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It's not what you've got, it's how you use it...ePortfolios in action
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It's not what you've got, it's how you use it...ePortfolios in action

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This session around ePortfolios will briefly consider the 'why' for learners and teachers, explore what is already working (for teachers with learners, and teachers as learners), and finally explore a ...

This session around ePortfolios will briefly consider the 'why' for learners and teachers, explore what is already working (for teachers with learners, and teachers as learners), and finally explore a couple of options of possible ePortfolio platforms, including Web 2.0 and Mahara.

Philosophically, I am a strong advocate of the potential of Web 2.0 to empower learners from all walks of life and cultures, especially after my experiences working for 6 years in the Middle East. In particular, I am interested how ePortfolios can be used in education (especially where Literacy and Language challenges are faced), in Recognition of Prior Learning, and in authentic, applied assessment.

Just to give people who may be interested in this session some background to what I feel the potential of ePortfolios to be this is a recording of a keynote I gave in Australia last year -http://ictenhancedlearning.blip.tv/file/2751810/.

Please cite as: Owen, H. (2010). It's not what you've got, it's how you use it...ePortfolios in action Paper presented at the MoodleMoot NZ10, Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, New Zealand.

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  • This session around ePortfolios will briefly consider the 'why' for learners and teachers, explore what is already working (for teachers with learners, and teachers as learners), and finally explore a couple of options of possible ePortfolio platforms, including Web 2.0 and Mahara. Philosophically, I am a strong advocate of the potential of Web 2.0 to empower learners from all walks of life and cultures, especially after my experiences working for 6 years in the Middle East. In particular, I am interested how ePortfolios can be used in education (especially where Literacy and Language challenges are faced), in Recognition of Prior Learning, and in authentic, applied assessment.
  • Learning :   facilitated by connections between the new and the familiar   facilitated by 'deliberate practice' salient feedback that draws learner focus   Deep learning (understanding) facilitates transfer   Deep learning is time consuming Motivation matters (Bransford et al, 2000)   Document ideas Capture inspiration Facilitate timely, formative feedback Constant connectivity Realtime flexibility Interaction with outside agencies (other people, not just immediate peers/staff) Mobilising learning levels of engagement/ creativity, and feelings of empowerment  enhanced 1.    Presentation (showcase of ‘best’ work and accomplishments either during study or in the workplace); 2.    Learning / process (includes guidance around reflection, analysing, thinking critically, making connections, identifying problems, and learning over time); 3.    Assessment (evidence to demonstrate specific learning outcomes to an ‘authority’); 4.    Personal development (used for registration, certification, professional development, and career progression. Usually involves a review process, action plan, and recognition of required professional criteria); 5.    Multiple-owner (enables a group or organisation to represent research, projects and growth); and 6.    Working (includes some or all of the characteristics identified in 1-5 above – hosted in a tool that facilitates flexible accessibility/privacy to discrete elements of the ePortfolio. Specific elements could for instance be selected from a working ePortfolio to create a presentation ePortfolio).   Education/training   learning assessment reflection tracking planning Personal   self identity   lifelong/lifewide learning   personal development wellbeing Employment career planning resume/CV professional development employability skills promotion  
  • Developmental/showcase/professional  Private/public space Trust/rapport Rehearse as a group as well as an individual Collection of 'projects' - some half-finished, some ready for the next production, some still in the concept phase, some abandoned Spend time as an apprentice, sweeping, painting scenery, learning the vocabulary Start to rehearse. Feedback from director/peers (work collaboratively to interpret a script) Personality - interpretation of the script (role/assessment/rubric) Audience - who are they? Appropriacy. Don't always know (global) Dress rehearsal/first night - iterative feedback loop A wide range of interpretations around what comprises an ePortfolio exists, partly around factors such as purpose and format, as well as around the tools utilised. As such, there is no uniform definition of ePortfolios (Hallam et al., 2008), which, in turn, increases the risk of placing the focus on ePortfolios as products as opposed to process (Barker, 2006; Smith & Tillema, 2003). Even in the use of the term ePortfolio, there is little consistency. Richardson and Ward (2005) discovered that one view of an ePortfolio involved the collection and storage of digital artifacts on a portable storage device that is not accessible from the Internet, such as a CD ROM. Alternatively, they also found that ‘webfolio’ is used to refer to digital artifacts hosted in a Web-based environment. Most definitions and descriptions recognise ePortfolios as “a collection of ‘works’...that represent physical evidence of achievements” (Mason, Cochrane, & Owen, 2008). For instance, in