Tuesday, 27 December 2011
Monday, 28 November 2011
ePIC 2012, London 9-10-11 July 2012, will mark the 10th anniversary of the International ePortfolio and Identity Conference. We would be delighted to celebrate this special event with you and all those who have contributed to the success of previous conferences. It would be a great honour and pleasure for us if you accepted to submit a contribution or simply join us next July in London. It will be a wonderful opportunity to meet colleagues of a truly international community to, one more time, move forward the "state of the art" in the field of ePortfolio and identity construction. EPIC 2012 will also host the second ePortfolio World Summit (after Boston in 2011).
You will find below the information relative to the ePIC 2012 call for contributions
Serge and Esther, Europortfolio
Friday, 11 November 2011
Following on from a recent NAACE discussion on LinkedIn, I suggested the above graphic as illustrating the inter-connectedness of three primary areas of the Curricula, the Skills & Competencies and the various Motivations that energise teacher and learner alike. It is my firm belief that not one of these three areas can be considered in isolation but that the specific context within which the learner is placed can unite the relevant portions of each.
A well-organised ePortfolio can very effectively document all of these five areas and also show their inter-relatednesses. - As an afterthough, it is my instinctive nature to expect to see all of these five areas clearly considered within a student's ePortfolio. A balance of all five will give the reader of an ePortfolio a clear sense of a 'well-rounded' person.
Friday, 21 October 2011
This is Oh, so true of ePortfolios. On my Scoop/it! site ( http://www.scoop.it/t/eportfolios-examples ) I try to display a number of real active ePortfolios, not so much as to say which is right or wrong but to raise discussion. One comment made is that most of the examples are somewhat 'old fashioned, little more than a CV.' and this is so true. what I am waiting to see is a new breed, or 'Second Generation ePortfolio' which demonstrates the true dynamic potential of the ePortfolio as being the best tool for collaboration, peer-review and 'interuptive feedback'. eFolio, to my mind is the perfect tool to make this all happen.
Secondly, I have another Scoop.it! site ( http://www.scoop.it/t/eportfolios-worldwide ) which attempts to collate some of the best apps or tools that might help this approach to learning.
Sunday, 16 October 2011
Saturday, 15 October 2011
- Pride of ownership of a unique ePortfolio
- Institutional identity through bespoke banner
- True low-cost Lifelong and Lifewide ownership
- No problems of conventional portability
- Ease of access by readers/assessors through clear menus
- Ability to switch on/off a range of feedback tools on any page
- Ability to integrate other web-based tools/services
- Ability to create multiple views of "self"
- Ability to use selected artefacts for alternative personas
- 10 years experience of eFolio providing 24/7/365 educational support
Monday, 10 October 2011
In mainstream education this could be taken even further by replicating the above graphic for every subject a child might be studying. And then the logic really comes into play. Consider a simple essay for a Technology homework: It could firstly be a simple description of how an artefact is constructed as part of the initial homework. That same essay could also be used as evidence of learning strategies, research skills, referencing etc. It could also be used as evidence of collaboration or enquiry of experts or 'other adults'. It could similarly be used as an exercise in reflection or evaluation.
And yet again, some of these various artefacts, from different subject areas could also be used within different personas. And so it goes on. I am sure that readers could add a dozen different examples of the 're-purposing' of artefacts.
Thursday, 15 September 2011
There are at least three different aspects whereby I would describe an ePortfolio as being Lifewide:
- All learners have multiple personas and should be able to display differing aspects to different audiences concurrently. For instance, I may be applying for two different jobs, one requiring a very professional format as an educator and yet another side of me, that of a bearded environmentalist wanting to escape academia and work for a charitable organisation. The two are not very compatible!
- Secondly, the software itself should be capable of moving with the steadily maturing young learner, ‘through multiple metamorphoses’. This requires a simple easy-to-use tool which even the youngest student can use and yet has the capability of highly professional or complex multi-media presentation. Some years ago I attempted to illustrate this as on my website: http://www.maximise-ict.co.uk/eFolio-01.htm
- Even within one persona, there are many different facets to that learner. Eg a college student does not just follow one course of study – his tutors want to know something of other aspects of his life, what clubs he attends, his out of college activities, his family circumstances, his part-time job. All of these go to make up the whole ‘width’ of the person.
