- a community college
- a small, private four-year liberal arts college
- a state research university.
I'm focusing on the following products:
- Blackboard/WebCT = CMS
- Angel ePortfolio2 = ePortfolio
- ETS customizable essay scoring services – turnkey and Engine only = assessment tool for writing
- ETS Criterion = assessment tool for writing
I will possibly look to add more ePortfolio programs to my list. I'm open to suggestions.
I will essentially be doing a reading of these products (and in doing so a reading of education as commodity) utilizing the "circuit of culture" presented by Stuart Hall (et al). Because the circuit focuses on different moments or processes and the interaction between them, the project will not only include a rhetorical analysis of the marketing of these products but will also look at the people involved in deciding on the purchase of these programs as well as those who end up utilizing or consuming these products. I'm interested in what specifically is involved in the decision-making processes that go on when institutions are debating over or deciding on these programs. And more specifically I want to know the extent of awareness that exists around these decisions as choices that are feeding the problematic relationship between higher education and corporations. I want to know how much awareness admin and faculty have of freeware and/or open source models that do the same thing that these programs do. This information will be attained primarily through interview and survey. I will also look at usage -- how the consumers (primarily teachers and students, but also administration) use these "tools" -- differently than or similar to their intended usage.
That's my "new" project in a nutshell. It's not as drastically different from the original as I'm making it seem here, but it does present a whole lot of new research and reading that I did not do for my exams.