the UK, ePortfolios tend to be informed by the notion of Personal Development Records (PDRs) (Dearing, 1997), and are considered to be evidence of accomplishments, as well as an archive of associated reflections, which can be used to package and present learning and achievements (Richardson & Ward, 2005). Other basic definitions of ePortfolios include “a tightly integrated collection of Web-based multimedia documents that include curricular standards, course assignments, student artifacts [created] in response to assignments, and reviewer feedback to the student’s work” (Gathercoal, Love, Bryde, & McKean, 2002, p. 29). The JISC (2008) definition adds that the digital artifacts are used to express students’ experiences, achievements and learning. In contrast, this paper, with reference to the potential of Web 2.0 principles and tools, considers ePortfolios to have the scope to be “a multi-faceted forum, with areas for collaborative development, private reflection, and showcasing of achievements” (Owen, 2009). Six key purposes have been identified for ePortfolios (Abrami & Barrett, 2005; Hallam et al., 2008; Ward & Grant, 2007; Zeichner & Wray, 2001): 1. Presentation (showcase of ‘best’ work and accomplishments either during study or in the workplace); 2. Learning / process (includes guidance around reflection, analysing, thinking critically, making connections, identifying problems, and learning over time); 3. Assessment (evidence to demonstrate specific learning outcomes to an ‘authority’); 4. Personal development (used for registration, certification, professional development, and career progression. Usually involves a review process, action plan, and recognition of required professional criteria); 5. Multiple-owner (enables a group or organisation to represent research, projects and growth); and 6. Working (includes some or all of the characteristics identified in 1 to 5 above – hosted in a tool that facilitates flexible accessibility/privacy to discrete elements of the ePortfolio. Specific elements could, for instance, be selected from a working ePortfolio to create a presentation ePortfolio).
  • Why use ePortfolios? Sociocultural theory indicates that the process of human development, cognition and context are not discrete factors. Learning occurs in social settings (Tharp & Gallimore, 1989) comprising communities, rules, tools, and activities, where there is potential for an individual’s higher mental functions such as logical memory, verbal and conceptual thought, and complex emotions to mature (Kublin, Wetherby, Crais, & Prizant, 1989). Importance is thereby placed on cultural and social aspects of learning experiences (Owen, 2006), in turn signifying Web 2.0 as potentially desirable for ePortfolios as discussed below. Development Excellence Reflective Creativity End point Competence Descriptive Guidelines ( Mason, C., Cochrane, T., & Owen, H. (2008, March). E-portfolios. Paper presented at the Centre for Teaching and Learning Innovation Lunchtime Series, Unitec New Zealand, Auckland.)   Peer, family & professional support Individual learning Paced collaborative learning Student to  student Student to community Teacher to student Community of learning/inquiry  Structured learning resources    Model of Online Learning - "Toward a Theory of Online Learning", Terry Anderson, Athabasca University 2004.
  • Benefits of ePortfolios in tertiary education include helping students to become focussed critical thinkers who can apply theories and concepts to concrete, authentic situations (Hauge, 2006), as well as creating an archive of learning progression over time (Smith & Tillema, 2003).  Conflict of the goals of learners, the tutors, the institution, and the wider community (Butler, 2006; Zeichner & Wray, 2001);    Recognition of Prior Learning process expedite work-based learning, apprenticeships
  • With the factors above in mind, I relocated from the UAE back to Unitec NZ where I had the opportunity to continue working with academic faculty and learners around the use of ePortfolios. At Unitec NZ, there is a combination of ages, ethnicities, backgrounds, levels of ICT literacy and access to ICT, and many students are studying on courses with a vocational focus such as architecture, vet nursing, horticulture, business, IT, boat building, and the built environment. Potentially, ePortfolios have the flexibility and customisability to meet the diverse requirements of a variety of learners, in a range of life circumstances and careers. For example, statistically Maori and Pacific Island students are under-represented in all aspects of study at the tertiary level (Hau'alofa'ia Koloto, Katoanga, & Unafei Taila, 2006; NZ Council for Educational Researchers, 2004). One aim, therefore, was to offer options around the development of ePortfolios such as those facilitated by Mobile Learning (mLearning) and Web 2.0. As a result, courses with integrated ePortfolios may enable learners to access learning experiences without having to take time off work, while also being able to fulfil their family or community commitments, thereby improving completion rates and professional progression.
  • Sociocultural theory indicates that the process of human development, cognition and context are not discrete factors. Learning occurs in social settings (Tharp & Gallimore, 1989) comprising communities, rules, tools, and activities, where there is potential for an individual’s higher mental functions such as logical memory, verbal and conceptual thought, and complex emotions to mature (Kublin, Wetherby, Crais, & Prizant, 1989). Importance is thereby placed on cultural and social aspects of learning experiences (Owen, 2006), in turn signifying Web 2.0 as potentially desirable for ePortfolios as discussed below.
