UCSF Portfolio Sunsetting

On July 1, 2017, the UCSF Library will be discontinuing support of the UCSF Portfolio system (powered by Mahara). The number of groups on campus using the tool has gradually declined over the past few years, and it is no longer cost-effective for the Library to maintain and support the system. This document will offers suggestions of alternative tools for groups who are currently using the system, and helpful tips for users who would like to archive their content.

The Learning Tech Group will be assisting instructors from the School of Dentistry and coordinators of the Pediatric Fellowship Program during the transition. If you are NOT a member of those groups, and you have content in the UCSF Portfolio system, please export your content ASAP, or contact us to schedule a consultation. After July 1, users will not be able to access the system, so you must archive your content before that date.

UCSF Portfolio
Honorable mention: This document focuses on options for academic departments, but if you do not need to assess students, the Wiki@UCSF tool may satisfy your needs for online collaboration. More info can be found here.

Content in the UCSF Portfolio system is built and controlled by individual users. If you have pages and collections in the UCSF Portfolio that you would like to access after July 1, you must archive that content yourself! You have two options, both of which are relatively quick and easy to complete.

UCSF portfolio - exporting

Option 1 – Standalone HTML Website: Create a series of HTML pages that attempt to duplicate the look and feel of your Portfolio content in a basic HTML format. The files are readable in a web browser, though you will lose some formatting and possibly some functionality. Think of this option as the Rich Text Format version of a fancy Word document. This format is great for Portfolios pages that contain large amounts of text, because you can easily copy and paste from the HTML exported pages into other systems or documents.

  1. Log in to portfolio.ucsf.edu using your MyAccess credentials.
  2. From the Portfolio menu, choose Export.
  3. Choose Standalone HTML Website.
  4. Choose “All my data.”
  5. If desired, check the “Include user feedback” box to include user comments in your export.
  6. Click the “Generate export” button.
  7. A compressed file will be generated and saved to your browser’s default download location (likely your Downloads folder or Desktop).
  8. Double-click to unzip the file, then open the folder and double-click the index.html file. This will launch your content in your default web browser.

UCSF Portfolio Export HTML


Option 2 – Leap2A: This is the standard file format for portfolio systems, and saves an accurate representation (sometimes 100% accurate) of your portfolio pages. You can only open Leap2A files with portfolio tools like Mahara, and those listed on the Other Portfolios tab of this online help document.

  1. Log in to portfolio.ucsf.edu using your MyAccess credentials.
  2. From the Portfolio menu, choose Export.
  3. Choose Leap2A.
  4. Choose “All my data.”
  5. If desired, check the “Include user feedback” box to include user comments in your export.
  6. Click the “Generate export” button.
  7. A compressed file will be generated and saved to your browser’s default download location (likely your Downloads folder or Desktop).
  8. If you have access to another ePortfolio tool, unzip the folder and import the leap2a.xml file.

UCSF Portfolio Export Leap2A

Recommendation: Do both! It will only take a few minutes. You will be able to access the HTML export with any web browser, like Firefox or Chrome, but some of the formatting may be lost. The Leap2A format looks great, but only if you create an account with another portfolio system and then import the files.

The CLE provides a full set of instructional and collaborative online tools for academic and programs and other departments at UCSF. There are a number of tools within the CLE that come very close to replicating UCSF Portfolio functionality. We have highlighted a few below.

Option 1 – Portfolio activity: This is new to the CLE with the July 1, 2017 update! It is also the tool that most closely replicates the UCSF Portfolio experience, so we are very excited to have added it to our list of activities in the CLE. Based on the Book module, this activity allows instructors to build a page structure that students can use to build their posts, commenting and grading is easy, and students also have the option to share individual “contributions” with their classmates. For more information, please read our full help document!

portfolio page in CLE

Option 2 – OU Wiki activity in the CLE: Like most wiki tools (including wiki.library.ucsf.edu), the OU Wiki activity in the CLE provides users with a place to build “pages” of content and then share that content with others. In the CLE, the instructor adds the wiki activity to a course, and chooses to (a) give each student their own wiki, (b) give each group of students a wiki to collaborate on, or (c) provide one wiki for the entire class.

  1. Add the OU Wiki activity to your course, and open its “Edit settings” page.
  2. Type a name for the wiki.
  3. Provide instructions in the Description box.
  4. Expand the “Wiki settings” group, and from the “Sub-wikis” drop-down menu, select accordingly. Your options are private wikis for each student, group wikis, or one wiki for the entire class.
  5. If you want to allow comments, set the “Annotation system” option to Yes.
  6. Choose Point or Scale from the Grade drop-down menu if students are to receive credit in the gradebook for this activity.
  7. Instruct students to build their wikis, and then comment as necessary.
  8. When all editing is complete, click the “Participation by user” button to view a table of students, and enter grades.

