculty member, or any other staff member on campus. We have worked with all the aforementioned successfully.