  • Competency - authentic, situated, depth On the job (POV) Environmental concerns
  • TECHNOLOGY PEDAGOGY PRACTICE Commercial software - benefits & drawbacks No direct software development costs Licences must adapt to vendor’s pricing structure Technical support handled by the vendor Customer service and technical support may be poor Choice of software system Requests for adaptation may be slow and expensive CMS may have built-in ePortfolio solution, offering integrated environment Proprietary (in-house) systems - benefits and drawbacks Institution develops exactly what it wants Development costs can be prohibitive No software licence fees May require time and energy to build Institution owns intellectual property High levels of technical expertise required to build and maintain the system Need to retain expert staff to sustain and scale the system •   Student-owned and generated portfolio •   Repository for student-created teaching resources •   Record reflections on personal/professional development (multi-media) •   Identity space (profiles) •   Bibliographic management system •   Peer comments/reviews •   Monitoring of tutor-generated portfolio tasks 15 Future-Proofing PDP and e-Portfolio Developments Matching Purpose with Tools Case 1: Blackboard Personal Portfolio •   Almost no collaborative features •   Sharing is limited to ‘viewing’ •   Tracking difficult and time-consuming •   Good as online repository and reflection tool As technology innovations come to the fore, tools available for ePortfolios change rapidly, sometimes with associated support implications. The four main categories of tools available to institutions are commercial software (including Learning Management Systems - LMSs), proprietary systems (often developed in-house), Open Source software, and Web 2.0 solutions (Stefani, Mason, & Pegler, 2007). There are many papers and reviews that compare the various tools (for example, Barrett, 2007) and a full overview is outside of the remit of this paper. All decisions made around the choice, implementation and pedagogy underpinning ePortfolios and the choice of tools resonates in their future use by academic faculty and learners. For example, if an enterprise ePortfolio system is chosen one concern is that a mandated system might foster conformity and raise questions of ownership. Such applications tend to limit peer access, and the implication is that the ownership of artifacts and interactions hosted within it belong to the institution. Learner control is often limited to basic layout and colour scheme. On the other hand, if ePortfolios are to be used in a programme as a reflection and assessment tool, then some level of consistency is desirable.
  • Hosted by a provider online - e.g. foliospaces Open source ePortfolio software (OSPI) - benefits and drawbacks No charge for open source software Costs associated with technical support and maintenance Members of OPSI participate in software development Possibility of open source initiative drying out and/or the community disbanding Software and development may not keep pace with needs * The "My Portfolio" block is configurable for all users on that Moodle server (as a sticky block) * Subportfolios/Views can be created within My Portfolio (one-level) * Subject Areas can be used to group and search artifacts (set by Admin) * Artifacts can be loaded three ways: o Link to an existing Moodle Assignment o Enter artifact directly into Moodle screen o Upload any type of file to Moofolio * Reflections by student and teacher on all artifacts * Students cannot modify teacher's reflections * Search capabilities: portfolios and artifacts by student, subject, artifact titles, keywords and dates * Appearance can be modified by students - backgrounds, colors, fonts, etc. * Maximum file size for uploads determined by server administrator * Test scores can be loaded from spreadsheet format by admin - viewable by student or teachers * Artifacts can be locked by teachers * File Cabinet (formerly known as FileKeeper) is part of the Moofolio architecture but can be used separately as a block if desired * "Express Yourself" feature allows student customization of a portfolio view to provide an additional page for creativity
  • Improvements in technology and connectivity have progressed hand-in-hand with a change in ethos around the use of the Internet, which was dubbed Web 2.0 by Dale Dougherty in 2004 (O’Reilly, 2005). Creativity, collaboration and sharing became key underpinning foci. Companies, rather than supplying the content, started to supply the platform for users to publish their own content, which is often in rich, multimedia formats. In turn, people around the world have the ability to collaborate, comment and communicate with the original creator, sometimes resulting in the formation of communities with a common interest. Copyright is shifting alongside these developments, with creative commons licenses giving a wide continuum of usage rights (Owen, 2009). Web 2.0 tools – benefits and drawbacks More creative ePortfolios are possible Students may need web authoring skills ePortfolio creators can design and enter artefacts in any way they choose Low software costs
  • The contents of an ePortfolio can be numerous and are dependent on the identified purpose and audience. However, one of the central issues an education institution faces is where manifold purposes for ePortfolios have been identified, resulting in poorly defined or contradictory aims and outcomes. This situation can be exacerbated when overly prescriptive guidelines are mandated (Zeichner & Wray, 2001), or where unsuitable, inflexible tools are adopted (Hallam et al., 2008). Benefits of ePortfolios in tertiary education include helping students to become focussed critical thinkers who can apply theories and concepts to concrete, authentic situations (Hauge, 2006), as well as creating an archive of learning progression over time (Smith & Tillema, 2003). Further associated positive outcomes are an enhanced sense of empowerment and awareness of personal attributes (Darling, 2001; Young, 2002), plus improvements in creativity, design, planning, self-direction, communication, and organisation skills (Brown, 2002; Bull, Montgomery, Overton, & Kimball, 1999; Campbell, Cignetti, Melenyzer, Nettles, & Wyman, 2001). For academic faculty, the potential for fostering lifelong learning and Professional Development (PD) planning engendered by the use of ePortfolios is considerable (Hallam et al., 2008). Furthermore, other stakeholders, including employers and professional organisations, are showing increased interested in future possibilities, in particular those who employ graduates (ibid, 2008).
