ePortfolios and information literacy


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What has sparked this interest in ePortfolios and school libraries? Partly the introduction of a Personal Learning Plan for South Australian senior secondary students, combined with increasing discussion on ePortfolios in Australia and worldwide, and the ongoing debate about 21st century information literacy.

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  • Slides for presentation at Your School Library online conference #2, 30 June 2009 I hope to add audio to these via Slidecast.
  • Over the years I have dabbled in many online places and published what is could be considered like David Weinberger’s ‘small pieces loosely joined’ concept: http://www.smallpieces.com If you follow the links from this slide you will experience a variety of potential ePortfolio platforms, including me.edu.au, elgg and mahara. There are other ‘pieces’ of my ePortfolio puzzle which are not here because they are closed systems and require login for access: these include SharePoint and my profile on myfuture.edu.au I am not an ePortfolio guru, not even quite a convert but as ePortfolios have become part of my work this year I welcomed the opportunity to consider issues from a school libraries perspective for this conference.
  • A number of things have occurred this year to cause me to spend some time researching and reflecting on ePortfolios. The senior school certificate in my home state of South Australia is undergoing redevelopment, and some exciting new initiatives are coming online, including a Personal Learning Plan for all senior students. The Australian University sector and the Vocational Education and Training sector both have major national projects underway researching, trialing and publishing about ePortfolios, and I have been fortunate to observe these quite closely. I also have a keen interest in debate on 21 st century skills and how information literacy looks in a Web 2.0 environment, and I see some common ground with the issues in ePortfolio use, particularly in schools.
  • http:// www.saceboard.sa.edu.au/newsace/plp.php http://www.saceboard.sa.edu.au/newsace/docs/summary/plp-sos.doc accredited in 2009 the Personal Learning Plan (PLP) will be a compulsory subject required for secondary graduation (the South Australian Certificate of Education) Students normally study the PLP in Year 10 so that they can plan for successful learning in Years 11 and 12.They have opportunities to add further evidence of learning at any stage during the SACE studies. Teachers and students just starting to adjust to something that is more than the traditional Year 10 career education module
  • These are the 5 capabilities that go across the South Australian Certificate of Education, and form the core of the Personal Learning Plan. There are other areas, including research skills, thinking skills, health and well-being, social living and responsibility that teachers and students can choose in addition to these 5. Students are encouraged to provide evidence of their learning in a variety of formats, eg plans, webpage, resume, oral, diary
  • The Personal Learning Plan will be followed by a second compulsory subject at Stage 2 known as the Research Project http://www.saceboard.sa.edu.au/newsace/docs/summary/res-sos.pdf This has major implications for teacher librarians and while only on trial and too early to comment on, there are many similar issues in terms of management of these two ‘subjects’.
  • Challenges of self-directed, personalised learning offered by the Personal Learning Plan, and the Research Project are real. Motivation and maintaining interest over an extended period may be an issue for some students. Teachers will be mentoring (rather than teaching) a variety of plans and projects not necessarily within their particular area of interest and expertise. School timetables do not necessarily cope with students on self-directed activity and there is a fear that schools will ‘timetable’ and ‘teach PLP’. Organising such integrated, ongoing work (across 3 years for PLP) could be difficult, and moving work in multiple formats around to moderators and supervisors is an issue. Many teacher librarians are not sure where they fit in this new realm as they have largely been left out of the planning.
  • Many people have assumed that a portfolio style of presentation will be used for the Personal Learning Plan, and that students will be creating and storing their work digitally. This has led to a natural interest in ePortfolios, although it has been discovered that in the school sector there is limited expertise and concept of how this would actually work. It turns out that this is a huge area, and a long learning journey.
  • This definition comes from the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development http://vels.vcaa.vic.edu.au/essential/interdisciplinary/ict/glossary.html Another useful description comes from South Australian teacher librarian, Jackie Miers who says: An ePortfolio is a purposeful collection of work and information that: represents an individual's efforts, progress and achievements over time is goal-driven, performance-based and indicates evidence of the attainment of knowledge, skills and attitudes includes self-reflection is a tool for facilitating life-long learning and career development
  • Whereas University and VET sector ePortfolio activity is more closely aligned to employment, the school sector predominantly positions their portfolios as either presentation portfolios (either in folders or on CDROM) or as assessment portfolios. This diagram again kindly from the State of Victoria Department of Education and Early Childhood Development www.education.vic.gov.au/studentlearning/assessment/preptoyear10/assessadvice comes from a diagram and professional development package about assessment for learning, assessment as learning and assessment of learning. Consider the 3 sides of the assessment triangle in this diagram. Identify occurrences of these in your experience, and share in small groups www.eduweb.vic.gov.au/edulibrary/public/teachlearn/student/activity4_2.pdf The Personal Learning Plan definitely involves assessment OF learning, but hopefully also some assessment AS learning where students reflect on and monitor their progress.