I have also put together a random collection of sample ePortfolios for discussion purposes which might help the thoughtful reader: http://www.scoop.it/t/eportfolios-examples How many of the 'examples' that I list are capable of showing different 'views' to different audiences.
Monday, 29 August 2011
Faculty might well expect a similar style and layout from all students - it's so much easier to find the latest essay that requires feedback or to check out a learner's progress. But, unfortunately, such regimentation does not sit easily with the concept of the ePortfolio being 'Learner-owned'.
I think, therefore, that it is essential that one's ePortfolio is easily 'navigable' - that separate sections and subsections have some logic. Perhaps colour-coding will help the reader.
As my previous two posts have alluded, I am in the process of compiling a collection of ePortfolios in order to help learners (or teachers) decide on their own particular format - and whether, for that matter, the software that they have chosen can deliver the layout and navigation they need.
Looking at the examples that I have posted here I suggest that we should consider a number of questions:
Does this eP reflect the character of the owner?If you have examples of ePortfolios that I can attach to my list, please let me know!
Does the software allow for accessibilty controls?
Are all graphics properly credited?
Is the use of language appropriate for the audience?
Is the balance of rich media appropriate?
Is the balance of content right for a prospective employer?
Is the eP well organised and easy to navigate?
Is reflection used to display the strengths of the learner?
How is informal or extra-curricular prior/experiential learning documented?
Does the ‘Life Story’ reinforce the claims of the learner?
Does the eP display a vision for ‘my future’?
Are peer-review/feedback/mentoring tools used effectively?
Is the eP truly 'portable'?
Monday, 22 August 2011
Firstly, it is probably the institution that introduces the eP concept and that generally based upon one discipline or subject. BUT, as soon as the eP is controlled by a single discipline it will tend to be little more than an assessment tool and preclude all the other exciting things that a young student is capable of doing.
On the other hand, the 'learner owned' eP could contain little more than the confused renderings of a Facebook account or the directionless accounts of a 'Dear Diary' blog.
By the time that the eP becomes the showcasing pride and joy of the young graduate looking for employment, some of the earlier peer to peer classroom stuff might well be considered a bit immature and the learner may not include evidences of such nascent learning, valuable as it might well be.
And then, again, as is the case with some of my examples by older professionals, they tend to display a very polished if somewhat conservative presentation which can provoke nothing but awe and admiration.
Recognising, therefore, that the eP is invariably engineered for a single audience, we might never see the "perfect eP". However, we, as teachers, ARE interested in the learner's Life Story, of the 'multiple metamorphoses' of the eP from cradle to grave - and this is a 'big ask'.
Maturely constructed ePortfolios that include all of the above are probably impossible to find. Even if teachers in Primary schools had the right software and vision many years ago, and even if numerous institutions later the learner’s ePortfolio had survived multiple transitions with various interoperability standards it would be rare for a mature learner to display all the hidden pages of an ‘evolutionary’ ePortfolio. Unfortunately, this may be the reason why we rarely see 'long-term reflection'.
The only way to encourage learners to demonstrate this sort of ePortfolio longevity would be through the establishment of some sort of competition – but even then people might be too shy to step forward.
I think, therefore, that at any stage of a learner’s career their ePortfolio should demonstrate as many ePortfolio ‘skills’ as possible. What is evident in my selected Scoop.it examples is that no one example includes ALL the potential skills for that context. As alluded to in my opening paragraph, it may be that we will not see the 'perfect ePortfolio' until we acquire a completely new cohort of teachers capable of creating a 'whole-school' constructivist culture.
The potential total of ‘skills’ for any stage throughout lifelong and Lifewide learning would make an interesting matrix – but that might be another post!
Sunday, 21 August 2011
Many examples contain profound glimpses of insight and are a joy to read (or listen to). However, even the best seem to have serious gaps in the total content.
