Purpose of the briefing is to explore and understand the concept of e-Portfolios, present an overview of how and why they could be useful and raise awareness of the issues that require consideration to enable a strategic approach and successfully adopting a system within the institution.
It’s important to establish a common understanding of e-Portfolios – and this is one of the difficulties when it comes to any new learning technology.JISC publications use a useful and succinct description. Joint Information Systems Committee –JISC is the organisation with responsibility to lead and support the UK education and research community in the innovative use of ICT.What’s missing from this definition I think is the capacity within most e-Portfolio systems for self assessment leading to the setting of personal goals and targets (Personal Development Planning). An e-Portfolio therefore is not simply the digitization of paper-based portfolios (with perhaps the inclusion of some new media), used to document evidence of achievement. Rather the functionality of e-portfolios enable learners to assemble, demonstrate and reflect on the skills, knowledge and achievement they have built up during their learning experience and document their progress towards personal goals. Often I think this progress is not really visible to students – this allows them to see where they started n their journey and how far they have come. Often it’s perhaps not clear how subjects integrate and a course builds up and I think the ability to reflect and document it in this way can provide a lot of learning advantages.
Assessment for learning involves using assessment in the classroom to raise learners’ achievement. It is based on the idea that pupils will improve most if they understand the aim of their learning, where they are in relation to this aim and how they can achieve the aim (or close the gap in their knowledge). Assessment for Learning means using evidence and feedback to identify where learners are in their learning, what they need to do next and how best to get achieve this. In practice, this means obtaining clear evidence about how to drive up individual attainment; understanding between teachers and pupils on what they need to improve, and agreement on the steps needed to promote sound learning and progress.
A good way to characterise ePortfolios I think is to split that by purpose and research supports that – Personal / Academic / CareerAre they to be used for accountability purposes / providing evidence of the achievement of standards – meeting minimum standards (accountability and academic purposes)Are they to be used to encourage and documentdeep learning through reflection – showing personal growth and development over time (learning purposes)Are they to be used for self evaluation and PDPAre they to be used to show competency - showing best work a window for prospective employers (marketing purposes)Maybe all three? - The answers to these questions will determine the type of system needed and the functionality required. e-Portfolios promise support for both high stakes assessment and deep learning. You can see from this slide here that what I’m suggesting is that an institutional ePortfolios which is more focused on the achievement of standards can be described as a tool for the assessment “OF” learning. Where as the learner ePortfolio, more learner controlled and more aimed at personal growth & development could be characterised and described as a tool that is used in the context of Assessment “FOR” learning. You can see what comprises each of them, slightly different emphasis on the control, institutional control versus learner control and a different emphasise on the importance of accreditation. There is an argument that unless the conflicting paradigms and competing purposes underlying e-Portfolios are recognised, there value for learning is undermined. In other words I think that the purpose of adopting an ePortfolio needs to be clear.
Typically an ePortfolio system will look something like this.With inputs into the central file store that will likely include digital artifacts – ( files like docs/spreadsheets )Links to online resources – ( web2.0 collaborative tools )multimedia ( images/sound/video )Reflective logs ( Blogs/journal/peer review )PDP processes ( self-evaluation, objective setting & action planning )e-Portfolios can be constructed depending on purpose. Again ensuring the purpose is clear is necessary to be able to put appropriate systems and support mechanisms in place.
How can e-Portfolios be evaluated to ensure validity and reliability of data ? Is it an official record of a learner’s work ?Authentication issues arise and also ensuring PCs are met when the content is learner led – clear documentation to ensure interpretation will be needed. If an e-portfolio does not include a professional evaluation can it be an official document / what happens when the learner changes or updates something.Who owns it and takes responsibility for the content ?How do you ensure that inappropriate information is not kept with in it / copyright laws observed – monitoring / is acceptable use policy sufficient.How long should it be kept what mechanisms in place for exporting to another system or portable media ?Lifelong Learning / Lifetime access / pay for access / through alumni.How should an institution promote and support its use ?What kind of training needs to be in place (staff & learners) to ensure that the system is used as a safe and effective developmental, learner-centred and reflective tool.How can an institution encourage deeper learning through critical reflection by using e-Portfolio system ?What kind of preparation and training is needed to encourage reflective learning.
