The Progress Portfolio is part of the Supportive Inquiry-Based Learning Environments (SIBLE) project here at Northwestern. The home page for the project is at http://www.ls.sesp.nwu.edu/sible/.
Download the software from http://www.ls.sesp.nwu.edu/sible/software.html. (If Im on the ball, the software will already be downloaded to the class mac.) Youll need a password to expand the archive; that password will be given out in class. A users manual comes with the download, but you can also view the manual on-line at http://www.ls.sesp.nwu.edu/sible/documentation/index.html. The manual includes a very good "quick tour" which you might want to walk through.
The required reading for the Progress Portfolio is:
Loh, B., Radinsky, J., Reiser, B. J., Gomez, L. M., Edelson, D. C., & Russell, E. (1997). The Progress Portfolio: Promoting reflective inquiry in complex investigation environments. In R. Hall, N. Miyake, & N. Enyedy (Eds.), Proceedings of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning '97 (pp. 169-178). Toronto, Ontario, Canada. http://www.ls.sesp.nwu.edu/sible/papers/loh_cscl97.pdf
Using the Portfolio, work through the crime investigation activity; you can also find a copy of the html in the documentation that is distributed with the software. When you start up the Portfolio, youll find that you can actually open up a sample investigation. Feel free to look at this as an example, but I urge you to start a new project for your own investigations.