Creating e-portfolios using online journal management system Open Journal Systems

Jaagup Saare
An e-portfolio is a way to collect, describe and publish user’s materials on the web. Constantly adding new data to the older, describing the connections between the old and new information and presenting the overall outcome on the web so that other users can reach it, makes an e-portfolio a valuable and intelligent way to present author’s thoughts, academic and working skills. In Estonia, e-portfolios have been used relatively rarely used as a part of regular study activities in the educational field. The preliminary idea of this thesis was to discuss repositories as a whole, but during the research period the topic was narrowed down to e-portfolios – a special kind of repository. The five main objectives of this Master’s thesis are: - to give an overview of e-portfolios as a way to diversify the study process; - to give an overview of the most often used standards and to describe the classification of e-portfolios into different subtypes; - to give five main guidelines which help the process of e-portfolio creation; - to compare Open Journal Systems with special e-portfolio software; - to describe and analyze the creation of e-portfolios during the course Information Technology in School. The main focus of the first three objectives was to get acquainted with the term e-portfolio and the most often used standards according to which e-portfolios could be formed and used in order to give the best results for the author of the e-portfolio. To achieve that, the author did extensive research into e-portfolios: found how e-portfolios are defined and used both in daily learning processes and in other user activities. Based on these findings the author comprised a general overview of the e-portfolio topic. The last two objectives are more practical and based on the theoretical part of the thesis. The attainment of these goals allowed the author to be more creative and gave the chance to test and compare different systems from the aspect of e-portfolios. They also presented some previously unexpected linguistic challenges. The greatest value of this thesis is that the section on e-portfolios, more precisely, various terms of e-portfolios, main standards and the classification into subtypes based on common standards and guidelines how to make personal e-portfolios, was used and can be used as a learning material in the courses Didactics of Informatics and Information Technology in School. Based on the information about e-portfolios collected and presented by the author, students had to make their own personal e-portfolios using the system Open Journal Systems (OJS), which in reality is a system for maintaining online journals. To make the usage of OJS convenient for students, the author provided a shorter overview. Based on that tutorial and the learning materials about e-portfolios the students developed their personal portfolios to which they added the assignments completed during the course Information Technology in School. Due to the fact that the user interface of the OJS and the terms used in that system are somewhat complex to understand for Estonians, the author of this thesis started translating the system to the Estonian language. Through the translation process the author contributes to the development of Open Journal Systems. In addition, after the translation has been finished, the system can be used more and more in Estonia. This thesis also describes a special system Mahara, which is designed for developing learning e-portfolios in an easy manner. The system is very interesting, easy to use and gives outstanding results in the process of making students’ e-portfolios. Also in the section of Mahara is given a comparison of Mahara and Open Journal Systems as a system of creating and maintaining e-portfolios. The author has compared these two systems from the aspect of the student, the teacher and the system administrator. In addition to e-portfolios and information about Mahara, at the end of the thesis is given an overview of using journals in the classroom as a part of learning activities. This topic is closely related to Open Journal Systems, which as discussed is a system of maintaining electronic journals.
Graduation Thesis language
Graduation Thesis type
Master - Information Technology
Eno Tõnisson
Defence year