Research Driving Policy


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Research Driving Policy: Implications of Research on eFolio Minnesota for Supporting Lifelong and Lifewide Learning with ePortfolios, presentation at ePortfolio 2005, Cambridge, England, October 27, 2005

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  • Research Driving Policy

    1. 1. Research Driving Policy: Implications of Research on eFolio Minnesota for Supporting Lifelong and Lifewide Learning with ePortfolios Darren Cambridge ePortfolio 2005, Cambridge October 27, 2005
    2. 2. Sources for Policy Making <ul><li>Grand agenda </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Deering Report </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Broad and often vague mandates (funded and unfunded) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Stakeholder analysis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>JISC ePortfolio Framework </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Systematic analysis of the aspirations of potential users </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Research on actual user behavior </li></ul><ul><ul><li>eFolio Minnesota </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The observed behavior of and impact on experienced portfolio authors </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Why research on actual user behavior <ul><li>We are not starting from scratch </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tens of thousands of real ePortfolio authors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decades of experience with portfolios </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What people think they want, and what they actual value with experience are often different </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Especially true with novel information and communication technology </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. eFolio Minnesota <ul><li>Organizational Context </li></ul><ul><li>Research Results </li></ul><ul><li>Policy Implications </li></ul>
    5. 5. eFolio Background <ul><li>A project of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system (MnSCU) </li></ul><ul><li>Launched Fall 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Available to all residents of Minnesota </li></ul><ul><li>30,000 active users as of April 2005 with linear growth </li></ul><ul><li>Planned interoperability with Open Source Portfolio at University of Minnesota </li></ul>
    6. 6. Funding and Leadership <ul><li>MnSCU leading as an entrepreneurial agency </li></ul><ul><li>Initial funding part of a larger grant from the Fund for Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) </li></ul>
    7. 7. Service Model <ul><li>Centralized technology support </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Avenet eFolio </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Phone technical support (rarely needed) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Distributed programmatic support </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Colleges, universities, workforce development centers, schools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Small grants from MnSCU </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Individual Focus <ul><li>Focus on individual use for lifelong and lifewide learning </li></ul><ul><li>Minimal centralized control </li></ul><ul><li>Software and documentation encourages broad range of uses </li></ul><ul><li>See what works for individuals, then do more of that </li></ul>
    9. 9. Research Results <ul><li>Age not a factor </li></ul><ul><li>High level of use across all six categories of use </li></ul><ul><li>Educational planning central </li></ul><ul><li>Frequent role shifts </li></ul><ul><li>Little perceived impact of institutional support </li></ul>
    10. 10. Factors Influencing Level of Impact <ul><li>Audience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Real </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Evidence of reading and response </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Imagined: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Clear intended audience </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Being “out there” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Ownership </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Integrity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Integration of personal and professional </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Currency </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Layers <ul><li>“ I tried to organize it since everyone would have a different purpose to have a look at the site, and if I were showing it to my cousin in California, just saying &quot;Hey, this is what I'm doing with my life,&quot; opposed to someone I'm applying to get a position for, try to organize it so different mediums would be able to find their way around for their specific needs.” - Heather http: //heatherdawson . efoliomn .com/ </li></ul>
    12. 12. Being Out There <ul><ul><li>“ There are certain … aspects that I don't feel the need to share with everybody, but … just as you create a resume for public distribution, you choose the pieces that you feel most accurately and positively reflect your human being, and so I selected things that I felt demonstrated my values and shed a positive light on me in a public way.” -Tracy http: //tracywright </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Ways Institutional Support Matters <ul><li>Audience: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology’s impact of findability, connectivity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaborative contexts of portfolio authorship </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ownership </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Introduction that embraces lifelong and lifewide learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology that supports user adaptation </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Policy Implications <ul><li>Minimize barriers to entry </li></ul><ul><li>Introduce in way that addresses a wide range of uses </li></ul><ul><li>Provide support for collaborative development </li></ul><ul><li>Cultivate real audiences with real stakes </li></ul><ul><li>Interoperability through partnerships </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bottom up from actual individual practice as well as top down through standards process </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Allow sufficient space to see what people actually care about doing </li></ul>
    15. 15. Learn More <ul><li>Learn more about eFolio Minnesota at </li></ul><ul><li>Download the research report via my blog at </li></ul><ul><li>Email me at </li></ul>