I am trying to learn about Task Stream (https://www.taskstream.com/pub/) which the COE is currently using for student eportfolios and program assessment. Jim Seitz was kind enough to show me around. I am impressed by the program as it does much more than provide a place to store student work. I have joined the UAA eportfolio working group which is looking at Task Stream as a possible solution for other colleges at UAA.
Here a few notes:
- Cost to students is $42 a year. It is free for faculty.
- Students can export their folio prior to the end of their subscription year. Also, student work remains online even after their subscription runs out. If they join again, their work will still be there.
- Student work can be used by COE for assessment purposes any time. There is a way to generate reports for program assessment.
- Students submit work in standard formats (doesn’t have to be in PDF and doesn’t convert to PDF). Students have a 500 MB space limit. There is a possible problem with students uploading large files.
- Faculty can use the Task Stream gradebook instead of the Blackboard gradebook, or they can integrated it into the Blackboard gradebook (not sure how).
- There are some Blackboard-like features such as annnouncements, discussion board, and calendar. (Task Stream isn’t class/semester based like Blackboard. It is based on meeting standards of a degree program.)
- This might be worth looking into. According to the Blackboard website, “The TaskStream Powerlink provides the capability for single sign on between BlackBoard Vista and CE and TaskStream. Additionally, it allows the ability for students and faculty to access and copy files uploaded to BlackBoard to TaskStream” for free.
Advantages to Task Stream
- Task Stream has all the “standards” for Alaska and nationwide programmed into it. “TaskStream provides a library of regional and national standards to help you create your own sets of standards you plan to address in your work.”
- Task Stream appears to be intended for use by a college of education specifically, but I can see where it would work well for other colleges. It has a lesson builder, unit builder, and rubric wizard.
- The Rubric Wizard was impressive and seems very useful.
- Task Stream is stable and has free support. They are willing to create custom content on request.
- Seems user friendly on student and instructor side.
- Instructor is emailed when students submit work on Task Stream.
- UAA COE faculty are already familiar with it and those I spoke to are happy with it.