  • This to me is the real power of ePortfolios for learning, but it is a long way from the way we often use portfolios – telling each student which piece of perfectly polished writing, which worksheet and which art work to include in their folder, and printing out copious colour sheets of paper to go home at the end of term. Satchwell and Grift talk about the power of peer assessment – and this is an area where traditional portfolios don’t do so well. The power of Web 2.0 style ePortfolio is that it allows a wider audience to view and comment on a child’s work. Satchwell, J & Grift, G 2007 Assessing the Whole Child: How to create powerful portfolios and student led conferences, Hawker Brownlow.
  • Dr Helen Barrett is an ePortfolio guru with an extensive website including videos, presentation and emphasis on digital storytelling. Spend some time on her site checking out the resources, including videos. She emphasises the value of ePortfolios as tools for personalisation and reflection, but her workshop materials are full of references to information literacy, ICT literacy and 21 st century skills.
  • We don’t learn from experience; we learn from reflecting on experience http://electronicportfolios.org/digistory/purposes.html#reflect Unfortunately the most powerful element of ePortfolios is the most difficult to develop with students. Certainly trying to get Year 10 students to reflect on their learning is hard work if they have not come through a school culture that values and explicitly teaches reflection and self-assessment. Some suggestions include: - start class blogging at the end of each day in junior primary years to model reflection providing quick codes/modes for indicating how students are feeling, doing and learning throughout a unit of work, and encourage students to use non-written forms of reflection, eg video response, audio, puppetry, drama, drawing point out reflection when it appears in literature, journalism, tv etc Also need to reflect on your own work/learning – either to aid continuous improvement or see how you’ve developed/changed/improved? We can’t expect students to be reflective without adult role models.
  • Barrett, 2008 makes much of the need to consider eportfolios as process not just product. http:// electronicportfolios.org /balance She provides a complex flow diagram that provides an excellent overview of ePortfolio types and issues. Helen Barrett's diagram, also available as googledocs – it starts to indicate that different tools may be required for different types and stages of an ePortfolio.
  • So far, I have avoided talking about specific ePortfolio software. There is so much to consider around the ePortfolio concept, philosophy and process that it is important not to get hung up on choosing a software package until you know what is required. To emphasise the range of approaches, have a look at some examples of ePortfolios coming up in the following slides
  • Jessica is a High School student in Auckland, New Zealand. She has an ePortfolio which uses Glogster as the front page of a wiki made in Wikispaces. It can be slow to load. – the important thing here is that Jess has personalised her ePortfolio. This is important to students and a vanilla plug-in to existing learning or student management systems may be a turn-off to users. Obviously all the usual issues about open publishing in a wiki apply here. This seems to be Jess’s personal ePortfolio rather than a school one, so she retains control over what and who and how she uses it.
  • Elgg was one of the earliest spaces that provided the flexibility but integration that many are looking for in an ePortfolio. Elgg is open source, and it can be installed locally to a school/institution but to get started teachers can also join Eduspaces which is hosted service . Elgg has a lot of features including blogs, RSS feeds, tag cloud and file space plus a social component with friends.
  • Concetta has built up a profile in me.edu.au that demonstrates her online capabilities and presence. me.edu.au was developed by Education Network Australia (edna) to help teachers move into professional learning networks in a supportive environment, and to aggregate education feeds from social bookmarking sites like delicious and diigo, from blogs, twitter, video sharing sites etc. me.edu.au provides an online profile, a blog and an activity feed for Australian educators, courtesy of the Australian government. This is sufficient for many who are new to ePortfolios.