Many examples are little more than a showcase of one's best works along with a CV and a list of contacts. Of these, quite a few, in blog format, document the learners interests, sometimes in far too much detail including descriptions of members of their family and even the cat!
Other examples are little more than the syllabus of the course being followed and links to modules completed.
Some are obviously clearly directed by the institution, others are less directed and are purely the results of an open-ended competition.
Many are just a linear blog listing the meanderings and short-term reflections related to a single course of study.
Few show any sense of long-term reflection, 'lifelong learning', or one's 'life-story'.
Despite our claims that ePortfolios are now a part of our Web.2 culture, I could not find any examples of mentoring (by non-academics), collaboration or peer-review.
Monday, 15 August 2011
As alluded to in my previous post, what is the point of 'Attraction' if once the students have 'signed-on' they then find that the course is not what they expected or that they cannot get on with their peers? Students should not feel a sense of entrapment, that they have entered upon a course of study from which they cannot escape. There is no worse feeling than, "This is not what I expected."
I therefore see the ePortfolio as being a powerful tool for supporting retention. - I am currently writing on this topic for a chapter in a book to be published later this year - where I attempt to think through these matters in some depth.
Attrition, or the falling away of students, invariably happens within the first term of joining a course of study, but, as explained in my previous post, this can be significantly overcome by establishing good relationships with mentors, established students and alumni, even before 'going up'.
There are not many recently published works that deal seriously with the subject of retention and significantly only one that I can find, (Bret Eynon 2009) that deals comprehensively with the benefits of the ePortfolio for supporting retention. (see:
However, Eynon does not claim for the ePortfolio that it is some sort of 'magic bullet' but, in accepting a sea-change of institutional thinking, the ePortfolio has had a significant part to play:
' What happens if we shift the focus of our teaching and learning innovations from a single classroom to an entire institution? What new kinds of questions and possibilities emerge? Can an entire college break boundaries, moving from a focus on “what teachers teach” to a focus on “what students learn?” Can we think differently about student learning if we create structures that enable thousands of students to use new media tools to examine their learning across courses, disciplines, and semesters? What is possible if, as John Tagg has suggested, we stretch our frameworks, moving from course-centered to student-centered frameworks for encouraging and examining student learning? '
If you have any data that illustrates the 'before-after' effect of an ePortfolio culture on retention I would be most appreciative - your institution could even get quoted in the forthcoming book!
Monday, 1 August 2011
And thus, particularly relevant at this time when many students are facing their first big adventure of joining a new institution (well here in the UK at least), or other students will shortly be starting their last year of study before moving 'up', I want to explore the impact that ePortfolios might have on 'Attraction'.
And thus to explain the image: Getting onto an old-fashioned bus, alone, in, as it were, a foreign country, not knowing quite where you are going and whether this bus will get you there is all part of the challenge that every young student must face. But how much more reassuring, how much more attractive it would be if there was someone there who can converse with you and reassure you that you are heading in the right direction. Identification of landmarks or signposts reassure the traveller - and this is exactly what the ePortfolio can do through 'buddying' systems that allow pairing of the new Freshman with one who has gone before.
But secondly, and perhaps more significantly, an institution that already uses an ePortfolio will certainly be more attractive to the young student just leaving mainstream education, where an ePortfolio system has been in use, possibly for several years. Institutions that have already adopted an 'ePortfolio-centric culture' will be open to small-group working, collaborative learning, of peer-review and feedback; where, inevitably, students and faculty understand something of each other.
Thirdly, and perhaps fundamentally, an 'ePortfolio-centric' institution will have recognised the place of a Web2.0 culture, where the student can use the applications with which they are already familiar, with mobile devices and interactive systems, with on-line assessment tools. This is the culture with which our 6th-form students are becomming increasingly familiar. They will easily recognise from brochures, websites and visiting promoters those institutions that have '21st Century Learning' already embedded and those who have not. The question is obvious: Which sort of institution would our young students find most attractive?
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
An ePortfolio is just not a glorified CV or Showcasing tool - although these are very valuable aspects of an ePortfolio. Perhaps, in one phrase, I would sum up a true ePortfolio as 'a place of conversation'. In its initial phase an ePortfolio might be little more than a collation of unfinished works, in any media format, that peers or mentors might have access rights to in order to discuss and collaborate upon. Feedback comments, star ratings or Likert scales etc are all part of the tool-set of the ePortfolio and should all be contained in the one place.