OU Wiki

Note: The annotation process is a bit unusual. When activating this feature, small, blue boxes appear throughout the wiki page. Click a box to add a comment in that location. Students will see small notepad-looking icons in those locations, and can click to expand and read the comment.

Gotchas: If you choose the separate (private) wikis option, students cannot selectively share their wiki with other students, as they might have done in the UCSF Portfolio. Instead, they would have to manually copy their data into a shared space, like a course forum.


Option 3 – OU Blog activity in the CLE: The OU Blog activity is similar to a course forum, allowing users to add blocks of content in the form of sequential posts, but the blog makes it easier to create private areas for writing, and comments are easier to separate from the original content. Also, the instructor can easily view all student posts on one page for quick review, or filter to see one blog at a time.

  1. Add the OU Blog activity to your course, and open its “Edit settings” page.
  2. Set the “Allow comments” to “Yes, from logged-in users.”
  3. From the “Individual blogs” drop-down menu, select accordingly. In most cases you will choose “Separate individual blogs” (private blogs) or “Visible individual blogs” (each student edits their own blog, and can view other student’s blogs).
  4. Student post to their blogs. Posts can be edited and re-edited at any time.
  5. Instructor opens blog activity, and “View all users,” or one at a time using the “Separate individuals” drop-down menu.
  6. Click the “Add your comment” link below a post to provide feedback.

OU Blog

Note: Grading this activity is similar to grading forums, which is not an intuitive process. You’ll need to “rate” posts, and choose an aggregation method for those ratings (ex: sum of ratings, max rating, etc.). In some cases it easier to add a manual grade item to the gradebook to capture student scores. Questions? Just contact us and we’ll work through it with you.


Option 4 – Forums, Assignments, and Groups

If you plan to use the CLE, and the options listed above don’t fit your needs, chances are good that another feature or activity will. Forums and Assignment activities may work, with or without the help of Groups and Groupings to organize students. For more information on these tools, and others, please click the links below.

UCSF Box is more than an online storage repository. Users can selectively control who they share files with, comment on shared files, and create wiki-style Box Notes. The Box Notes feature is relatively new, and formatting options are limited, but the process of creating, sharing, and collaboratively editing is quick and easy. Here are a few ideas:

  • Box Notes and shared folder – The instructor creates a folder in Box, and shares that folder with each student in the class (by entering their name or UCSF email address). Students open that shared folder, create a new Box Note within it, and add their content. In this scenario, the Notes are not private, however. Also, there is no link to the CLE gradebook.
  • Individual Box Notes – Students create Box Notes anywhere in their personal UCSF Box account, set the proper sharing options (either by adding the specific instructor’s name, or by choosing “anyone with the link”), and then provide that link to the instructor either via a CLE Assignment, email, or forum post. If a student wanted to also share their Box Note with a classmate, they could do so in the same manner. Box Notes created in this way would be private unless explicitly shared by the owner (just like the UCSF Portfolio), but there is no option for the instructor to download Box Notes, or to view them all on one page.

Folder containing two Box Notes

Note: Comments can be made on any file or Box Note by anyone with access to that item, so this makes the feedback process very convenient and easy, but then the comments do not exist in the CLE, only Box.

For additional assistance with UCSF Box, please contact the IT Service Desk.

There are a number of other ePortfolio tools available on the Internet, and most of them will allow you to import Leap2A file from Mahara. Many of these tools also offer free accounts, but the limitations of the free accounts can be difficult to overcome in a formal academic setting. Here are a few that we are aware of, and Foliospaces is likely the most relevant. Please note, we cannot provide support for these 3rd party tools, though we’re happy to help you export your content from the UCSF Portfolio to prepare for a migration to another system.

  1. FolioSpaces.org – Also powered by Mahara, this website can easily import Leap2A files that were exported from the UCSF Portfolio. Functionality, look and feel would be very similar to the UCSF Portfolio. The drawbacks, however, are that a small ads banner will display at the bottom of each user’s page, unless they pay $10/year for a premium account, and there is an additional fee for an admin to create an “institutional account” for grouping and managing users. In addition, there is no link to UCSF or MyAccess, so everyone would need to create an account with Foliospaces. Groups are premium feature as well, and HIPPA compliance is a concern.
    Foliospace
  2. Portfolium.com – This is a modern-looking, cloud-based portfolio tool with options to link to social media and other common web tools. To try it out, you can create an account here: www.portfolium.com/join, though it looks like they cater to institutions, not individuals or small groups. If a long-term solution was needed, and your program wanted to fund a new tool, this would be worth investigating. They have a “partnership” with the UC system, but additional conversations with someone from educators@portfolium.com would be necessary to get details.
    Portfolium
  3. Pathbrite.com – Free to create accounts and pages, but you need to pay for an institutional account, or students need to pay to join a “class” and share content. More info can be found here.
    Pathbrite