e-Qis-Portfolio – The Digitization of an in-depth Middle School Science Teaching ePortfolio tool & Web Dashboard


e-Qis is funded by a grant with NSF; there are many PIs from several universities

What is e-QIS?

  • Quality Instruction in Science
  • Follow-on study of QIS, used to use 3-ring binders and post it notes.
  • Tool to capture and evaluate information electronically

Portfolio Overview

  • Instructional docs
  • Images of student work
  • Short video clips
  • 3 parts: initial folder, 10 daily folders, concluding folder

Folder Contents

  • Initial folder provides general info about your science teaching with an initial reflection. You can also upload artifacts.
  • Daily folders collect artifacts of all aspects of daily instruction and assessment practice related to learning goals
  • Concluding folder contains things to improve on/modify with the class

The “App” Itself

  • 2 pieces: mobile data collection, server with a dashboard to manage what’s collected.
  • Mobile is modified version of “ohmage X,” built in Cordova (HTML, CSS, JS – a bit like phone gap)
  • App runs on AWS – a single EC2 server on a VPC


  • EMA: “Ecological Momentary Assessment” samples subjects’ current behaviors and experiences in real time.
  • It’s a rich survey-taking tool
  • Added participants and teachers; evaluators are added as teachers so they can review what the “students” are doing
  • Data is collected in the class and also outside of it to minimize class disruption
  • Annotations and notes can be added to the collected “artifacts”

App Itself (Redux)

  • Visualization / dashboard
  • e-qis-web plug-in to ohmage for visualizations and evaluation (runs on AWS server)
  • e-QIS web plug-in is a collection of JS, CSS and HTML; also backbone.js, bootstrap, and ohmage.js
  • Teachers can only see their own data; can “explore” their own portfolios (i.e. all photos, all videos, all initial, etc.); view portfolios in “ordered” context; export their portfolio.
  • Evaluators can see all teachers they’re assigned to evaluate; they have review, explore, and summary views.
  • Admins are super evaluators, and have all teacher and evaluator functions; this is really a monitor role.


  • Verifying file types
  • Video capture
  • Upload times
  • Different usage patterns
  • Diverging from true
  • Web plug-in: displaying video (HTML5 video tags not as easy as you think), arranging data in a useful way,
  • Very iterative with the clients
  • Varying opinions as to what is useful
  • Responsive design
  • Displaying and normalizing video
  • Supporting many formats on many browsers and platforms: there are MANY flavors of MP4.
  • Converting old videos, restricting new video formats
  • Normalizing other user data (panorama images, images with wrong orientation, length and formatting, clashes with design)
  • Privacy (non-public data repository with limited entry points)


  • General purpose teacher portfolio
  • Teacher certification and evaluation
  • Teacher training

By Paul Schantz

CSUN Director of Web & Technology Services, Student Affairs. husband, father, gamer, part time aviator, fitness enthusiast, Apple fan, and iguana wrangler.

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