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Effective Practice with e-Portfolios

Effective Practice with e-Portfolios



Presentation delivered by Lisa Gray, programme manager with JISC to the JISC Netskills workshop on Effective Practice with e-Portfolios on 24th June 2010

Presentation delivered by Lisa Gray, programme manager with JISC to the JISC Netskills workshop on Effective Practice with e-Portfolios on 24th June 2010



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  • Discussion For those working within the projects the preconceptions they held were real and were lessons hard learned and were reported as such. However, for more experienced practitioners they may seem quite naïve. It does appear that e-portfolio implementation is particularly complex and that the five aspects outlined above may well be helpfully conceived as threshold concepts. Threshold concepts“The idea of threshold concepts emerged from a UK national research project into the possible characteristics of strong teaching and learning environments in the disciplines for undergraduate education…. in the field of economics, it became clear to Erik Meyer and Ray Land , that certain concepts were held by economists to be central to the mastery of their subject. These concepts, Meyer and Land argued, could be described as ‘threshold’ ones because they have certain features in common." (Cousin, 2006). One feature is that threshold concepts are often ‘troublesome’ to the learner, i.e., that they may seem alien, incoherent or counter−intuitive (Perkins, 2006). It does appear that the implementation of e-portfolios is particularly troublesome. Threshold concepts exist in all bodies of knowledge. In the e-portfolio area they are particularly troublesome in that understanding emerges from technological, pedagogical, institutional, life-long and life-wide learning perspectives. Because of this the field engages a range of different stakeholders who need to understand the e-portfolio domain and these have different cognate backgrounds and professional interests.
  • Threshold Concepts associated with eportfolio implementationPURPOSES: The PURPOSE/S for the eportfolio must be aligned to the particular context;LEARNING ACTIVITY DESIGN: There must be a conscious DESIGN & SUPPORT OF A LEARNING ACTIVITY/ ACTIVITIES suited to the purpose and the context; PROCESSES: The PROCESSES involved in the creation of the eportfolio in this context must be understood and both technical and pedagogic support needs to be provided; OWNERSHIP: eportfolio processes and outcomes need to be OWNED by the student - this leads to considering portability, choice of tool (use their own phone camera, audio recorder, Web 2.0 application etc, but also their engagement; DISRUPTIVE NATURE: e-portfolios are disruptive from a pedagogic, technological and an organisation perspective because it tends not to fit exactly within existing systems.

Effective Practice with e-Portfolios Effective Practice with e-Portfolios Presentation Transcript

