Open Universiteit implements showcase into their personal learning environment

The TRAILER e-portfolio formed the basis for a showcase tool for the personal learning environment that the Open Universiteit in the Netherlands offers to its learners. The showcase is required because learners are allowed to bring in a set of learning activities, formal and informal as part of their curriculum when they can present sufficient evidence for having achieved those learning activities. Modifications of the showcase addressed several usability aspects of the TRAILER e-portfolio, by removing most of the unnecessary complexity, and by improving usability. The showcase is tightly integrated into the personal learning environment obliviating the need for a separate ILC. Instead the showcase now presents the learner with a more varied scale of activities to choose from, ranging from formal courses, social activities, and informal activities learners partake in in the personal learning environment. In addition, learners can upload files or search for activities and resources outside of the personal learning environment. Moreover, learners can create and maintain the showcase from a single page, while the TRAILER e-portfolio consists of a combination of separate editors, each requiring a separate page. Major improvements have been made to the user interface: features are integrated better, page layout is improved, and drag and drop allows users to easily add and move objects around. Of course, the showcase contains a section with personal information from the profile created in the personal learning environment and learners can annotate activities and resources made available in the showcase. Learners can easily share the showcase with others. Export of the showcase to PDF files is improved greatly to create more visually attractive PDFs.

Figure 1. The improved showcase integrates all required features

Figure 1. The improved showcase integrates all required features

Figure 2. The showcase as others can view it

Figure 2. The showcase as others can view it

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