The semantic web fused with web 2.0 technologies.
Paul Horner (Wednesday, 10th March, 2010 (4:19 p.m.))
Newcastle University, Nottingham University and PebblePad (which is an ePorfolio that has been developed by Wolverhampton University) were involved in developing the Leap2A specification right from the very start, and because of our continued involvement in the specification we've been given the name of the 'vanguard group'.
On Tuesday (the 9th March), I attended a meeting with the rest of the Vanguard because we are all looking at doing some interesting things with Leap2A that go above and beyond the importing and exporting that we initially intended the specification to cover.
Nottingham have a system that allows employers that are sponsoring students to view details of a student's ePortfolio via a portal. The student will effectively tell their ePortfolio which bits they want to share with their employer, and the portal will request a copy of this shared information when their supervisor wants to look at it.
PebblePad have done a significant amount of work embedding their ePortfolio into Moodle (an open source VLE). I won't go into the full details of how it works because they are a commercial entity and I'm sure they wouldn't want me talking about it! But they can push ePortfolio data from Moodle straight into a learner's ePortfolio using a web service.
Together, these cover some of the functionality of what we're trying to do in Learning Maps, although neither of them cover everything. We want to send individual ePortfolio records from Learning Maps into the ePortfolio, and retrieve those records, but only the records that have the correct context for the particular area of the map that the learner is currently looking at. We also want the ePortfolio to be able to tell us what records we can add to it. Like Nottingham and PebblePad, this will all take the shape of a web service, and our collaboration around this area should mean that our web service will be able to do everything that all three institutions want.
Obviously we're a long way off, but we are all moving in the right direction and there could be some very interesting developments in this area very soon.
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