  • Most schools would prefer not to have yet another software application that requires students to login, and so the ability to plug an ePortfolio module into existing systems is very attractive. Moodleman, Julian Ridden discusses options for using ePortfolios with Moodle, either as an external or integrated service. http://www.moodleman.net/archives/48
  • Mahara is a more recent example of an open-source ePortfolio application. Still quite new, it is being integrated with Moodle (Mahoodle) and its functionality includes social networking orientation. It has lots of administrative features which means it should work well for institutions dealing with different access levels for administrators, teachers, classes, students, parents etc. Really value seems to be in its ability for users to create different ‘views’ of their ePortfolio for different audiences.
  • This a list of some of the key reasons that countries, universities, colleges and now schools are considering implementing ePortfolios European Institute for E-Learning (EIfEL) http://www.eife-l.org/publications/eportfolio
  • And for those already using paper-based portfolios, there are many reasons why ePortfolios represent benefits over this Particularly powerful is the fact that students for whom writing is not a strength, ePortfolios provide an opportunity to demonstrate their learning and reflect on it via video or audio recording.
  • However, there are certainly challenges as well. For many South Australian schools it is still an issue of limited access to computers, and a lack of familiarity with dealing with digital formats Jackson, L e-Portfolio Fever http://www.education-world.com/a_tech/techtorial/techtorial038d.shtml
  • Transferability of ePortfolios across grades, and particularly from school to school is a huge issue. Export of data is essential. New standard being developed to facilitate this. Charlesworth (2004) assesses legal risks to the implementation of e-portfolio systems, including data protection, privacy and e-inclusion/exclusion. Issues of relevance include who owns which data, how long and by whom data should/may be stored, and how data may be used. A helpful overview of legal aspects of e-portfolio systems is provided by a ‘frequently asked questions’ paper (Charlesworth and Home, 2005). Charlesworth, A (2004) Legal Issues that could block the development of a national lifelong learner record system: the ‘project killer’ report. JISC study to explore the legal and records management issues relating to the concept of the lifelong learner record. http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/programmes/buildmlehefe/legal_aspects_faq.pdf
  • A really important philosophy behind ePortfolios, but a difficult one to achieve in schools Elearnspace: everything elearning George Siemens, 2004 www.elearnspace.org/Articles/eportfolios.htm Access : who shares access to eportfolio? teacher, parents, employers, mentors, other students?
  • As we become more aware of how ePortfolios work, there are a growing number of implications for student (and teacher) skills. The ePortfolio process has some similar steps to information literacy models such as the Information Process, Guided Inquiry etc but in somewhat different order, remembering that it is the student’s own work that is being collected in this case. There are obvious ICT and digital literacy skills implied in this process, and while ePortfolios can be developed in PowerPoint or Inspiration etc, the large majority of ePortfolios are web-based and knowledge of basic linking and html are going to be useful to students. Recognition that server space is not unlimited is also an issue unless the school is comfortable with student hosting their media rich ePortfolio resources in the ‘cloud’ Teacher librarian are often the only people in a school with Information management training and qualifications, and there are many concepts and practices from collection management that are relevant here.
  • Will students collect everything they produce, or is there a place for an ePortfolio collection policy? How much storage do you have after all? At what stages will they cull/weed their collection of resources/assets? Will they record WHY they have collected something (part of the reflection stage). And ePortfolio owners need to be cataloguers also. They will need to apply subject headings (tags) to their work so they can retrieve it easily at the selecting and presenting stages. They need skills in subject analysis, probably need to develop a personal ePortfolio taxonomy (or list of headings) so they don’t end up with half their Personal development evidence coming up under Development. The concept that one piece of work might fulfil requirements for more than one assessment criteria can be new to students, and they need help understanding database and field-driven searches. Use the library catalogue to demonstrate how the same book might have 2 subject headings. Understanding rubrics (selection criteria) helps them select the most appropriate work from their collection, taking into account the format they are to present in. You might also encourage students to select particularly original and interesting work to be ‘collected’ by the library or the school for archival or promotional purposes.