Secondly, reflection is an integral part of ePortolio growth. In the many examples that I have reviewed I see little request for feedback and certainly very little reflection about the contributions of others. There is a sense of arrogance about many so-called ePortfolios which promote the owner as the perfect potential employee who knows it all and never needs to listen to the ideas or advice of others.
Related to reflection is the whole concept of the 'Life Story' or at least the documentation of some part of the learner's progression, of their interests and evolving maturity. As much as the learner could explain 'Where I have come from' they should also be capable of describing 'Where I want to get to' and 'How I will attempt to get there'. The learner's teachers, mentors and peers can all provide a rich source of support if the ePortfolio tool allows.
And this, of course, is where eFolio can make a real contribution. Firstly it is easy to use - it must be if even our youngest pupils are expected to use it. It needs no great technical competency and 'writing frames' can be created for those who need them. Secondly, and this is most important, teachers should encourage active dialogue through the ePortfolio, anywhere, anytime. Thirdly, an understanding of the role of feedback is important, of constructive dialogue and reiteration. Teachers should no longer be seen as the despots of two centuries ago or 'The sage on the stage' but, through their ePortfolios learners should discover their teachers to be 'The guide by the side', or even their 'Friend to the end'.
And that, again, is where eFolio makes an outstanding contribution. Here in the UK eFolio is provided as an externally hosted facility and not embedded within an institution's VLE. I have written several times about the concept of transition or portability. If an ePortfolio is really for Lifelong Learning it should be 'lifelong' with the learner and not left behind, mouldering in an institution's archives, when needed in years to come.
Friday, 22 April 2011
Questions arise as to how much influence the culture of a country, the ethos of the institution, the background of the teachers, their presentation styles, the curriculum, the school's resources, home resources and relations with other students all combine to form the learner's individual learning environment. In response to the Chau and Cheng article, therefore, I wrote:
The Chau and Cheng article makes good reading but perhaps inadvertently highlights a number of issues which, for me, make me feel that the whole ePortfolio exercise in the Hong Kong university was missing the point. Firstly, the aspect of peer-review and collaboration. To quote:
"In general, peer feedback was hardly found because it was not mandatory in the competition. Students tended to assign less significance to peer comments, but consistently agreed on the usefulness of teacher feedback for language learning in both cognitive and affective terms."
To me this is one of the most important features of an ePortfolio, that of feedback which can clarify, confirm or even change one's thinking. - Apart from anything else, peer review or that of mentors or 'other experts' reduces something of the workload of teachers.
Secondly, the feedback from teachers appears to be mainly summative, whereas I would argue that the ePortfolio is an excellent medium for allowing the teacher to apply 'a guiding hand on the tiller' before things get completely out of hand. It is generally recognised that so-called summative feedback is too late and of little consequence 'after the event'.
Thirdly, the Chinese University's concept of the ePortfolio appears to ignore its central concept of being learner-owned. It appears to be being used as a learning management system. I quote:
"Where the students’ desire to meet evaluation criteria prevails, the potential of e-portfolios for individualised developmental performance is eroded. Where teachers struggle to forge their identity in the shift towards a learner-centred paradigm without appropriate and adequate scaffolding, e-portfolios may be seen as another externally mandated exercise in which teachers are coerced to participate. Where institutional policy takes developing graduates’ competitiveness as its focus, e-portfolios bear the risk of perpetuating a culture of ‘dressing up’ achievements at the expense of candid interrogation of weakness for progress."
Fourthly, I am concerned that the sample ePortfolio as in Appendix 3 is a very scant example and is apparently lacking in any real personal identity. How does the material showcased relate to the rest of the student's life etc?
I think that the time is well overdue to look beyond 'pilots' and to try and define what a real ePortfolio should be capable of doing, how the ePortfolio can widen the owner's learning experience and how, secondly, it can also make work better for the practitioner.
