The following questions represent a compilation of the
needs and concerns identified in an informal polling of eportfolio
community members during spring 2011. The answers are the vendor's
For the Epsilen Webinar Forum Q&A go: HERE
What vision or understanding of learning informed the design of your tool?
Epsilen’s ePortfolio was designed with the
learner at the center of its strategy. Based on Web 2.0 technology, the
Epsilen ePortfolio allows learners to communicate with thousands of
others in the Epsilen network, across campuses, and around the world.
With today’s students requiring access to global resources in order to
gain the knowledge and tools necessary to compete in the global economy,
the Epsilen ePortfolio provides the perfect environment to accomplish
How does your vision of learning promote a student-centered approach to education? (e.g. student ownership of his/her learning
Epsilen was built on the premise of being
learner centric, instead of course centric. Learners have access to
their ePortfolio for life and at no cost to them. They also have access
to Epsilen’s Learning Matrix tool, which is used to track progress
throughout the educational process. In addition, courses taken via the
Epsilen LMS are available to the learner for life.
Does your tool allow students to control permissions? Can they share
with people outside of the institution? How? (e.g., advisor,
prospective employer, etc.).
Yes, the student controls permissions and
can share specific parts of their Epsilen ePortfolio with peers,
professors, or even potential employers. Accomplishments can be
presented in a compelling fashion, with an easy-to-use multimedia format
that supports profiles, photos, videos and course-created artifacts.
What is the process for inviting feedback on work or artifacts?
Epsilen's Learning Matrix is a tool that
allows the learner to upload their work/artifacts into the matrix for an
assessor to evaluate and provide feedback. The learner can share their
matrix with other users for evaluation as well. In addition to the
Learning Matrix, Epsilen offers the Share-It tool, which allows the user
to put an item (document, image, website, etc) on their ePortfolio to
be rated and evaluated by an audience of their choice. The Share-It tool
is also a component of the Epsilen mobile application making it
accessible from both the website and mobile devices.
Describe how your tool promotes and supports student-to-student collaboration.
There are several places within the
Epsilen environment for students to collaborate. For example, within the
ePortfolio there is the Share-It tool as well as Groups. Within Groups,
students have access to forums, drop boxes, wiki’s, and chat features.
These features are also available within courses. In addition to the
tools already mentioned, students have access to work groups for smaller
group projects and cross-listed work groups within a course, which
allows students from different courses to work together in a type of
personalized project space.
Describe how your tool promotes and supports student-to-faculty collaboration.
Students can share work with faculty via
Share-It, Groups, Courses, or the Learning Matrix. Assessors can
evaluate student achievement, and institutions can document progress at
How does your tool support and encourage the reflection process for students and faculty?
Because Epsilen's ePortfolio is designed
to be accessible throughout the lifetime of a student or faculty
member's learning process, it provides the perfect environment for
reflection. In fact, Epsilen has had users access previous work
completed at the university level in order to apply to current work
related projects. The fact that learners can collaborate online as well
allows the reflection process to be that much more enhanced since others
can weigh in on the subject matter, and provide different resources.
How does your tool address and support institutional level
assessment needs (e.g., aggregating student data and generating reports
Epsilen offers a comprehensive repository
and reporting tool that enables colleges and universities to organize
assessment data efficiently in order for faculty and administrators to
evaluate the effectiveness of courses, programs, and even the
institutions themselves. Tightly integrated with Epsilen’s other
solutions, and building on its Learning Matrix platform, which provides
students evidence on the success of their individual learning outcomes,
Epsilen enables administrators to make data-driven decisions.
Does your application integrate with enterprise systems? Which ones?
Do you have examples of effective integration in support of advising or
other student services you can share?
Yes, the Epsilen application integrates
with other enterprise systems. Integration services include single
sign-on with third-party applications or locally created software, data
exchange of student and faculty records with ERP systems and student
information systems, conversion of data from other learning management
systems, and additional local customization using the Epsilen
application programming interface (API). For example, as a member of the
SunGard Higher Education Collaborative, Epsilen provides seamless
integration between the Epsilen solutions and SunGard's Banner, and
What is the main strength of your application?
Epsilen is learner centric (vs. course
centric) and allows learners to socialize and collaborate beyond the
traditional LMS framework. This enriches the learning experience beyond
just the online course model and learners are able to interact at a
truly global level.
What weaknesses have been identified relative to the user experience and shared with you?
At this time the user interface is under
review and every so often the design of some features is considered a
weakness. It’s typically the amount of information on the screen because
the application is so functionally rich.
Please share some examples of user feedback.