  • Before trying to use ePortfolios with students, I would strongly encourage teachers and teacher librarians to start a professional ePortfolio for themselves. Just as with blogging there is no substitute for getting your hands dirty and experiencing what this is all about BEFORE you start asking students to do it. Although we advocate use of open source ePortfolio tools such as Mahara, there is also a huge market in commercial offerings of ePortfolio systems – of varying quality and coming from variety of philosophical standpoints. Most important issue to consider is whether your ePortfolio content will be able to transfer in and out of such a system. Some are reviewed in QUT symposium: http://www.eportfoliopractice.qut.edu.au/symposium/showcase.jsp Desire2Learn ePortfolio DP Builder EdCube EduKite Foliomaker Foliotek myportfolio PebblePad Studywiz ePortfolio
  • Don’t expect to get to stage 5 in a term. It is fine to just start collecting and organising some digital material in chronological order, and to get a rudimentary profile or CV online. It is common knowledge that most employers google applicants before interviewing them, and there are now a few employers who request a link to ePortfolio or online profile from applicants. Love, D, McKean, G, and Gathercoal, P (2004) Portfolios to Webfolios and Beyond: Levels of Maturation. Descriptions of developmental stages offer institutions guidance about their place in the process and how to move to the next level. Educause Quarterly, Volume 27, no. 2 http://www.educause.edu/apps/eq/eqm04/eqm042.asp Also Australian ePortfolio Project Maturity matrix for institutions considering ePortfolios
  • Australian ePortfolio Project Australian Universities www.eportfoliopractice.qut.edu.au Australian Flexible Learning Framework E-Portfolios http://www.flexiblelearning.net.au/flx/go/home/pid/494 European Consortium for the ePortfolio www.eife-l.org Jackie Miers www.teachers.ash.org.au/jmresources/ePortfolio.htm Jerry Leeson Tech-Ed collisions blog blogs.educationau.edu.au/jleeson/category/e-portfolio me.edu.au ePortfolio community me.edu.au/c/eportfolio
  • ePortfolios and information literacy

    1. 1. ePortfolios Information literacy & Web 2.0 Pru Mitchell Senior Education Officer
    2. 2. About me my writing my work my profession my ePortfolio my connections my interests my learning my CV
    3. 3. Why ePortfolios & Info Literacy? <ul><li>introduction of a Personal Learning Plan for South Australian senior secondary students </li></ul><ul><li>increasing discussion on ePortfolios in Australia and worldwide </li></ul><ul><li>debate about 21 st century/Web 2.0 information literacy </li></ul>
    4. 4. SA Personal Learning Plan <ul><li>students learn how to </li></ul><ul><li>“ develop, implement, review and adjust personal learning goals and choices to prepare for their education and their future career and life pathways” </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> SACE Personal Learning Plan </li></ul>
    5. 5. Capabilities SACE Personal Learning Plan Subject Summary work personal development learning communication citizenship
    6. 6. Stage 2 Research project <ul><li>students undertake a detailed self-directed study in an area of interest </li></ul><ul><li>identify, develop, reflect on, and evaluate capabilities </li></ul><ul><li>communicate findings, new ideas, and new insights </li></ul><ul><li>take responsibility for providing evidence of their learning and ensure that the teacher verifies it </li></ul>Research Project Subject Summary
    7. 7. Challenges <ul><li>for learners </li></ul><ul><li>for teachers </li></ul><ul><li>for timetablers </li></ul><ul><li>for moderators </li></ul><ul><li>for teacher librarians </li></ul>Remarkable Rocks
    8. 8. A case for ePortfolios? ?
