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Sunday, 4 October 2009

What institutions really need to know

Graphic: JISC logoI pounced upon this new article published by Glenaffric Ltd e-learning consultants as it appeared to be a comprehensive analysis of the present thinking on e-Portfolios. A quick look at the authors quoted soon gave this document an air of respectability that few who have studied the e-Portfolio scene in the UK would disagree with. The opening paragraphs looked even more exciting:

Key messages for senior managers have emerged from a three-year JISC programme on MLEs for Lifelong Learning, which funded ten multi-institutional projects working across different sectors and organisations to support student learning and progression. The work of the Programme involved exchanging data with key external bodies such as UCAS, local education authorities and large employers.

With a strong focus on the interoperability of e-portfolios across a wide range of contexts, the Programme has been able to explore the likely impact of national policies for lifelong learning upon individual institutions and their medium-term strategic planning of technological and pedagogical development.


However, reading further, I was sorry to get the feeling that nothing new was in fact said. It would appear that the authors are still arguing from a technical perspective that interoperability is the solution to all the e-Portfolio problems.

Secondly, the ludicrous position is still maintained that it is the institutions that are responsible for Lifelong Learning. I am repeatedly frustrated by reports and proposals for reports all concerned with the same introspective approach to Active Research. What I want to see is reports of learners who have left academia, taken up employment and have continued to maintain their e-Portfolios and successfully shared them with new audiences.

If children in Primary and Secondary schools can create their own e-Portfolios expecting full portability, is it not time that the FE/HE sectors asked themselves whether their institutional products will support Lifelong, Lifewide Learning and Leisure?

1 comment:

Joe said...

Your post led back to your blog and this excellent piece.

Institutions still want to own and control the learning beyond what they need for accreditation and they want to be central to a learner's life long learning. This and a distrust of what they don't control is preventing creative use of new technology to empower learners. I guess many learners have already figured out how to showcase their learning and build personal learning networks