  • Osteopathy Medical imaging Sport Business Don DoLs (group ePortfolio) TPA (reaction of TPA initially - defensive; Lata/Vickel) Promotion staff (reaction to begin with 2008; no real results - 2009 Daniel Performing Arts; Nicola Dunham Education) Unsolicited enquiries / interest / teacher in crisis all picked up ePFs Reflection / evaluation - what have we learned along the way? Resources (Amy Ling) Concepts - e.g. ePF as performance Motivation - reason for developing ePf Accessibility - of concepts and resources
  • There is an obvious, and understandable bias toward VET type programmes to use ePF - but has huge potential for creative arts music, literature, programming, applied mathematics - pretty much anything Example: Swinburne University of Technology Organisational overview Swinburne TAFE21 is a large RTO with six campuses in inner and outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne and one in Malaysia. The School of Engineering designs and delivers customised training for many private and government organisations, both in Australia and overseas. Swinburne Aviation22 works with the air transport sector across Australia in providing training and qualifications in airline and airport operations. In consultation with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), the School of Engineering at Swinburne, designed, developed, accredited and now delivers the Certificate IV and Diploma in Aviation Safety Regulation for new and existing workers around Australia who are employed by CASA. Overview Swinburne TAFE uses e-portfolios to support applicants in RPL across Australia for the Certificate IV and Diploma in Aviation Safety Regulation . The model is blended assessment and RPL with learners uploading evidence and identifying when they are ready to be assessed. Recent developments have 75 students targeted to use an e-portfolio to support demonstration of competency. A combination of direct phone contact, e-news, email and messaging supports the applicants in uploading and identifying relevant evidence. The WebCT/Blackboard e-portfolio platform assists with the individual’s learning plan and the RPL process. Key features of implementing an e-portfolio into the RPL process Selecting an e-portfolio system for the RPL process Swinburne University uses the platform WebCT/Blackboard for e-portfolios. This system was selected because of the existing capability and familiarity with WebCT/Blackboard, and important communication functions such as e-news, messaging and notification of evidence upload and posting of assessor comments Swinburne provided information in the e-portfolio system on the whole assessment process, created sections for the organisation of information and supplied help documents such as evidence guides, how to use guides and a hotline for learners. The main functions required were easy evidence upload, notification and messaging, ability for an assessor to view an e-portfolio, accessible around Australia and overseas as well as a reasonable storage capacity. Implementing an e-portfolio system to support the RPL process Successful implementation related to both the assessor and learners’ confidence with WebCT/Blackboard and an e-portfolio approach to evidence identification and management. Although initial issues with technology and error messages received by the learners were frustrating, these issues were quickly resolved by supplying detailed technical specifications to learners and an increase in the storage capacity of the e-portfolio to 50MB. 21 http://www.tafe.swinburne.edu.au/ 22 http://www.swinburne.edu.au/feis/aviation/ E-portfolios for RPL Assessment Australian Flexible Learning Framework 23 Swinburne developed a customised guide for using the e-portfolio based on the structure of the specific qualifications. Once the learners understood the system it has became a time efficient and convenient process for assessment. Ways an e-portfolio can support the RPL process The WebCT/Blackboard e-portfolio system supported evidence identification and validation after an initial conversation with the applicant and their assessor. Evidence included documents, work samples, log books, reports and an individual learning and assessment plan. Evidence was validated through discussion between the assessor and applicant as well as with their supervisor. Additional information to consider when using an e-portfolio in the RPL process The key benefit in using an e-portfolio for Swinburne learners has been the ability to manage RPL and assessment efficiently across distance. Other discoveries identified There have been mixed reactions from learners/applicants needing guidance on the functionality and use of the tool. Other issues and barriers with technical aspects such as storage limits, fire walls, cookies and JavaScript errors have been overcome to enable an efficient use of the concept. There was a frustration with limitations of technology rather than the concept of an e-portfolio RPL process per se, with the overall result being extremely positive. 