JISC Effective Practice with e-Portfolios – Where are we now?

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Presented by Dr Gordon Joyes, University of Nottingham at ePortfolio Scotland 2010 (10th September, Queen Margaret University)

Presented by Dr Gordon Joyes, University of Nottingham at ePortfolio Scotland 2010 (10th September, Queen Margaret University)

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  • The presentation presents a brief overview of past and current JISC-funded activities in the e-portfolio domain and an introduction to  JISC’s resources such as the ‘Effective Practice with e-Portfolios’ publication,  the JISC infoNet e-Portfolio infoKit and a briefing paper providing an overview of the LeaP2a specification for transferring learner owned information between different systems. Current understanding of effective e-Portfolio implementation will be discussed and the ePI study that is exploring large scale e-portfolio implementations will be introduced. 
  • Emerging from the JISC work: (just do headings)Guidance 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....Exemplars and case studiesLearner voices videos, animations, stories from projects, and case studies demonstrating tangible benefitsCase studies on use of e-portfolios for assessmentGovernance ToolkitHelps to think through the main issues in planning, implementing and planning an e-portfolio projectLeap 2a interoperability specificationTools and technologiesE.g. IAG toolContained in 2 major publications 1. Booklet 2. Online resource
  • The JISC infoNet e-portfolio infokit at http://www.jiscinfonet.ac.uk/infokits/e-portfoliosJustgoogle search eportfolioinfokit.This resource provides an overview of the domain includes the Leap2a work discussed by Simon Grant in the earlier presentationDefined them, considers benefits and issues to do with implementation..
  • Cambridge 08 – ‘a genre, a set of practices supported by a set of technologies’
  • This diagram nicely formalises what was in the previous image & highlights the activities involved in creating e-portfolio presentations – and indicates how the technology can support these processes.
  • So any definition encompasses both product and process but also the fact that is learner createdAn e-portfolio is the product, created by the learner, a collection of digital artefactsarticulating experiences, achievements and learning. Behind any product, or presentation,lie rich and complex processes of planning, synthesising, sharing, discussing, reflecting,giving, receiving and responding to feedback. … but this definition doesn’t way owned??
  • JISC and e-portfolios Since 2004 - funded projectsIn 2004, the Distributed e-Learning Programme took forward these concepts in the funding of twenty-one two -year projects exploring the use of technology to support lifelong learning 2006-2009 fundedprojects exploring the use of technology in the contexts of higher education level courses delivered in further education settingslifelong learningenhancing the administrative processes faced by teaching staffadmissionsensuring interoperability between e-portfolio systems 
  • Between 2007 -9 I was involved in reviewing over 21 projects for JISC. This revealed the tangible benefits mentioned previously AND also found similar preconceptions about e-portolios hindering implementation and enhancing benefits. We identifed 5 threshold concepts associated with these misconceptions. 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.
  • 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.
  • This is evidenced by the following findings in JISC reports and in the literature: • It is difficult to agree on a definition for an e-portfolio. For some it is a system, for others part of a learning process, for others a presentation, and for others an archive of assets. For some it might be all of these things;• Many educators who are actually involved with e-portfolio processes tend not to use the term at all;• Purposes seem almost endless and so choosing where in the learning process and when to implement them can seem confusing;• Not all e-portfolio systems/tools seem to fit well to all purposes;• Even with guidelines and case studies of exemplars those implementing e-portfolios seem often to reinvent the wheel, make really ‘obvious’ mistakes compared to those who have a deeper understanding of the area; • Understanding of e-portfolios seems to develop with experience and over time suggesting that there are key issues to understand.  
  • 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.
  • The role of purpose  For successful implementation, the purpose/s behind the use of the e-portfolios must be aligned to the particular context. Some contexts suit some purposes more than others and this needs to be determined by an analysis of the benefits (and costs) of the purpose in that particular context. This is associated with the preconceptions that: 
  •  • There is one definition of an e-portfolio. (There might be but this would need to reflect that it can be viewed as a system, a product, a set of processes suited to a range of purposes so one definition maybe problematic); • One e-portfolio system works in all situations. (This of course depends on the system chosen, the range of contexts in which the e-portfolio is to be used as well the intended purposes);• After students are inducted to e-portfolio processes, for example those involved in PDP, they will apply this across their courses. (This is unlikely as the PDP purpose will be unlike other examples of e-portfolio use such as e-portfolios for transition, assessment etc.).