Most of the Epsilen case studies are
included on our website (others are in development right now). Below are
some examples of user feedback:
"Epsilen is a robust system with tools
that support diverse methods and approaches to teaching and learning. We
knew we could rely on Epsilen for hosting and technical support.” -
Kristen Sosulski, Academic Director, NYU-SCPS Office of Distance
"The Epsilen social networking tools mean
that learning is no longer a one-way street." - Dennis King, Director,
Virtual College and Learning Technolgies, Fort Hays State University, KS
"We became interested in using ePortfolios
to improve student persistence and retention." - Bruce Naples,
Director, Academic Computing Center, Queensborough Community College, NY
Please share examples of the successful use of your application to
help students achieve their goals undefined admission to graduate
school, career placement and advancement, etc.
What key changes or features do you plan to introduce in the near future?
Epsilen releases updates on a monthly
basis. Our roadmap currently includes improvements to all of our
products, including the ePortfolio and the Engagement component, and
will incorporate an internship agent, Common Core / Curriculum Mapping,
user interface improvements, and more support for mobile platforms.
Company profile: Serving educators and students in over 600
institutions worldwide, the Epsilen Environment is a hosted online
eLearning solution that focuses on learner engagement and the teaching
and learning experience. It situates a robust set of learning tools
within a learning community, offering the advantages of both.
Additionally, Epsilen offers clients exclusive access to The New York
Times Content Repository, a rich collection of digital resources and
learning objects. Epsilen is majority owned by The New York Times
Customer base/size: Epsilen serves over 550,000 users
representing over 40 clients worldwide. Over 600 institutions
participate in the Epsilen Environment in 38 countries. 1,300 school
districts utilize Epsilen.
Student license pricing model: Epsilen’s ePortfolio is free to the student for life.
Institutional pricing model: The Institutional pricing model is on an FTE basis.
Postgraduate/transfer student license model: Epsilen’s ePortfolio is free to the student for life.
Institution service agreement model: The current service
agreement model uses a customized project charter. The elements of the
charter are set-up and agreed upon by both parties before work is
started. A signature is required from both parties in order to finalize.
The following components are in the charter:
1. Project Summary – an overview of what is to be accomplished and what led to the service agreement
2. Project Drivers – list of items that motivated the client to seek the service agreement
3. Project Participants and Responsibilities – names, titles, and roles of everyone involved
4. List of Deliverables – list of specific items to be accomplished
5. Scope of Work – detailed description of the work that will be completed in the course of the project
6. Projected Timeline - list of deliverables and the approximate time frame they will be completed
7. Responsibilities of Client and Epsilen – list of responsibilities for each party involved in the project
8. Project Tracking and Reporting – identification of how the project is
to be tracked, what software will be used in communication and how the
regular reporting will be done over the course of the project.
Online support information: In addition to the training that we provide we also offer, FAQ’s, Manuals, and access to our Help Desk.
Institutional support services (Free): Services that are part
of the initial contract – Success planning to assist the institution in
defining what success looks and how to achieve that success using
technology tools, Training for administrators and faculty in the use of
the Epsilen tools, Communication plan around using the Epsilen tools,
and targeted technical implementation support.
Institutional support services (Fee-based): At this time there are no services for fees.
IT staffing requirements: None, Epsilen is a Software as a Service.
- System Requirements End User: Internet Connection, Internet Capable device.
- System Requirements Server: None, Epsilen is a Software as a Service.
- Hosted service? Epsilen is a Software as a Service so we
host everything for the client institution. This means that there is no
software to install or hardware to purchase on the clients end to
support our service.
- Storage Capacity (per account): The default storage limit per ePortfolio is 75mb but this is negotiable on a per contract basis.
- Standards compliance: Epsilen is compliant with a wide
range of standards, if there is a specific standard or area of
compliance you are interested in please let us know and we can provide
you with that information.
- Section 508 compliance: Epsilen is Section 508 compliant.
We have done testing with several text-to-speech applications and have
contracted with a company that specializes in disability access to
ensure that our site is not only compliant with the standard but, above
and beyond that, user friendly for all users.
- Published API: We do not publish an API.
- Migration/Exportation: ePortfolio access is free to the
user for life so there is no need to migrate or export the ePortfolio
data to another system.
- Systems Integration (list known): Epsilen currently has integrations with the following:
- Various content providers (NYT, NASA, StarDate, etc.)
- StarChart (Texas-only application)
- Blackboard Collaborate
- SunGard Higher Education (Banner and Luminis)
- EdSteps Continuum
Epsilen currently has integrations with the following:
- Accepted artifacts/media (pictures, video, audio, text, html, documents, etc.): Users can upload any file type that isn’t an executable file. The per file size limit is 50mb.
For the Epsilen Webinar Forum Q&A go: HERE