4. Using e-portfolios (electronic portfolios) with web 2.0 social networking tools (Charles Darwin University, NT) Background Employers are always looking for specific job skills when they take on a new employee. These skills could include teamwork, communication or using their own initiative. But it’s often difficult for learners to demonstrate that they possess these key skills. The Charles Darwin University (CDU) trial looked at the use of e-portfolios to reflect learning experiences in a self-managed open portal format. E-portfolios have been around for years but mainly in a static format, ie a digital version of the CV. This trial is looking at how social networking tools can enhance e-portfolios and demonstrate employability skills and graduate attributes. The team at CDU trialled Kaltura (an open source video platform), in conjunction with Blackboard’s e-portfolio platform, with a range of VET students from the School of Creative Arts and Humanities. Project goals • Trial and document the use of Kaltura in conjunction with Blackboard's e-portfolio platform. • Determine technical requirements, implementation and issues if encountered. • Determine training requirements for use of the system. Project outcomes The trial gathered much information about the use of e-portfolios by trial participants and developed a number of recommendations and further discussion which will be published in 2009 in a paper. Some of the major outcomes include: • Trial involving 88 students from the School of Creative Arts and Humanities. • Survey of participants on the requirement for the e-portfolio to be portable - 67% agreed/strongly agreed, 23% were uncertain as they had never used an e-portfolio. • Seamlessly integrated into the Blackboard system - students were more or less unaware that it was a separate service. • Technical recommendations. • The trial found students required ~500MB of storage space per student. • File formats, sizing and repurposing requirements and tools. • Recommended free tools such as Audacity for audio.
  • Dumfires and Galloway College Wolverhampton Uni Dumfries and Galloway College - Candid comments from 'Introduction to Construction Technician' students at on the perceived benefits and otherwise of e-portfolios and impact on employability Jenny Woodhams and Emma Purnell - Jenny Woodhams and Emma Purnell discuss the benefits of using an e-portolio to record their progress on a Post-Compulsory PGCE course
  • NedCar, situated in Born in the Limburg province, is the only large-scale automobile producer in the Netherlands. It started in August 1991 as a joint venture between the Mitsubishi Motor Corporation and Volvo. With a workforce of 3.000 people, it is also one of the largest employers in Limburg. Many employees are trained to junior technical school level and realize the benefits of additional training only later in life. Staff training is an essential part of the company’s strategy to remain competitive, and to encourage employees to take responsibility for improving their own job prospects, both internally and externally. The problems at the Nedcar plant in the southeast of The Netherlands were triggered by DaimlerChrysler AG's (DCX) decision to stop the production of its Smart ForFour model. NedCar is expected to reduce the number of employees by 1.000 in a reorganization aimed at cutting production costs. Synergetics introduces the eXact Portfolio®, IMS ePortfolio compatible component of the Learn eXact LCMS Suite, as the ePortfolio Management System (ePMS) for the Nedcar project. All 3000 employees will get their personal “EmployabilityPortfolio”. The ePortfolio data will be imported from Nedcar’s SAP-HR and other HR-applications. Supported by Nedcar HR-coaches, external consultants and various employability/employment service providers, such as www.cwi.nl, www.kenteq.nl and training service providers. All employees will be enabled to develop and complete their personal EmployabilityPortfolio, thus creating both a powerful, standards based tool that will help them to develop their NedCar career (internal employability) or assist them in the finding a new job (“shortest way to work”, external employability). The ePMS will also act as an instrument for the new continuity-HR policy of Nedcar, which is focusing on developing mobile, competency-aware employees thus providing mobility of work in the region. To orchestrate this broad range of (web) services, especially for the 1.000 employees who will leave the company, the ePMS will integrated with Giunti’s LCMS, eXact skills®, and eventually embedded in an BPMS/SOArchitecture. In the Netherlands, government policy issues associated with the ICT infrastructure for higher education resulted in the establishment of the organisation SURF. Dutch universities were challenged to develop and introduce ideas associated with the use of the ICT network that linked the academic and research institutions. Current activities encompass the provision of network services, development and management of protocols for security and authentication, software development and collaboration across the thematic areas of eLearning, scholarly communication, digital rights, identity management and technical standards. SURF and its activities are primarily funded by the academic partners (research intensive and applied science universities) and the government Ministry of Education, Science and Culture and the Ministry of Economic Affairs. NL Portfolio is a special interest group (SIG) within SURF, established in 2004, that aims to ‛combine, share and develop further the knowledge in the field of digital portfolios in higher education’ (SURF NL, 2008). In 2006-2007, the NL Portfolio Expertise Group conducted a research study to examine ePortfolio practice in Dutch higher education, which includes the research universities and the universities of applied science, which tend to offer a more competence-oriented education. NL Portfolio is working with a number of institutions that are ready to embark on scaling up their ePortfolio projects to an institution-wide level. SURF is involved in collaborative projects with international partners such as JISC in the UK. In universities, support for academic staff is provided by the Faculty and support divisions, including Deans, Associate Deans, Heads of School, learning and teaching support staff, administrators and ICT support staff. In the context of ePortfolio projects in the Netherlands, it was found that ‛management should provide solid support for the educational change implied by the use of portfolios’ (Aalderink & Veugelers, 