  • The role of learning activity design There must be a conscious design and support of a learning activity/activities suited to the purpose and the context, since there are often preconceptions that: 
  • : • Users will work out how to use an e-portfolio system to suit their needs. (They will unfortunately not see the benefits without some structured activity as they are unlikely to understand the purpose);• The e-portfolio implementation can be left to study skills specialists. (If the e-portfolio is to be embedded within the curriculum then curriculum experts need to be involved in designing learning activities and supporting them).
  • The role of processes  The processes involved in the creation of the e-portfolio in the particular context must be understood and both technical and pedagogic support needs to be provided. This is associated with the preconceptions that: 
  •  • Students are digital natives and so will easily adapt to using e-portfolios, for example using blogs for sharing reflections will be unproblematic;• Users understand processes like feedback, reflective writing, selecting information, planning;• Tutors/ mentors know how to support their students in using e-portfolios. (It is not only students who have difficulty with processes such as reflection, feedback and online collaboration.)
  • The role of ownership  The e-portfolio processes and outcomes need to be owned by the student. This view leads to considering portability, choice of tool (use of their own phone, camera, audio recorder, Web 2.0 application, for example.) since there are frequentlypreconceptions that: 
  • • There needs to be one e-portfolio for life. (Learners want to have control over their e-portfolio and expect portability of data; institutionally ‘owned’ systems can be treated with suspicion);• Bespoke technologies, i.e. PDAs and digital cameras are best for information capture in the workplace. (The evidence is that students will more readily use their own technologies, for example, the camera and audio recorder on their own mobile phones). 
  • The disruptive nature of e-portfolios E-portfolios are disruptive from a pedagogic, technological and an institutional perspective because they tend not to fit exactly within existing systems. This has implications at an institutional level as they have implications for the nature of the curriculum and its assessment as well as staff workload and pedagogic and technical support, particularly in novel work-based learning and life-wide contexts
  • This is associated with the preconceptions that: • An e-portfoliowill save everyone time;• An e-portfolio can simply replace a paper-based portfolio system;• Human Resources departments/employers will value an e-portfolio in the application process;• University admissions welcome e-portfolios;• A successful project implementation will readily transfer to established practice cross an institution;• The curriculum and pedagogic approaches remain unaffected by the introduction of e-portfolios;• Information capture in the workplace is unproblematic. (There are sensitivities in some contexts such asclassrooms and hospitals);• Access by learners to e-portfolios is unproblematic. (This may not be the case in work based learning settings). 
  •  Threshold concepts and the JISC dissemination/communication strategy?   The threshold concepts approach recognises that developing understanding is a developmental journey, both intellectually and experientially, but that once the threshold is achieved the perspective of an area is changed forever. Thus guidelines/guidance will only make sense to a stakeholder if the threshold concept is understood and the preconceptions resolved. Is this why the wheel has been invented so many times in the e-portfolio area?
  • There is evidence that e-portfolio implementation can be like a game of snakes and ladders where initial rapid progress can suffer major setbacks due to a poor understanding of the nature of e-portfolios, i.e., lack of understanding of the threshold concepts.
  • Therefore a key task for JISC is to begin to articulate the threshold concepts around e-portfolios and their associated preconceptions and integrate these into their dissemination activities. The current strategy, shown in table 1, employs a range of approaches that involve both transmission of knowledge, i.e., the publications and websites, as well as more constructivist approaches, such as interactive workshops where key issues related to defining e-portfolios and implementing them are thought through. The threshold concept approach would represent a strengthening of this latter approach by providing a framework of key concepts from which implications for local implementation can be thought through.
  • There does seem to be a paradigm shift in understanding when e-portfolio knowledge is aggregated. For example, once a stakeholder understands that an e-portfolio is disruptive, because it tends not to fit exactly within existing systems, then assumptions about implications of implementation and use become obvious.