  • 21/06/2010| slide 1
    Effective Practice with e-Portfolios: Supporting 21st Century Learning
    Lisa Gray
    Joint Information Systems Committee
    Supporting education and research
  • Overview of the day
    10.10 – 11.15: e-Portfolios in context, definitions, purposes, resources and projects
    11.15 – 11.50: Presentations from practitioners
    11.50– 12.05: Coffee break
    12.05 – 13.15: Presentations from practitioners
    13.15 – 14.00: Lunch
    14.00 – 14.45: Practical hands on activity using e-portfolio tools
    14.45– 15.10: Issues discussion
    15.10– 15.40: Exploring JISC resources
    15.40 – 16.00: Update on JISC activity and further resources, round up and summary of the day
  • 21/06/2010| slide 3
    Why are e-portfolios important?
    Policy context
    Institutional drivers
    Pre-Higher Education initiatives
    But most importantly…..their potential to transform learning
    “Emerging and often powerful evidence from practitioners and learners of the value of developing e-portfolios….adding value to personalised and reflective models of learning”
    Supporting transition, assessment, application, professional development, personal development planning…..
  • 21/06/2010| slide 4
    Launched in September 2008
  • 21/06/2010| slide 5
    Exercise: What are e-portfolios?
  • 21/06/2010| slide 6
    Some definitions:
    ‘The research team worked from an understanding of e-portfolios that incorporates both process and product, and includes a range of tools within a system that links with other systems. Broadly, the product (e-portfolio) is a purposeful selection of items (evidence) chosen at a point in time from a repository or archive, with a particular audience in mind. The processes that are required to create e-portfolios for any purpose include capturing and ongoing storage of material, selection, reflection and presentation.’
    Hartnell-Young et al (2007): The Impact of e-Portfolios on Learning. Coventry. Becta http://partners.becta.org.uk/index.php?section=rh&catcode=_re_rp_02&rid=14007
  • 21/06/2010| slide 7
    Some definitions:
    ‘Definitions of an e-portfolio tend to include the following elements:
    A collection of digital resources
    That provide evidence of an individual’s progress and achievements
    Drawn from both formal and informal learning activities
    That are personally managed and owned by the learner
    That can be used for review, reflection and personal development planning
    That can be selectively accessed by other interested parties e.g. teachers, peers, assessors, awarding bodies, prospective employers’
    Helen Beetham, 2005 http://www.jisc.ac.uk/uploaded_documents/eportfolio_ped.dochttp://www.jisc.ac.uk/uploaded_documents/eportfolio_ped.doc
  • 21/06/2010| slide 8
    Working to a consensus…
    ..an emerging consensus that the term essentially means the product
    ‘An e-portfolio is a purposeful aggregation of digital items – ideas, evidence, reflections, feedback etc., which ‘presents’ a selected audience with evidence of a person’s learning and/or ability’
    CETIS SIG mailing list discussions
    …but, importantly, in the process of creating ‘presentational’ e-portfolios (through the use of tools or systems), learners can be inherently supported to develop the key skills of capturing evidence, reflecting, sharing, collaborating, annotating and presenting (e-portfolio related processes)
  • 21/06/2010| slide 9
    E-portfolios to present for different purposes
    Tools to support processes
    Space (local or remote) to store resources and an archive of evidence
    Purposes & Tools
    Celebrating learning
    Personal planning
    Transition/entry to courses
    Employment applications
    Professional registration
    Capturing & storing evidence
    Giving feedback
    Presenting to an audience
    From Elizabeth Hartnell-Young (2007), ‘Developing an ePortfolio culture from the early years’
  • 21/06/2010| slide 10
  • 21/06/2010| slide 11
    The confusion over e-portfolios
    “The problem is that portfolio is a learning approach not a technology……..the essential nature of an ePortfolio for learning is not as a repository but as a place for reflection”
    Trent Batson, 7th Jan 09, ‘The Portfolio Enigma in a Time of Ephemera’
    “It is a reflection of the student as a person undergoing continuous personal development, not just a store of evidence’
    Geoff Rebbeck, e-Learning Co-ordinator , Thanet College
  • 21/06/2010| slide 12
    ‘…like a filing cabinet online, but it’s got a dialogue with it as well…’
    ‘The fact you can put video and tell your story …’
    ‘It’s an addictive thing to use both academically and socially’
    ‘The VLE are owned by the institution and the e-portfolio is owned by me’
    ‘It takes the CV into the modern era’
    ‘e-Portfolio tools enable students to make the all-important connections between the curriculum and the other things they do’
    ‘An e-portfolio should be your opportunity to draw on everything you have already created to make your own story’
    ‘a lifeline of communication’
  • Exercise: For what purposes might learners create e-portfolios and why?
    21/06/2010| slide 13
  • 21/06/2010| slide 14
    Overview of JISC work…and others
    Using e-portfolios to support:
    Application to University
    Application to employment Employability
    Presentation of work for professional accreditation
    Evidencing competencies Providing evidence for appraisal
    Evidencing continuing professional development
    Presentation of work for assessment
    Showcasing work to employers
    Work-based learning
    Supporting learning processesFlexible course design and delivery
    Non-traditional learners, women returning to higher education
    Information advice and guidance
  • 21/06/2010| slide 15
    Supporting learning processes
    “The use of e-portfolios with this group has been effective in encouraging the development of student reflection. Learners feel that they have benefited from reflecting on issues such as their personal experiences, their behaviour, events in their lives, their thoughts and feelings, their writing, and their personal development in general.”
    “The use of e-portfolios with this learner group resulted in a greater appreciation of collaboration and collaborative learning.”
    File-Pass Final Report
    “…I find doing this quite useful because it made me think about a much more structured way whether I was going to long term be happy in a vineyard or would I be happy in a winery”
    MyWorld Final Report
    “We became reflective writers and practitioners without even thinking about it”
    PGCE student, University of Wolverhampton
  • Tangible benefits include
    Efficiency Time savings in information retrieval Supporting reflection and feedback, Supporting presentation, Assessment AND administration
    Enhancement Improving quality of evidence, Reflection and feedback; Skills development; Student motivation and satisfaction to inform Teaching Quality Enhancement Increases in recruitment and retention Use by staff for professional development increasing and informing use with students Supporting women returners to the workplace
    Transformation Through engaging practitioners and policy makers; Through institutional integration of e-portfolio use in a number of professional development activities Through providing a work placement quality management system
    21/06/2010| slide 16
  • 21/06/2010| slide 17
  • 21/06/2010| slide 18
    Emerging from the JISC work….
    On legal issues, implementation, embedding, choice of tool/system, entry to HE, storage and access, use and non-use of e-portfolios, benefits of use, using e-portfolios with staff, training and support, mainstreaming practice....
    Governance Toolkit
    Helps to think through the main issues in planning, implementing and planning an e-portfolio project
    Case studies and stories:
    Learner voices videos, animations, stories from projects, and case studies demonstrating tangible benefits
    A range of case studies on use of e-portfolios for assessment
  • 21/06/2010| slide 19
    Ongoing e-portfolio activity
    Transforming Curriculum Delivery: October 2008 – Oct 2010
    Using Mahara to showcase achievements to employers
    Institutional approaches to curriculum design: Sept 2008 – Sept 2012
    How technology can support the more flexible and agile design of curricula
    Lifelong learning and workforce development: April 2009 – March 2011
    Using e-portfolio tools to support work-based learning, flexible course design and delivery, professional skills and competencies, developing reflective, lifelong learners
    Study of large scale e-portfolio implementations: August 2010 – May 2011
    Leap2a interoperability pilots: completing July 2010
  • 21/06/2010| slide 20
    'Interoperability standards are obvious enablers to e-portfolio transition and progression, all the more so since there is wide acknowledgement that a 'one size fits all' approach to e-portfolios is inappropriate for the diversity of institutions in the school and FE College sector.'
    ePistle Guidelines
  • 21/06/2010| slide 21
    Emerging lessons….
    Think about requirements
    All stakeholders
    Technical and pedagogic
    Think about the context
    Successful use depends on a careful analysis of the teaching and learning context
    Embed into the curriculum – activities need to be meaningful and purposeful, language should be appropriate
    Win hearts and minds – think about the benefits to all groups
    Staff engagement is key to learner engagement
    Timing – staff need time to think about how to best use the tools before learners are introduced to it
    Personalisation is key
    Reflection is hard – providing some structure helps
    Listen to the learner and staff voices
    Training – not just technical
    Longevity – learners won’t be motivated to use their e-portfolios unless they know they have continued access
    “e-portfolios are as diverse and unique as the individuals that populate them…”