2005). A champion in each school or course can make a significant difference: it has been argued that ePortfolio practice essentially needs to become part of the culture in the school or the faculty if students are to be convinced of its relevance and value (Cosh, 2008a). The national audit confirms this, with strongly articulated needs There are further communities of practice in individual European countries, such as the Netherlands. The organisation SURF has a longer history, evolving in response to government policy issues in the 1980s, with Dutch universities challenged to develop and introduce ideas associated with the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in higher education. SURF and its activities are primarily funded by the academic partners (research intensive and applied science universities) and the government Ministry of Education, Science and Culture and the Ministry of Economic Affairs. NL Portfolio is a special interest group (SIG) within SURF, established in 2004, which aims to ‛combine, share and develop further the knowledge in the field of digital portfolios in higher education’ (SURF NL, 2008). One fractional staff position is funded by SURF for administration of the SIG. The activities of NL Portfolio currently encompass: setting up a portal site for e-portfolio in higher education in the Netherlands participating in different project tenders in the field of e-learning in the Netherlands starting up a work group around scaling up Eportfolio in Higher Education Institutes cooperating in the international field on e-portfolio exploring and developing the theme of life long learning in the Netherlands, in cooperation with partners in education, in government and in employment being one of the organisers of Eportfolio 2008 conference in October in Maastricht disseminating practice through congresses, seminars, etc. (SURF NL, 2008) Accordingly, the NL Portfolio team coordinates research projects across the higher education sector, to explore the potential for ePortfolios in learning and assessment and to support academics with scalability issues as they move out of the experimental phase of ePortfolio practice to face the challenges of implementation at the institutional level. Limited funding is offered for a number of small projects that draw on the distributed enquiry process to resolve a range of questions associated with ePortfolio practice. Knowledge is shared via the NL Portfolio portal, publications, seminars and congresses. Recent work at NL Portfolio has included a study closely related to the Australian ePortfolio research project, examining ePortfolio practice in a number of Dutch universities (Aalderink & Veugelers, 2007). International collaboration is also a key focus of the NL Portfolio activities.
  • Following consultation with parents and teachers, Ilam School decided to move from hard copy portfolios to e-portfolios and online learning journeys in 2010. Principal, Lyn Bird, says this shift fits with future national standards reporting. Brendan Wright and Elizabeth Minchington discuss how e-portfolios are used at Ilam School. “ In 2007 we introduced a learning management system (LMS). A couple of teachers investigated how it could be used. It started as a resource and homework portal. We got into using the forums and photo galleries and those sorts of things. We realised that a lot of the things we were doing with the LMS were reflection activities. For example, if children are commenting in a forum or a photo, they are reflecting as they are doing so. During 2008, a few more teachers got involved, trialling some digital learning stories. We looked at the potential, and this year we are cementing what we see as really crucial and how we are going to work across the school. Our next challenge is to move away from our two-dimensional portfolio to a more child owned three-dimensional e-portfolio. We have set some good things in place for this with our work in effective pedagogy. Parents will have access and a login. They will see their children’s work and reflections, what is going on in the classroom and examples and evidence of their learning. This gives them an opportunity to participate in the reflection by feedback and commenting. The previous portfolio featured a list of things that needed to be included, whereas now the children are making decisions as to what goes in the portfolio. They are beginning to manage their own system. It is becoming assessment to learn rather than just the cumulative assessment at the end. The children are using their e-portfolios as a tool to help them learn rather than to present their end result. One of the key things is pride. In the past, with paper portfolios they may have been proud to take them home, but there wasn’t as much of that sense of ownership.” E-portfolios are a portfolio on the internet, and it is really cool because instead of just taking it home at the end of each term we can just go on whenever we like and change stuff. I did a video on cycle safety and it was about how I enjoyed it and what I think I need to work on and stuff that I am good at. Student “ The value for students is that they have 24/7 access to reflect on their learning. They are involved in peer feedback (which is very powerful feedback), teachers feeding back to students, and parents feeding back to teachers and students. So it is a three way communication about learning.” You can go back to what you have done and you can try again. You can change things and you can get better at it. Student “ Learning becomes more child directed because as they reflect on their learning they then they realise they are more passionate about one particular thing, or other children start to feed in ideas and you get that instant recognition that they can take off in that area.”