    9. 9. What is an ePortfolio? <ul><li>An electronic portfolio is a bank of files or a repository of digital evidence selected by students to demonstrate their learning and to monitor their learning progress VELS Glossary </li></ul>
    10. 10. Assessment Image © State of Victoria (Department of Education and Early Childhood Development) www.education.vic.gov.au/studentlearning/assessment/preptoyear10/assessadvice/
    11. 11. Assessment AS learning <ul><li>students in the centre of learning process </li></ul><ul><li>develop metacognitive practice </li></ul><ul><li>understand the purposes of their work </li></ul><ul><li>generate personal learning goals that link to standards </li></ul><ul><li>actively reflect on their progress </li></ul><ul><li>take part in self and peer assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Satchwell & Grift </li></ul>
    12. 12. ePortfolio guru: Dr Helen Barrett <ul><li>electronicportfolios.org </li></ul>
    13. 13. Reflection <ul><li>We don’t learn from experience; we learn from reflecting on experience (attrib. John Dewey) </li></ul>
    14. 14. Process or product? <ul><li>the portfolio as process (collection, selection, reflection, direction, presentation) </li></ul><ul><li>the portfolio as product (the notebook, the website, the CD-ROM or the DVD and the technological tools used to create the portfolio-as-product ) </li></ul><ul><li>Helen Barrett , 2008 </li></ul>
    15. 15. What do ePortfolios look like? <ul><li>Jess the Year 9 uses a wiki </li></ul><ul><li>Robert the academic has a great blog </li></ul><ul><li>Concetta the consultant lives in a social network </li></ul><ul><li>Julian the Moodleman plugs into Moodle </li></ul><ul><li>New Zealand manages Mahara </li></ul>
    16. 16. Jess @ jesseportfolio.wikispaces.com
    17. 17. Robert @ elgg eduspaces.net/drrf
    18. 18. Concetta @ m e.edu.au/p/cgotlieb
    19. 19. ePortfolios in Moodle
    20. 20. mahara Free trial spaces www.edna.tv/mahara www.foliospaces.com
    21. 21. Why ePortfolios? <ul><li>increase learning effectiveness </li></ul><ul><li>improve information technology skills </li></ul><ul><li>enable accreditation beyond the classroom environment </li></ul><ul><li>enable connections among formal and informal learning experience </li></ul><ul><li>enable an archive of one’s artefacts and reflections </li></ul><ul><li>enable the efficient management of students’ work </li></ul><ul><li>increase transparency </li></ul>
    22. 22. Benefits of digital <ul><li>easier to maintain, edit and update </li></ul><ul><li>more likely to be reviewed </li></ul><ul><li>more readily include graphics, rich media content, audio, animation and video </li></ul><ul><li>more flexible, accessible, portable, shareable </li></ul><ul><li>easier to search for and retrieve records </li></ul><ul><li>manipulate, tag, refine and reorganise assets </li></ul><ul><li>not restricted to a linear, hierarchical or chronological structure </li></ul>
    23. 23. Challenges <ul><li>finding the most convenient and time-effective way to create classroom e-portfolios </li></ul><ul><li>teaching students how to properly create and use e-portfolios </li></ul><ul><li>selecting, editing, and publishing e-portfolios demands student and teacher time </li></ul><ul><li>dealing with file types: does everything have to be digital, or is it enough to reference paper-based evidence and artefacts? </li></ul>
    24. 24. Challenges (cont’d) <ul><li>storing ePortfolios requires server or online space </li></ul><ul><li>transferring e-portfolios between grades or schools </li></ul><ul><li>protecting the identity of students when publishing e-portfolios </li></ul><ul><li>ensuring that e-portfolios are not tampered with after publishing </li></ul>
    25. 25. Who’s in control? <ul><li>personal control of learning history rather than institutions controlling learner history </li></ul><ul><li>George Siemens </li></ul>
    26. 26. Information literacy implications <ul><li>collecting </li></ul><ul><li>reflecting </li></ul><ul><li>tagging </li></ul><ul><li> linking </li></ul><ul><li>selecting </li></ul><ul><li> presenting </li></ul>Born digital? Web 2.0? media rich?
    27. 27. Managing a collection <ul><li>collecting </li></ul><ul><li>reflecting </li></ul><ul><li>tagging </li></ul><ul><li> linking </li></ul><ul><li>selecting </li></ul><ul><li> presenting </li></ul>Collection policy Cataloguing Selection criteria
    28. 28. Getting your hands dirty
    29. 29. Stages of ePortfolio maturity <ul><li>scrapbook </li></ul><ul><li>CV </li></ul><ul><li>curriculum collaboration between student and faculty </li></ul><ul><li>mentoring leading to mastery </li></ul><ul><li>authentic evidence as authoritative evidence for assessment, evaluation and reporting </li></ul><ul><li>Love, McKean & Gathercoal 2004 </li></ul>
    30. 30. Staying informed <ul><li>Australian ePortfolio Project Australian Universities </li></ul><ul><li>Australian Flexible Learning Framework E-Portfolios </li></ul><ul><li>European Consortium for the ePortfolio </li></ul><ul><li>Jackie Miers ePortfolio resources </li></ul><ul><li>Jerry Leeson Tech-Ed collisions blog </li></ul><ul><li>me.edu.au ePortfolio community </li></ul>
    31. 31. Discussion points <ul><li>What information literacy skills are pre-requisites for success in ePortfolio development? </li></ul><ul><li>Why is learner control of an ePortfolio so important? </li></ul><ul><li>How would you get started with your own personal or professional ePortfolio? </li></ul>