Here’s the thing it’s 2000 all over again. Eportfolio is the new LMS.
Watching a recent vendor presentation I thought “I can’t believe this is happening again.”
That single phrase. In a loop. In my head.
Because remember — this happened once before. The LMS vendors came in with an assessment and management tool, and told us it was an elearning solution. At the time, I was on the other side of the equation, with a company trying to sell award-winning goal-based scenario software to colleges who were saying but we already HAVE an elearning solution. It’s called Blackboard. Or WebCT. Or whatever.
And so Blackboard, an assessment and management tool, determined the pedagogy of colleges for eight or so years. Because teachers wanted to import rosters, we put students in a closed box and told them it was elearning.
When it wasn’t. The truth is the kids were doing more elearning on MySpace than in Blackboard.
How do we avoid it again? How do we avoid imposing something that is just pedagogically WRONG on a new set of students because we need to meet some institutional assessment needs?
There’s only one way — loosely coupled assessment.
If we are going to talk assessment, we are going to have to segregate it. Your assessment tool should ONLY assess.
We don’t need to talk more about student needs wth vendors that supply assessment tools. We need to talk to them less about student needs. It’s not their business.
Literally: it is not their business.
In fact, we should remove student needs entirely from the equation.
The students know they can get far bettter solutions to their problems for free elsewhere. They don’t need a eportfolio system to post their resumes on.
So enough of letting assessment vendors tell us what facilities we will be forced to use in their walled garden, and expecting us to be excited about it. Enough with assessment vendors selling us “environments”. What we should be doing is describing the the enviroment that might exist — students using WordPress, Blogger, S3, GDrive, email, messaging, etc. And then we should ask if they have a tool that can evaluate that. How will their tool interface with the learning environment we’ve constructed?
Anything else is insanity.