  • This could be a Gliffy diagram with the key considerations Students’ ICT literacy Teachers’ ICT literacy Ownership Portability Interoperability Security / shareability Storage Choice Design mobility Web 2.0 tools had the scope to offer ease of use, accessibility from most mobile devices (Cochrane, 2008), the possibility of collaboration, informal learning and peer input, and other benefits such as authentic access to experts in the discipline and/or profession. Furthermore, because Web 2.0 ePortfolios can be created and developed by any New Zealander with access to the Internet, opportunities for access to lifelong learning are increased. In contrast to the positive aspects of using ePortfolios in tertiary education, there are several issues and concerns that have been recognised in the literature around learning and teaching, academic policy, pedagogy, institutional culture, implementation, training and tools: キ  Tension between opinions around ‘value’, often with learners seeing the greatest value in Web 2.0 tools, and institutions in a fully-integrated ePortfolio system (Siemens, 2004); キ  Unclear purpose, use and guidelines (Smith & Tillema, 2003); キ  Over-prescriptive guidelines (Zeichner & Wray, 2001); キ  Few existing examples of ePortfolios (Darling, 2001); キ  Increased levels of learner confusion and anxiety when there is uncertainty about expectations and value of ePortfolios (Wade & Yarbrough, 1996); キ  High levels of initial scaffolding required for learners and faculty (Smith & Tillema, 2003; Wade & Yarbrough, 1996); キ  Approaches to feedback can sometimes be inappropriate (Smith & Tillema, 2003); キ  Conflict of the goals of learners, the tutors, the institution, and the wider community (Butler, 2006; Zeichner & Wray, 2001); キ  Disadvantages of interoperability standards and specifications of some ePortfolio systems can reduce flexibility for users (Siemens, 2004); キ  Potential costs to an institution (licensing, development, maintenance, support, adaptation, resources, longevity, and ICT upskilling) (Hallam et al., 2008); キ  Mis-match between assessment criteria, learning outcomes, and potential student competencies (Smith & Tillema, 2003); キ  An uneasy dichotomy between development and the measurement of competency (Smith & Tillema, 2003); and キ  Concerns about objectivity of assessment (Darling, 2001).
  • When used as a platform for ePortfolios, Web 2.0 has the potential to engage learners in the creative production and publication of written, audio, and visual artifacts for an authentic audience. Furthermore, the empowering, collaborative nature of Web 2.0 can also lead to the cultivation of a community of learning, personalised learning networks, sharing and discussion of ideas, co-construction of knowledge, improvement of ICT and Web literacy skills, and a greater sense of freedom and independence as a learner (Hallam et al., 2008). Although not without issues, Web 2.0 ePortfolios address many problems related to portability, ownership, longevity, relevance, authenticity, and motivation while also “widening contexts in which learning is taking place…[bringing] together personal learning gained in multiple contexts” (Attewell, 2007, p. 59). Contexts include (but are not limited to) capturing authentic practice and learning 'on the job' (Wenger, White, Smith, & Spa, 2005). In addition, there is likely to be a shift in power whereby the teacher takes on a role of facilitator and guide (Owen, Young, Lawrence, & Compton, 2007). Ease of access to multi formats of representation enables students to choose content and the way in which it is presented. For instance, aural learners may choose to include spoken reflections, whereas visual learners may prefer to represent their learning journey in diagrams or images (Owen, 2009). Overall, ePortfolios were perceived as beneficial – although it was the process that was identifies as most valuable as opposed to the end product. The main implications that were identified from the DMC study were that effective ePortfolios needed to: キ  Encourage learners (and academic faculty) to become familiar with the concept and value of ePortfolios and reflection; キ  Be context-related (including culture(s), tools, skills, potential careers); キ  Be fully integrated into a curriculum; キ  Have resources, guidelines, documentation, and tools available that scaffold the preparation of an ePortfolio; キ  Supply scaffolding in the form of models, examples, and support for the development of thinking skills and guided discovery, which support a progression toward greater competence, creativity and self-direction; キ  Make rubrics available, accessible, and assessment transparent / relevant; キ  Apply consequences for non-completion required documentation and discussion; キ  Provide sufficient opportunities for feedback, reflection, improvement, resubmission, instruction and support, partly through incremental, ‘cumulative’ coursework; キ  Be fully supported by academic faculty (who are also involved in the pre- and post-moderation assessment processes); キ  Offer collaborative tasks that are part of real or simulated situations, with an authentic purpose, and that have elements of peer/tutor support, guidance and review; and キ  Utilise learners’ prior learning and experiences to inform / structure self-regulated and goal-focussed learning. Experiences at Unitec NZ to date suggest that using activities underpinned by Sociocultural principles, along with Web 2.0 tools provides multi-faceted forums, with opportunities for collaborative development, private reflection, and showcasing achievements. L earner creativity and autonomy can be encouraged through personalisation of learning spaces, and the adaptability and portability of format have the scope for use by professionals already in the work place, as well as for students studying full time. Learners in turn can explore notions of appropriacy, audience, and communication . キ  Ensuring clarity of purpose; キ  Opening dialogue with learners; キ  Supporting / encouraging academic faculty; キ  Working across sectors; キ  Enabling / valuing casual and peer learning; キ  Selecting tool(s) that are easy to use, but sophisticated enough to enable creativity/personalisation; キ  Integrating into curricula / assessments; キ  Using frequent, meaningful feedback from tutors and peers; キ  Aligning / designing / refining using LOs and agreed graduate profile; キ  Providing pedagogical / ICT support; キ  Raising learner awareness (LOs/skills); and キ  Choosing tools that empower not fetter.

