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My Reflections on the Process

In the absence of a blog, here are my reflections on the process of creating this electronic portfolio. In reality, this is the thirteenth tool I have used to publish my e-portfolio on the Web.

It took me about an hour to finish all of the entries using Blackboard. First, I copied the documents into the WebDAV folder that I set up. This was the first portfolio system that I tried that uses the WebDAV system, although I think the Open Source Portfolio uses WebDAV as well. To quote the Blackboard website:

WebDAV is an Internet standard used for sharing files via the Internet regardless of platform (Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Sun Solaris, and so forth). When put into use with the Blackboard Content System, WebDAV is a means for each user to access content from the Content System as if it were in any other network drive or folder.

I set up a folder and then simply copied my files from my hard drive into that folder, a process that took minutes, and by far the easiest way to get my documents uploaded. I then used the Portfolio Creation Wizard to create a new Portfolio. I created this document with my web editing program (Dreamweaver) and saved the file directly to the WebDAV folder. In fact, I can edit any of the files directly, and change the content, even after the portfolio is published. I chose to upload the HTML files I created earlier for the Mozilla version of my portfolio. There are other types of files that I uploaded as well: Excel and PDF.

I created two portfolios with the Wizard. The first one had an error in the Introduction page, but there was no explanation... it just didn't show (I think the text was too long). When I created a second one, I saw the first one was still there.

The system has the ability to download the portfolio, creating a Zip file. When I did it on my Mac, I was able to download the HTML files, but not the images or the other document attachments. I also tested the download on my Windows computer, with the same results. But the basic structure of the portfolio as HTML files was intact.

I think this is a very useful system if a University has installed Blackboard as a course management system. I especially like using WebDAV to store and update files, which provides a virtual drive on the desktop. The flexibility of the publication provides a shell for showcasing many types of documents. If a university is already using the Blackboard Course Management System, this Content System would be a feasible addition.


Updated September 29, 2004