  • However the approach brings with it a key challenge in relation to encouraging the adoption of e-portfolios. This relates to the fact that the threshold concepts approach: • Reveals the complexity of the area rather than presenting more simplistic guidance;• Recognises that for transformation in relation to practice to occur an institutional approach needs to be adopted that takes into account the needs of the ‘learners’ in a wide range of contexts. This approach has the potential to put off would be adopters.
  •  It has been suggested that institutions seem to move from a localised model of implementation, where only three of the threshold concepts, that of the role of purpose, learning activity design and process may be considered, to a mature institutional approach where the role of ownership and the disruptive nature of e-portfolio implementation are fully considered by a wide range of stakeholders. How institutions move to large-scale implementation is of considerable research interest. The example of the Flourish project within this paper provides an interesting case of a project engaging staff in using e-portfolios to support their own professional development. Institutional buy in to use e-portfolios for this purpose may provide a powerful means of transforming and sustaining effective practice in that it provides staff with an understanding of benefits (or not) in a particular context. These staff members are in a position to recognise benefits for the students on their courses and design appropriate learning activities, and as e-portfolio users themselves, they should be more aware of the nature of the technical and pedagogic support needed. It is clear that the longer term effects of this approach on e-portfolio implementation are worthy of further exploration.
  • The ePI study is using this framework is being used to identify ‘slices’ of mature practice & to identify institutions
  • Aug 2010 – May 2011Use the ePI threshold concepts framework to identify large-scale implementations that are mature – identify slices of maturityInvite HE/ FE institutions and professional of organisations to collaborate in creating case studies that illuminate their journeys – identifying key decisions, strategies and policies and lessons learntInterview practitioners and senior managersBeginning with six in the UK and moving to 14Working with a parallel project funded by NZ MoELooking to include Australian case studiesOutput – ePI toolkit (developed with infoNet) aimed at practitioners and senior managers
  • To find more information about this study Google eportfolio study OR JISC ePI to find the website where there is a Paper written for the eportoflios conference in Australia in November 2011 outlining the background to the study and the approach being taken

Transcript

  • 1. 10/09/2010| | Slide 1
    Effective practice with e-Portfolios – Where are we now?
    Gordon Joyes, University of Nottingham
    JISC e-Portfolio consultant from 2007
    Director of the JISC e-Portfolio Implementations Project 2010-11
  • 2. Overview
    Overview of past and current JISC-funded activities in the e-portfolio domain
    Introduction to  JISC’s resources
    Current understanding of effective e-Portfolio implementation
    Current activity in developing a large-scale e-portfolio implementations toolkit – introducing the ePI study
    2
  • 3. Emerging from JISC work
    Guidance
    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....
    Exemplars and case studies
    Learner voices videos, animations, stories from projects, and case studies demonstrating tangible benefits
    Case studies on use of e-portfolios for assessment
    Leap 2a interoperability specification
    Tools and technologies
    E.g. IAG tool
    10/09/2010| slide 3
  • 4. 10/09/2010| slide 4
    Launched in September 2008
    http://www.jisc.ac.uk/eportfolio
  • 5. http://www.jiscinfonet.ac.uk/infokits/e-portfolios
    5
  • 6. The confusion over e-portfolios
    “The problem is that portfolio is a learning approach not a technology……..the essential nature of an e-Portfolio for learning is not as a repository but as a place for reflection”
    Trent Batson, 7th Jan 2009, ‘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
    “a genre, a set of practices supported by a set of technologies”
    Darren Cambridge, 2008
    6
  • 7. 10/09/2010| slide 7
  • 8. 8
  • 9. e-Portfolio as processandproduct and owned by the learner
    An e-portfolio is the product, created by the learner, a collection of digital artefacts articulating experiences, achievements and learning. Behind any product, or presentation, lie rich and complex processesof planning, synthesising, sharing, discussing, reflecting, giving, receiving and responding to feedback. (JISC, 2008)
    9
  • 10. Context
    Why are e-portfolios important?
    Policy context (personalised learning, PDPs by 2005/6, EU - HEAR)
    Institutional drivers (retention, widening participation, employability, reflective learning in professional disciplines)
    Pre-Higher Education initiatives 14-19 (PLTS and the Diploma)
    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…..