It's not what you've got, it's how you use it...ePortfolios in action It's not what you've got, it's how you use it...ePortfolios in action Presentation Transcript

  • It's not what you've got, it's how you use it: ePortfolios in action Hazel Owen Ethos Consultancy NZ
  • Overview Image source http://www.flickr.com/photos/shareski/2917948156/ : What is an ePortfolio? Why ePortfolios? Types of ePortfolio Who is using ePortfolios Considerations
  • What is an ePortfolio? Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/24289877@N02/3994705256/in/set-72157619329716903/ What is an ePortfolio?
  • What is an ePortfolio? Image source http://www.flickr.com/photos/24289877@N02/4003428104/ :
  • Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/24289877@N02/4002237037/ Interconnectedness (i16s)
  • Timing: needs & motivation Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/24289877@N02/4156208143/
  • Student / professional info Image source: http://kiaoratearoa.blogspot.com/
  • Career planning Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/blackbutterfly/3261190647/
  • Work experience Images - souce: http://www.flickr.com/photos/24289877@N02/ & http://tehononga.ning.com
  • Learning goals / objectives Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamie_from_dunedin/2458341867/, http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamie_from_dunedin/2336651597/
  • Discipline specific learning Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alancleaver/2750890246/, http://www.flickr.com/photos/alancleaver/4105756012/
  • Own artefacts Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/24289877@N02/3994853198/
  • Reflection/evaluation Image source http://www.flickr.com/photos/eaubscene/4277711430/ :
  • Maintaining currency Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/scalefreenetwork/4091752866/, http://www.flickr.com/photos/shareski/2871947678/
  • Assessment Image source http://www.flickr.com/photos/frozenhaddock/3948223272/ :
  • Types - commercial / proprietary
  • Types - open source
  • Types - Web 2.0 Image source:
  • Web 2.0 ePortfolio Image source:
  • Who is using them? (Student voices) Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/luisvieira/120052904/
  • Education practitioners To watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FsQSM2m9ss&feature=player_embedded; Image can be located at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/24289877@N02/4155679707/
  • All sectors Images - source: http://mrcsblog.com/, http://www.flickr.com/photos/24289877@N02/
  • Australia - VET Images - source: With kind permission of Jeff Rossiter; http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikecogh/3423999580
  • UK (Wolverhampton & Dumfries) Videos - source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYVRT54CWVE, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EasqDlr-C4
  • Netherlands (Nedcar) Images - source: http://www.procentec.com/newsarchive/logo-nedcar.gif, http://www.gerlo.nl/2/werk/Nedcar/ppages/ppage8.htm
  • NZ (Ilam School, Christchurch) Video source: http://nzcurriculum.tki.org.nz/Curriculum-stories/School-stories/Ilam-eportfolios/(quality)/large
  • Considerations Image source: Digimuve - Digital learning and development - http://www.slideshare.net/guidars/day2-part1
  • Conclusion Images - source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/h19/2507993499/, http://www.flickr.com/photos/myveryownme/435428140/, http://www.flickr.com/photos/anzyaprico/246607498/, http://www.flickr.com/photos/mytripsmypics/1018708311/
  • Thank you for your time... [email_address] Images source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thomcochrane/1217117859/, http://www.flickr.com/photos/24289877@N02/4282565077/, http://www.flickr.com/photos/24289877@N02/3994844390/