Linking the Portfolio Widgets

I spent some time last week creating a link from Portfolio Templates widget to the Portfolio Feedback widget. I haven’t mentioned the Feedback widget much (save regarding piloting here) but I hope to be blogging about the design, development, and implementation aspects of it soon.

The link at the moment basically consists of modifying the “Received Portfolios” page in Blackboard. The “Received Portfolios” page is where you would go if a student or colleague or peer happened to have shared a portfolio with you.

This is a link to a received portfolio as it normally appears in Blackboard:


One can click on the title to open the portfolio in a new window. Clicking the button with two chevrons on it opens up a drop-down menu, containing the options “Open”, “Move”, and “Delete”. One can also use the tick-box to select a portfolio and then move or delete it using the appropriate buttons at the bottom of the list (as pictured).

Now, with the templates widget’s frameset around it, the link is modified and looks more like this:

...and after

The chevrons have disappeared — as noted above, the “Open”, “Move” and “Delete” functions in the drop-down menu are all replicable elsewhere, so I chose to hide that altogether. And clicking on the title of the portfolio, which would normally open the portfolio in a new window, now opens the Feedback Widget, which contains within it the portfolio in question.

In this particular picture you might notice that there is a string hovering by the title — this is because the mouse was over the link when the screen-capture was taken. The information in the string is that is actually part of the link to the widget. In this way, the widget knows which portfolio it should be opening, who is opening it and who the author of it is. (In the picture, we see an example of a user who has shared a portfolio with themself — hence the double-appearance of the username admingisp.)

Unfortunately, this is just one part of the link between the widgets — that of the tutor or peer leaving feedback on portfolios that have been shared with them. I still need to consider the other side: namely, the student or portfolio author being able to go to “My Portfolios” page and see feedback left for them by others.

About Guy

I am currently Enhancement Officer (for Education Technologies) at the University of Reading. I am also studying for a Masters in Research at the University's School of Systems Engineering.
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