    10
  • 11. Emerging from JISC work: tangible benefits include
    Efficiency Time savings in information retrievalSupporting 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 retentionUse by staff for professional development 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
    10/09/2010| slide 11
  • 12. Application to University
    Application to employment Employability
    Presentation of work for professional accreditation
    Providing evidence for appraisal
    Evidencing continuing professional development
    Presentation of work for assessment
    Showcasing work to employers
    Work-based learning
    Supporting learning processesFlexible course delivery
    Non-traditional learners, women returning to higher education
    Information advice and guidance
    JISC funded project from 2004: Using e-portfolios to support...
    12
  • 13. Ongoing work
    Transforming Curriculum Delivery: October 2008 – Oct 2010
    Using e-portfolios 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, including use of e-portfolios to support collaboration
    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
    Leap2a interoperability pilots: completed July 2010 + continuing work
    Study of large scale e-portfolio implementations: August 2010 – May 2011
    10/09/2010| slide 13
  • 14. Overview
    Overview of past and current JISC-funded activities in the e-portfolio domain
    Introduction to  JISC’s resources
    Current understanding of effective e-Portfolio implementation
    Current activity in developing a large-scale e-portfolio toolkit – introducing the ePI study
    14
  • 15. 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)  
    10/09/2010| slide 15
  • 16. ‘Troublesome’ knowledge - the evidence
    It is difficult to agree on a definition for an e-portfolio (system, learning process, presentation, archive);
    Many educators tend not to use the term at all;
    Purposes seem almost endless and so choosing where in the learning process and when to implement them can seem confusing;
    Even with guidelines and case studies of exemplars those implementing e-portfolios seem often to reinvent the wheel, make really ‘obvious’ mistakes compared to those who have a deeper understanding of the area;
    Understanding of e-portfolios seems to develop with experience and over time suggesting that there are key issues to understand.
    16
  • 17. Threshold Concepts associated with e-portfolio implementation
    These relate to:
    Their PURPOSES:
    LEARNING ACTIVITY DESIGN:
    The PROCESSES involved:
    OWNERSHIP issues:
    Their transformative and DISRUPTIVE NATURE
    10/09/2010| slide 17
  • 18. Threshold concept 1: The role of purpose
    For successful implementation, the purpose/s behind the use of the e-portfolios must be aligned to the particular context.
    Some contexts suit some purposes more than others and this needs to be determined by an analysis of the benefits (and costs) of the purpose in that particular context.
    18
  • 19. Threshold concept 1: The role of purpose
    This is associated with the preconceptions that:
    There is one definition of an e-portfolio;
    One e-portfolio system necessarily works in all situations;
    After students are inducted to e-portfolio processes, for example those involved in PDP, they will apply this across their courses.
    19
  • 20. Threshold concept 2: The role of learning activity design
    There must be a conscious design and support of a learning activity/activities suited to the purpose and the context,
    20
  • 21. Threshold concept 2: The role of learning activity design
    This is associated with the preconceptions that:
    Users will work out how to use an e-portfolio system to suit their needs;
    The e-portfolio implementation can be left to study skills specialists.
    21
  • 22. Threshold concept 3: The role of process
    The processes involved in the creation of the e-portfolio in the particular context must be understood and both technical and pedagogic support needs to be provided.
    22
  • 23. Threshold concept 3: The role of process
    This is associated with the preconceptions that:
    Students are digital natives and so will easily adapt to using e-portfolios;
    Users understand processes like feedback, reflective writing, selecting information, planning;
    Tutors/ mentors know how to support their students in using e-portfolios.
    23
  • 24. Threshold concept 4: The role of ownership
    The e-portfolio processes and outcomes need to be owned by the student. This view leads to considering portability & choice of tool (use of their own phone, camera, audio recorder, Web 2.0 application)
    24
  • 25. Threshold concept 4: The role of ownership
    This is associated with the preconceptions that:
    There needs to be one e-portfolio for life;
    Bespoke technologies, i.e. PDAs and digital cameras are best for information capture in the workplace.
    25
  • 26. Threshold concept 5: The disruptive nature of e-portfolios
    E-portfolios are disruptive from a pedagogic, technological and an institutional perspective because they tend not to fit exactly within existing systems.
