Chalk & Wire - FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
An ePortfolio is a purposeful collection of electronic documents, that is formatted as a website. Documents are selected for inclusion based on the intended purpose of the ePortfolio. Common purposes for creating an ePortfolio include demonstration of skills, education, professional development, or possible benefits to a particular audience, such as a potential employer.
There are two basic types of ePortfolios: assessment and showcase. In the assessment category, there are two uses for an ePortfolio: assessment of learning and assessment for learning.
An ePortfolio that is used for assessment of learning generally links examples of student work directly to program standards. Often the choice of documents to include in this type of ePortfolio is program-directed. An assessment for learning ePortfolio is used to document progress in learning over a period of time. This type of ePortfolio supports the reflective practice that is essential to continuous improvement plans.
The content of student ePortfolios is generally negotiated between the student and instructors. Elements of each type of ePortfolio may be combined to achieve different learning, personal or work-related outcomes, with the ePortfolio owner usually being the person who determines access levels.
Assessment of learning ePortfolios are often part of an assessment management system at the university level, used for accreditation reporting or other assessment and research purposes. The content of these types of ePortfolios is generally not controlled by the learner, so they cannot be strictly thought of as student ePortfolios in the same sense as an eportfolio with negotiated or student controlled content
Chalk&Wire is a web-based ePortfolio system, available to students at subscribing universities. Chalk&Wire began at a university in Canada in the mid 1990’s and is currently in its second version. More background information on Chalk&Wire is available here.
The Chalk & Wire system at USF was initially implemented to assist each student in the College of Education with creating an ePortfolio that is linked to the national, state, and institutional standards for their degree program.
USF’s Office of Quality Assurance provides a ‘Table of Contents’ that has been developed by each department. These program related tables of contents indicate which assignments are considered ‘critical tasks,’ meaning that these assignments provide evidence of addressing the appropriate standards. Once you have this 'assessment of learning' program ePortfolio set up in your account, you are free to create as many other ePortfolios as you need, including your own Table of Contents.
Information for Students
Chalk & Wire access codes are available for purchase at the USF Bookstore on the USF Tampa campus. The cost is around $45. Access codes can also be purchased either in person or over the phone through the USF Bookstore.
There are several ways to get help when you start Chalk&Wire.
- The Chalk&Wire Resources page has a variety of online tutorials available in Word (to print).
- Visit the Chalk&Wire Help Desk during regular hours and get one-on-one assistance.
- If you can’t visit the Help Desk Lab, emailing the Help Desk is the best way to get in touch with support staff and get questions answered.
- You may also call the Help Desk during regular hours to speak with a representative: 813-974-4422
Your instructor should provide you with a list of critical tasks that must be submitted with your ePortfolio. This information is also available as part of the Table of Contents sections in your ePortfolio itself.
Your account is active for one year from the date of initial activation. At that point you may purchase a renewal from the USF Bookstore.
Please email the Help Desk if you have any difficulties. Staff are usually able to help immediately by email, or by phone to ‘talk you through’ the problem. All email is responded to within 24 business hours.
Generally, the problem with being unable to upload documents is that the file size is too large. Help Desk staff will show you how to compress graphics, etc. and reduce file sizes so that your documents will load. Normal size files are not usually a problem, and staff will be glad to walk you through the process.
Usually when you have not been successful at sending your portfolio for assessment, it is for one of four reasons:
- You put your files on the wrong page.
- You forgot to click the Submit Page button after uploading your files.
- You sent it to the wrong professor.
- You did send it, but the professor has yet to assess it, so you haven’t gotten a grade yet.
Don’t panic, we can help…
The critical task that is associated with the class or section of the ePortfolio should be linked to the appropriate page in your ePortfolio. The fact that it has already been graded in hardcopy simply means that you will not have to send that assignment for assessment.
You can scan your documents into .pdf files and upload them in that for. The Help Desk can help you in the lab (EDU 262) during regular hours. When you are all done scanning your 35 page document, you should keep electronic copies of everything.
Information for Faculty
Please email the Help Desk to schedule a training during your class time, or at another convenient time.
Your department head should be able to provide you with a list of critical tasks that must be submitted with the ePortfolio. To see a list of the critical tasks, click on the Table of Contents tab near the top of the screen, and then click "actions" button to the the right of your program and click view.
This information is also available as part of the Table of Contents sections in the students’ ePortfolio itself. By clicking on each section in the ePortfolio Table of Contents, the students will be able to see which assignments are Chalk & Wire critical tasks.
You should direct them to contact the Help Desk via email or to visit us during our regular hours.
There are a limited number of challenges that students encounter in setting up and maintaining their ePortfolio accounts. Please help your students by assuring them that the Help Desk is available to assisting in making their ePortfolio experience a positive one!
Email the Help Desk and we are happy to assist. We are more than willing to visit your office and help on a one-on-one basis.