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May 05, 2006

Identity, Reputation : Reflexion, Assertion

Some key terms that crop up in identity management and eportfolios have evolved slightly different meanings.

Phil Windley (via Johannes Ernst) offers a succinct distinction of identity and reputation:

Identity is my story about me.
Reputation is your story about me.

In ePortfolio-speak we might also state that a reflexion is also part of my story about me. Its something I might disclose (like a public blog post), or might keep to myself (like a private note)

An assertion in ePortfolio-speak is your story about me, and is something I might disclose to others. Its very much in the same space as reputation.

So its unfortunate that the term assertion has very different meanings in conversations on identity and portfolios - in identity, an assertion is simply a statement someone makes about someone or something. So it was quite reasonable for one vendor to use the IMS "assertion" element to link to personal blog entries as being self-assertions.

Historically, the terms reflexion and assertion were simply one item called statement, but this has negative connotations in UK education, and was split.

At what level of description is the distinction between reflexion (aka self-asserted statements) and assertion (aka reputation or other-asserted statements) useful?

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