    This has implications for the nature of the curriculum and its assessment as well as staff workload and pedagogic and technical support, particularly in novel work-based learning and life-wide contexts.
    26
  • 27. Threshold concept 5: The disruptive nature of e-portfolios
    This is associated with the preconceptions that:
    An e-portfolio will save everyone time;
    An e-portfolio can simply replace a paper-based portfolio system;
    Human Resources departments/ employers and university admissions will value an e-portfolio in the application process;
    A successful project implementation will readily transfer;
    The curriculum and pedagogic approaches remain unaffected by the introduction of e-portfolios;
    Information capture in the workplace is unproblematic.
    Access by learners to e-portfolios is unproblematic.
    27
  • 28. Threshold concepts and JISC communications
    Guidelines/guidance will only make sense to a stakeholder if the threshold concept is understood and the preconceptions resolved.
    Is this why the wheel has been invented so many times in the e-portfolio area?
    28
  • 29. Implementation should not be a game of chance
    29
  • 30. A way forward
    The threshold concept approach has been integrated into JISC communication and dissemination activities to strengthen them – JISC e-portfolio infoKit, conferences, workshops.
    The approach provides a framework of key concepts from which implications for local and large-scale implementations can be thought through.
    30
  • 31. GUIDANCE: Managing the disruptive nature of eportfolios
    Begin within settings where there are known benefits/issues and with those involved directly in the curriculum who need to handle this.
    Work within settings that require and are seeking some curriculum change so that the e-portfolio activities integrate well within the curriculum.
    Consider implementation within professional development programmes for new lecturers in contexts where this provision is valued.
    Systematically share effective e-portfolio practice within your institution and the threshold concepts and misconceptions/preconceptions online – involve the professional development unit or similar.
    Collaborate to develop pedagogic support materials for students/tutors in the processes you expect them to engage with and make them accessible online.
    10/09/2010| slide 31
  • 32. The Challenge
    The threshold concepts approach:
     Reveals the complexity of the area – not ‘simpler’ guidance.
    Recognises that for transformation in relation to practice to occur an institutional approach needs to be adopted that takes into account the needs of the ‘learners’ in a wide range of contexts.
    For senior managers this signals the possibilities of optimising cost benefits
    JISC recognises that guidance on large-scale implementation is needed and is funding the ePI study.
    32
  • 33. ePI study
    Most institutions seem to move from a localised model of implementation, where only three of the threshold concepts, that of the role of purpose, learning activity design and processes may be considered, to an institutional approach where the role of ownership and the disruptive nature of e-portfolio implementation are fully considered by a wide range of stakeholders.
    Others have implemented whole institutional PDPs.
    How have institutions with large-scale e-portfolio implementation managed that journey?
    These understandings could be used to support e-portfolio adoption - the ePI study
    33
  • 34. e-portfolio implementations framework
    34
  • 35. ePI study
    Aug 2010 – May 2011
    Use the ePI framework to identify large-scale implementations that are ‘mature’ – identify slices of maturity
    Invite HE/ FE institutions and professional organisations to collaborate in creating case studies that illuminate their journeys – identifying key decisions, strategies and policies and lessons learnt
    Interview practitioners and senior managers
    Beginning with six in the UK and moving to 14
    Working with a parallel project funded by NZ MoE
    Looking to include Australian case studies
    Output – ePI toolkit (developed with infoNet) aimed at practitioners and senior managers
    35
  • 36. ePI study
    Google: eportfolio study
    Email: gordon.joyes@nottingham.ac.uk
    36
  • 37. 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
    infoKitwww.jiscinfonet.ac.uk/e-portfolios
    Paper on ‘Threshold Concept’ model relating to e-portfolioshttp://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 SIGwiki.cetis.ac.uk/Portfolio
    Becta Impact Study on e-Portfolios on Learningpartners.becta.org.uk/upload-dir/downloads/page_documents/research/impact_study_eportfolios.doc
    Contact: l.gray@jisc.ac.uk/ gordon.joyes@nottingham.ac.uk
    37
  • 38. Any questions
    ???
    38