e-portfolio (profile) systems are learner centric processes customized by use across boundaries, institutions, departments, communities, employers, etc. Tools are evolving across a wide range of technologies are hampered by lack of open access to learner data stored in administrative and academic systems. Moving data in and out of e-portfolio systems to support a wide variety of purposes from Prior Learning Assessment, Credential Claims and Verification, Self Paced Learning, to Reflecting Learning Models could be supported by access to data managed and housed in administrative systems. Just as Learning Management Systems need access to student data, so do e-portfolio systems.
Another use of student data is developing around mobile or portable student applications on platforms such as Facebook, iPhone and others will enrich and serve students of all types, by making their academic and career information more accessible where they are online, working and living. Life online spans many applications. The proprietary institutional centric applications is restricting to students and their ability to self serve.
Imagine for example, a Facebook application could call a web service for a student's current course schedule to allow them to network and build new friends by course. Google apps could be used to access a student's course schedule, allowing them to post to a common calendar. Other applications such as e-portfolio could be developed to help a student compile their virtual transcript across institutions and their evidence of learning allowing a student to retain their own academic history. These are just a few of the applications that could be developed and enhanced if institutional student systems would expose standard web services that could be found thru the lookup and registry service of EdUnify.
Online and realtime on-demand web services could serve a new level of services for students that would improve their experience, retain their interest and extend the reach of institutions beyond their website and portal. Learning is not just in the classroom or exposed through the LMS. Enabling external applications to request student related data will help retain student interests, convenience and purpose while extending the reach of each institution beyond their borders.