Management of the system - control and admin of permissions and levels of access ?Permissions set by administrator rather than learner who’s responsibility ? – organisational overheadInteroperability with other systems ?How will it impact on other systems – to what extent will it integrate – Transferring and exporting data issues including technical interoperability between systems say if learners are transferring between institutions, intellectual property & 3rd party copyright issues. Structuring and mapping to performance criteria of courses ? Considerable overhead and would require to be well planned and implemented in advance of courses starting.Is using the e-Portfolio mandatory ? Accessible alternatives formats ?Access to technology would need to be guaranteed for all learners. Accessibility considerations require to be planned and need to be anticipatoryCan others apart from the learner make changes to the e-Portfolio ? Access by awarding bodies ?To what extent would it be necessary to widen who has access – who would have authority to view – would this compromise the extent to which learners engage and personalise the systemAre possibilities of deep learning compromised when the focus is on evidence of achievement ?It’s suggested that the more institutionally driven an e-Portfolio system is with wider access given, the lower the participation in deep learning activities. System seen very much as part of the assessment process rather than a tool for PDP & personalisation.
Effective Practice with e-Portfolios
Effective Practice with E-Portfolios Joan Walker JISC RSC Scotland firstname.lastname@example.org
“An e-Portfolio is a purposefulaggregation of digital items …..…..ideas, evidence, reflections,feedback etc, which “presents” aselected audience with evidence ofa person’s learning and /or ability” Sutherland, S. and Powell, A. (2007) Effective Practice with e-Portfolios, JISC (2008)
Assessment for LearningAssessment of How am I Learning doing? Where do I have to focus What is really my revision? making me think?An archive of evidence + What are my evaluation Is this the strengths and What are best way for weaknesses? my me to learn?Assessor determines and targets? evaluates evidence Work submitted formanual marking or to anassessment management systemResults in Accreditation
Institutional e-Portfolio Assessment Assessment of Learning for Learning Learner e-Portfolio Achievement of Standards Growth & Development Digital archive of Digital archive of evidence + self- evidence + evaluation evaluation Assessor determines Learner selects items and evaluates for self-determined evidence purpose (PDP) Submitted to ePortfolio created for assessment management system multiple purposes Documentation of Accreditation Deep Learning Balancing a System
• How can e-Portfolios be evaluated to ensure validity and reliability of data ? Is it an official record of a learner’s work ?Learner e-Portfolio • Who owns it and takes responsibility for the Growth & Development content ? • How long should it be kept what mechanisms in place for exporting to another system or portable media ? • How should an institution promote and support its use ? • How can an institution encourage deeper learning through critical reflection by using e-Portfolio system ?
• Management of the system - control and admin of permissions and levels of access ?Institutional e-Portfolio • Interoperability with other systems ? Achievement of Standards • Structuring and mapping to performance criteria of courses ? Access by Awarding bodies ? • Is using the e-Portfolio mandatory ? Accessible alternatives formats ? • Can others apart from the learner make changes to the e-Portfolio ? • Are possibilities of deep learning compromised when the focus is on evidence of achievement ?
RSC Briefingsupport Workshop Publications JISC infoNet - infokit Case Studies In-folio Pilot Web Resources
Further InformationRSCtv (watch again) - e-Portfolios in Practicehttp://www.rsc-sw-scotland.ac.uk/rsctv/RSCtv.htmEffective Practice with e-Portfolioshttp://www.jisc.ac.uk/publications/publications/effectivepracticeeportfolios.aspxE-Portfolios – What institutions really need to knowhttp://www.jisc.ac.uk/uploaded_documents/JISC-BP-ePortfolio-v1-final.pdfIndividualised Support for Learning Through e-Portfolios (ISLE)http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/programmes/elearningsfc/sfcbookletisle.pdfe-Portfolio Toolkit from JISC InfoNethttp://www.jiscinfonet.ac.uk/e-portfoliosWeb Resourceshttp://www.scoop.it/t/e-portfolios-in-practice