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
"If you do not see adult "fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, husbands and wives" as life long learners then that is your point of view. But the fact is that all living species are in a constant state of "change". That change is learning, learning to be a father, to be a mother and so on. So, in essence we are all doing something with our lives that is increasing or decreasing our understanding and knowledge about things and situations around us. So, if we would like to assess that "increase" or "decrease" by designing e-portfolios, then why should it be considered "shoeboxing". "
Thursday, 31 March 2011
Tuesday, 22 March 2011
Join us at ePIC 2011, the 9th International ePortfolio and Identity Conference 11-13 July 2011, London
The conference is slowly taking shape: as usual, authors wait for the last minute to submit and many know that the deadline will be extended... However, it's you we need!
In other parts of the world, particularly the USA and NZ, many youngsters in Primary and Secondary schools are celebrating their successes through the use of various ePortfolios systems.
For further information see: http://www.epforum.eu/
PRIMARY & SECONDARY SCHOOLS
What is happening? How are ePortfolios used in Schools? Can ePortfolios overcome 'Facebook mania'? Are Parents & mentors involved? Where is the CPD? Can ePortfolios support transition? What of Interoperability? These are the questions - only you have the answers! Your involvement is imperative!
If you feel able to answer any of the above questions please offer your contribution here.
Thursday, 10 March 2011
However, one of the outcomes of the BSI SIG was to identify ‘Use Cases’ of which each country, and even institutions within any country had different opinions as to how an ePortfolio should be used. Can I ask you, therefore, if you would respond by completing the following headings as a comment or emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org
Application: (name of software)
Function: (30 – 100 words)
Tuesday, 8 March 2011
Quite simply, he identifies the need to think through the learning outcomes and advantages of incorporating ePortfolios into his teaching (and, for that matter, their learning).
However, Julius also identifies the need to look further afield and consider what good this new approach will have for the benefit of the students, rather than just 'head knowledge'. And that is the purpose of this post. Before looking at the suggestions I made, perhaps you should try and list what you think are the benefits of 'ePortfolio assisted learning'?
You can see Julius' post and my hurried response here .
Monday, 7 March 2011
Wednesday, 2 March 2011
the way you lead."
"The first step is recognising that you are not in control - your customers, employees, partners are. If you are among the many executives who long for the "good ol' days" when rules and roles were clear, indulge yourself in that kind of thinking for just a few more minutes - then it's time to get to work. This is a fad that will not fade, but will only grow stronger, with or without you."
What Charlene fails to mention is that teachers have been working towards this for the last 30-40 years (and even before ePortfolios!) I remember asking my class to form groups of 5-6 and, surrounding a large sheet of paper, to brain-storm or collaborate on a project or issue - and even to take away 'two good points and two bad points' from their activity to write up in their own notes.
Earlier on (p5) she identifies three trends that have brought this about this release of control; (1) more people on line, (2) Widespread use of social sites, and (3) the rise of sharing.
1) More people on line: Through many separate avenues including gaming, availability of hand-held devices, Building Schools for the Future, initiatives like Becta's Home Access Programme, governments' Broadband initiatives and the sheer advertising and peer-pressure, it is no wonder that the world-availability culture should pervade schools.
2) Social sites: or possibly more often repositories that have seen the commercial attraction of being social platforms have enhanced a social contagion which, whether for good or bad, cannot be put back inside Pandora's box.
Yet again, I see the ePortfolio, and eFolio in particular, as the perfect solution to safely delivering all the aspects of teaching and learning or rather 'Open Teaching and Open Learning' that we may ever have dreamed of.
No longer can education be dominated by 'The Sage on the Stage', but, understanding its Latin root, assessment becomes 'The Guide by the Side', and even, in terms of Lifelong Learning, 'The Friend to the End'.
Tuesday, 22 February 2011
I was recently asked what I found, within my experience, to be the USP (unique selling point) of an ePortfolio. The next day I was asked if I could crystalise my paper on 'Attraction and Retention' (see previous post) into some 6 bullet points. Well, below I attempt to do just that. The above illustration clarifies my message: there are many players in the field, most, in my mind are relatively boring and unattractive. To me, only one stands out as being unique. But perhaps you would be kind enough to comment on my selection of 'six of the best' criteria:
- The learner should be able to make their ePortfolio stand out as different, a 'must read'.
