Monster under the e-portfolio bed: printing.

May seem like an odd thing…

sort of like Alan’s comment aboout the e-portfolio job posting.. (shouldn’t people submit an e-portfolio?)

that I bring up printing as the monster under the e-portfolio bed… but it is!

The first question that faculty ask about e-portfolios — as we found in recent workshops — is “how do I print this?”. Promotion and Tenure committees don’t take electronic submissions…

We need to be able to avoid hearing this question….

“Why should I do this if I have to redo this?”

SO… what to do? I’d love to hear people’s thoughts on this one. I would think that somewhere in the eportfolio universe there should be a way of outputting the portfolio as PDF file — is there a magic driver that will allow us to take different file type and merge them into a batch print job?And while I am asking for miracles… format and paginate them… automatically generate the first screen of a movie file with a printed link to the media clip…

And the whole portability thing… can we take a specific portfolio and output it as an IMS content package?

I know this is a new technology — but if we can solve this printing problem anyway … boy would it be nice…

thoughts… ideas on the printing dilemma?

Aside from saying that committees should change — we know that. But it’s not happening fast… and this barrier is one that we should be able to remove, I would think….

Note entered on April 25…

I’m looking for something akin to WebCT’s compile function (see screenshot below)… where I can select the file from a content module that I want, and print them. My idea is to extend that capability further, and be able to output any file into a PDF doc…

I know that I can output a PDF doc from a browser.. though the control level is low — that would at least be a start!


Actually, if my e-portfolio were a WebCT content module, I could actually output it as a content package…


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3 Responses to Monster under the e-portfolio bed: printing.

  1. Scott Leslie says:

    Not so sure this is a ‘monster,’ maybe instead just a slightly scary imp. While building a compilation tool like WebCT’s seems like a neat idea, maybe for now they could just get by with something like this program ( which basically allows you to print anything you see in your web browser as a PDF. Cheers, Scott.

  2. Michelle Lamberson says:

    Cool reference, Scott, thank you! I am thinking of something like this…

  3. Jeremy says:

    Isn’t this complicated by the fact that an e-portfolio can (should?) contain artifacts of many different types? A printout of a month of blog entries will have to be printed separately (with different settings) from a PowerPoint presentation, a high-resolution digital photo, or a gallery of low-resolution pictures.

    We seem to want students to include all kinds of non-printed artifacts as well: videos and audio files come to mind. I’m hoping that this “need” to print everything is just part of the difficult transition from paper to true e-portfolios.

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