E-portfolios: with competence?

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Simon Grant's presentation at the Mahara UK conference 2013-06-04, Birmingham

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  • Aspiration is a tricky case – serves as announcement of “I'm trying to learn this, please help!” Organisational ID and membership are naturally dealt with by organisation belonged to (and that can't be opened up) Mozilla Open Badges are mainly about ability and achievement
  • Electronic is in some ways better than paper, but certificates, CVs and portfolios are already electronic. Badges need to offer something more. I point at three main potential advantages, each one relating to one of the identified systems.
  • E-portfolios: with competence?

    1. 1. 1 E-portfolios: with competence? a way forward for employment with the InLOC specification Simon Grant, CETIS at the Mahara UK Conference, Birmingham 2013-07-04
    2. 2. 2 Outline  what e-portfolio tools have done well  the challenge of employment and skills  example: Totara importing Ofqual frameworks  how it could all be a lot easier with InLOC  what needs to be done to make it happen more
    3. 3. 3 What e-portfolios are good at  portfolio of artistic or other works  with commentary or reflection  learning logs, with reflection  self-presentation to appropriate audiences  including skills and competences  which may be evidenced by the attached artefacts that have needed the skill or competence  which may be explicitly claimed, and then evidenced by video, testimonial, etc.
    4. 4. 4 Portfolios and employment  not widely used yet  why not?  employers can't afford to look through hundreds of e- portfolios – “not more information!”  they can't easily use portfolio information to filter through the kind of candidates that they want  a short list of candidates' e-portfolios might be looked through to give a sense of what kind of people they are  but short lists are not now found through e-portfolios  does that make sense so far?
    5. 5. 5 Ideal solution...  employers need short lists of people who are suitable for the positions they have to fill  to get short list, employers could specify and search for  the areas of skill and competence they want  in someone within the organisation, or someone new  the required (proficiency) levels of those areas  specifying the evidence they might accept for (pre-)selection  from the short list look at the e-portfolios for detail  example or experience: anyone suggest?
    6. 6. 6 Employers search terms?  competency names?  but how would you know whether, say, one definition of “team working” competence would be the same as another?  or whether the same thing might have another name?  and what happens when you go international?  qualifications...  academic? vocational?  what do they really mean, anyway?  hasn't one of the problems always been that having a qualification is not the same as being able to do the job?
    7. 7. 7 Vocational qualifications  the most directly relevant to employment  apprenticeship (one type) has long history  Trades Schools started in UK in 1907  NVQs (“National”, another type) since 1986  NVQs based on National Occupational Standards  strong industry involvement, so language is OK  however, NOSs are declining in importance  it's all “employers” at present
    8. 8. 8 Apprenticeships  are based in the work place  focused on employers and their requirements  may combine technical and employability skills  “Apprenticeships must include the following elements:  … module on personal learning and thinking skills … ”  https://www.gov.uk/apprenticeships-guide  http://www.apprenticeships.org.uk/
    9. 9. 9 Higher apprenticeships  “aims of the Higher Apprenticeship Fund are to:  generate employer contributions to support programme costs  facilitate stronger sector or occupational partnerships to drive developments  create a lasting change in employer recruitment and training patterns  develop new models of Apprenticeship learning at the higher level”
    10. 10. 10 Totara for apprenticeships  Totara is a distribution of Moodle for the corporate sector  designed to work with job competencies  Totara for apprenticeships:  is based around competency etc  has strong e-portfolio connections, with Mahara  “harvests” frameworks from Ofqual  could be generalised from apprenticeships outwards  see …  http://www.totaralms.com/case-studies/wyre-academy  http://learnit-e.com/bespoke-apprenticeships/
    11. 11. Ofqual “harvester”  Ofqual's “Register of Regulated Qualifications”  see e.g. http://register.ofqual.gov.uk/Unit  over 17,000 qualifications and 41,000 units  search for the qualification or unit you want  displays learning outcomes and assessment criteria  Totara for Apprenticeships has implemented a way of reading these into their system – “harvesting”  would take at least several days programming for each other new source of information  (“harvesting” takes more work than just “importing”)
    12. 12. But no standardization  they can harvest Ofqual ones, but wouldn't it be nice to be able to import any vocational (or other) qualification, framework, or standard?  e.g. National Occupational Standards  information is not available in standardized format  what could that standard be?  it's called InLOC, and it's new  “Integrating Learning Outcomes and Competences”
    13. 13. What is InLOC?  a European expert project that finished earlier this year  drawing on earlier work including “InteropAbility”  InLOC specifies a particular way of expressing any structure (often “framework”) of skills, competence, etc.  an “information model” with standard formats  that can be processed freely and easily by software  together with URIs for each part of the structure  structures initially represented in XML  also potentially in JSON and RDF  specifications and other information available at  http://www.cetis.org.uk/inloc/Home
    14. 14. InLOC features  distinguishes structures and definitions  structures: like frameworks, relating a set of …  definitions: separate skills, knowledge items, competences  definitions can occur in different structures  structures can take any form, and be of any depth  clear and principled treatment of levels  both defining levels and attributing levels  can easily represent multilingual information  scope for all the most relevant educational metadata  single structure for all relationships and compound attributes with easy mapping to RDF (linked data)
    15. 15. e.g. the European e-Competence Framework (e-CF)  look at the PDF  the structure is the framework as a whole  the definitions are every piece of text setting out something that people could know or do  available from http://www.ecompetences.eu/  for an explanation of how to represent it in InLOC  http://purl.org/net/inloc/InLOC+explained+through+example  the InLOC XML for the e-CF is available  from http://www.cetis.org.uk/inloc/XML
    16. 16. If e.g. Ofqual used InLOC...  they could publish everything in InLOC format  any system could import the information reliably  the system would just have to extend their software once  not dependent on detailed (and potentially inconsistent) layout  other framework owners could export similar  professional competency frameworks  National Occupational Standards  etc...
    17. 17. National Occupational Standards  http://nos.ukces.org.uk/Pages/index.aspx  http://nos.ukces.org.uk/help/Pages/FAQs.aspx  created by Sector Skills Councils and others  groups together sets of  performance criteria  knowledge and understanding  they already have a clear template  would not be difficult in principle to publish InLOC
    18. 18. Mahara and InLOC  Mahara implements Leap2A import/export, which already has the capability to refer to URIs of “abilities”  InLOC gives framework owners the incentive to make URIs for each of their ability / competence definitions  Viewers of an e-portfolio should be able to click on an ability claim and link to an original definition  Mahara could hold information ready for a matching system  Totara complements this and makes a more complete system for occupational skills and competence
    19. 19. The argument summarised  if frameworks were widely available  then definitions could be reused rather than reinvented  communities could come together on terms to use  e-portfolios would be able to  refer clearly to definitions in the employer's terms  represent people's claims in those terms  show relevant and acceptable evidence  then if e-portfolios coordinate with recruitment matching  employers get short lists, and then are linked straight through to the evidence in learner's own terms
    20. 20. What needs to be done FIRST  persuade Ofqual, UKCES and others to publish the information related to skills and competence as InLOC  carry on building tools like Totara for Apprenticeships, making each tool able to process InLOC information THEN  get employers to use the same frameworks when recruiting  create the matching services to create short lists
    21. 21. Thanks!  thanks for your attention  I'm happy to advise or consider being involved in any projects that could use InLOC, and can also recommend other colleagues  questions? asimong@gmail.com @asimong

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