- The ePortfolio must be learner-owned and therefore laid-out as the learner chooses.
- It must be completely and repeatedly portable from one institution to another.
- It cannot be laden with inbuilt assessment tools if it is to be accessed by mobile devices.
- It is not static - but must be capable of continuous upgrade as the learner matures.
- It should be capable of displaying multiple concurrent 'personas' to different audiences.
My original list of 'Ten Prime Directives' can be seen here.
Saturday, 19 February 2011
A challenging question to which I wanted to pour out my heart. Not so much for the obvious references to publicity and the support that can be provided by alumni. Not so much setting up a new culture of collaborative learning and 'dialogics' but rather, more specifically, how the ePortfolio can enhance both the attraction of learners from a wider field and secondly, how to retain their loyalty through to graduation. At a time when governments are tightening the purse-strings and yet demanding an increase of entrants this is particularly relevant.
For those who want to read on, the 3-page document is here.
Each of the points listed needs some thinking through as to whether they apply to your particular institution.
Wednesday, 16 February 2011
Wednesday, 9 February 2011
Good as the article is, there are far too many questions which remain unanswered:
In schools we have a far wider range of problems concerning interoperability. Until all data can be made interoperable LA will not happen.
Secondly, there is little or no imagination as to how LA will really contribute to Teaching & Learning. As I am presently writing on this subject I suggest that we should be looking at ‘Third Generation Assessment and Feedback’ or what I expect will be ‘Semantic Assessment’.
Thirdly, the document does not appear to recognise the vast number of leading organisations around the world (something like 500) who are currently using LA in their day-to-day staff training programmes. - It is time education got its head out of the sand and looked at what the big wide world *IS* doing.
So my question here is what do you think of the concept of Learning Analytics? What would you like to see intelligent data doing for your learners? How might ePortfolios benefit from LA?
Monday, 7 February 2011
"Let the VLE do what it best does and
leave the ePortfolio for what it can best do."
For several years now, I have been repeatedly suggesting that the ePortfolio is not the solution to the network manager's prayer whereby learners' user-areas are no longer part of the LMS of VLE. (See my paper, 'Who is hijacking my ePortfolio?' best read in full-screen mode) Far from it, my suggestion is that the VLE must work much harder at providing information to both learners and faculty, JIT and also of a much more refined quality. The MIS, through the VLE should be capable of providing much more formative information, on demand, and in 'real time'.
Saturday, 5 February 2011
Quite simply, products such as this cannot possibly deliver 90% of the functionality of what a true ePortfolio should be capable of doing. The developers, I would suggest, have been beguiled into what I call 'Tool Thinking'. By this I mean that it would appear that the developers have said to themselves, "Here we have a tool. - What can we do with it?" Rather than asking, "What educational processes need to be served?"
I cannot possibly think what use a single polished .pdf file can be in terms of Lifelong Learning, or Collaborative Learning, or peer review, or mentoring, or formative feedback. What of on-line Assessments? Where are the feedback tools such as comments or Likart Scales? How can the one document address different audiences for different purposes and with different 'personas'? What would happen if one small spelling mistake or grammatical error was spotted when about to present the ePortfolio? Would it be capable of quick and simple editing?
The ePortfolio must be a 'living, breathing and growing' collection of artefacts, capable of addition or removal and viewed by differing audiences who may have different permissions. It should be a dynamic and easily editable collation of all aspects of the learner's life. It should be capable of evolving, chameleon-like, according to the developing self-image of the owner.
Friday, 4 February 2011
I first came across the New Zealand version of this eBook and soon realised that this was exactly what is needed for parents both in the UK and Europe. Following some intense discussions and repeated 'top-ups' to the original, I believe that I have created a valuable resource for UK parents.
Within the 85 pages are ten chapters of useful tips, software links and some good sound practical advice by one who has 'been there' for the last thirty-odd years.
Click here for more information, and the opportunity to buy.
