LaSalle University in Barcelona (e-portfolios!)

LaSalle Logo The last day of my trip to Spain was spent in Barcelona (my favorite European city after Paris, although I haven’t visited that many cities in Europe and Valencia certainly made a strong case for itself as well). LaSalle is a private university (actually there are many LaSalle universities around the world but they operate fairly independently) that is well known for it’s engineering programs.  I was hosted by Lluis Vicent and his team there. They are piloting Sakai right now as a possible replacement for their current homegrown system.  Dr. Chuck has also visited LaSalle on previous occasions and will be going back in April. The team at LaSalle is clearly very capable technically and you can see their Sakai portal here. You can also take a look at the portal for their home grown system, which is called eCampus.

The main thing we talked about was their need for e-portfolios to support the competency assessment need that are being driven by theLaSalle team with Sakaiger Bologna process. Lluis especially wanted OSP to support a many-to-many relationship between competencies and artifacts (so a cell in the portfolio could contain multiple items and the same item could be in multiple cells).  He also wanted to make the portfolio matrix be the “home page” for the course. He showed me a nice mock-up of what he thought it should look like and I’m sure he will be sharing this with the OSP lists soon. In any case, he was quite positive about Sakai and thought it would work well for LaSalle if they can get the appropriate functionality out of OSP. As Lluis put it, his top three needs are: portfolio, portfolio and portfolio. If anyone from the OSP team wants to chime in here I’m sure it will be appreciated…

I also got a tour of a brand new multimedia/virtual reality lab that had just opened at the university.  It is, to say the least, extremely impressive and, I’m told, the largest of its kind in southern Europe. The opening of the lab garnered a great deal of television coverage. I didn’t try on the motion capture suit. I’m beginning to regret that now, although I’m not sure anyone really wants to see me dance.

Although I should mention that I tagged along with Lluis and his wife to Luz de Gas, a fabulous night club that was converted from a theater. It is a really beautiful space. A Spanish pop singer, Sole Gimenez, had a concert that night. Sole was excellent and very fan-friendly. I was surprised at how much time she spent visiting with fans after the concert.  I even got my picture taken with her and Lluis’ wife. After the concert the venue turned into a typical Spanish dance club. Which means nobody is really there until about 1am and the place was still filling up when I left at 2:45 so I could catch a couple of hours of sleep before my 7am flight home the next morning. It kind of reminded me of one night at the Sakai conference in Amsterdam…

Which gives me an opportunity to remind everyone of the 9th Sakai conference in Paris! The proposal submission deadline is coming up at the end of this month so get your proposal in. And don’t forget to register for the conference as well. It promises to be a great conference in one of the world’s truly special cities.

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