    ePistle Final Report
  • What are the features of a threshold concept?
     'Threshold Concepts' may  be considered to be "akin  to passing through a portal"  or "conceptual gateway"  that opens up "previously  inaccessible way[s] of  thinking about something"  (Meyer and Land, 2003).
    They represent ‘troublesome’ knowledge,
    i.e. counter-intuitive(Perkins, 2006)  
    21/06/2010| slide 22
  • Threshold Concepts associated with e-portfolio implementation
    These relate to:
    Their PURPOSES:
    The PROCESSES involved:
    OWNERSHIP issues:
    Their transformative and DISRUPTIVE NATURE
    21/06/2010| slide 23
  • 21/06/2010| slide 24
    Further information
    JISC e-Portfolio main page, including information on policy context, key resources, JISC projects: www.jisc.ac.uk/eportfolio
    Effective Practice with e-Portfolios www.jisc.ac.uk/effectivepracticeeportfolios
    Study on the role of e-Portfolios in Formative and Summative Assessment Practices www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/elearning/eportfolios/studyontheroleofeportfolios.aspx
    infoKit www.jiscinfonet.ac.uk/e-portfolios
    Paper on ‘Threshold Concept’ model relating to e-portfolios: http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/auckland09/procs/joyes.pdf
    Stories from the regional pilot projects www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/edistributed/regionalstories.aspx
    Tangible Benefits of e-Learning www.jisc.ac.uk/publications/publications/bptangiblebenefitsv1.aspx
    JISC-CETIS Portfolio SIG: wiki.cetis.ac.uk/Portfolio
    Becta Impact Study on e-Portfolios on Learning: partners.becta.org.uk/upload-dir/downloads/page_documents/research/impact_study_eportfolios.doc
    Contact: l.gray@jisc.ac.uk