Wednesday, 2 February 2011
This impractical solution was not in line with my thinking, whereby the learner would have to rebuild their ePortfolio upon each transition. See second paragraph of my article Interoperability and Leap2A. Even at that time (some 6 years ago!) I was convinced that the only realistic solution for any user would have to be that of owning the one ePortfolio for life, and that it would therefore have to be externally hosted as is eFolio.
Saturday, 29 January 2011
Wednesday, 26 January 2011
"There are many ways for students to assess their capabilities, and online assessment systems are just one of these. They’re being increasingly used today, not just by organizations and educational institutions to gauge if students and employees will be a right fit for the job or the degree, but also by those who want to assess themselves and see how good their chances are of getting into a course or gaining employment in the organization of their choice. Most online assessment exams test attitude and personality (or psychometric capabilities), and pre-employment skills. The efficacy of these assessment systems depends on a number of factors:
- The standardization of the tests – an online assessment system comprises a question bank and a question engine. The question bank must hold standardized question definitions in organized categories and contexts and the question engine must be able to pull these definitions based on user interaction. Also, the organization using the test must be sure that the assessment and analysis returned by the system are in conjunction with their values, beliefs and needs.
- The robustness of the system – since the tests are held online, the system has to make allowances for unexpected occurrences like lost connections, users pressing back and forward buttons indiscriminately or closing browser windows by mistake, server crashes, broken connections to the database and loss of data that has already been filled, and so on. Where these tests are timed the above problems could influence the accuracy of the results.
"For organizations that use these assessment systems, the relative success or failure of these tests can be gauged only in hindsight – the performance and attitude of the employees that the test recommends, when assessed over a period of time, helps companies decide if online assessment systems are effective in their hiring policies.
"However, it should also be noted that these tests are not a perfect science and that every employee changes in their attitude and personality based on the nature of the job and the environment in which they work. So while the test may throw up a few suitable candidates, it’s unrealistic to hope that they’re all going to be a good fit. The key to assessing the efficacy of these tests with some degree of accuracy is to give them some time, use a large number of employees as a test pool, and allow a few variances in your interpretation of the results."
This guest post is contributed by April Davis, she writes on the topic of Accredited Degree Online . She welcomes your questions and comments at her email id: april.davis83(@)gmail(.)com.
Monday, 24 January 2011
Monday, 10 January 2011
However, I find a certain poignancy in the picture that they use to focus our attention - that of a lone travelling suitcase. I find it somewhat incongruent that upon arriving at my planned destination, my personal effects carefully packed within the suitcase should be tipped out in a heap - to be reorganised according to another institution's instructions. What I pack in my own suitcase should be mine to organise, display or not display as I choose. And what, having arrived at my new destination, can I do with the contents of my suitcase if the new institution or workplace does not have an ePortfolio system? Or what if I am 'between jobs' and want to get to work on re-designing my ePortfolio?
I am well aware that for intelligent and computer literate adults moving from one institution that has an ePortfolio system to another institution with similar facilities the prospect of interoperability might be acceptable, despite possibly having to rebuild their ePortfolio from the debris of a previous system.
With thousands of schools in the UK alone who do not visualise the importance of Leap2A, I can only ask, 'Do you really believe in Lifelong and Lifewide Learning?' and if so, what are you doing about it. For me, there are only two options, either every institution in the UK adopts the Leap2A standard or that learners are provided with an externally hosted system that can facilitate true portability.
Saturday, 8 January 2011
However, I must also focus on an extract from one of her previous posts which looks towards the future:
- Portfolio or Project-based learning. While some courses will undergo initial disaggregation, the essential trend in education is toward a holistic, self-directed experience.
- Eportfolios will become the basis for learning design from a younger age, with a teacher-mentor and/or community mentor acting as guides and co-facilitators. Parents will be involved in the educational design of their children in a more authentic way, as they also have access to their child’s learning portfolio online. There will be less emphasis on grades, and more of an emphasis on holistic learning outcomes that students have to meet in terms of evidence and artefacts.
- Movement toward project-based learning in brick and mortar schools. Educators will work together to synthesis learning outcomes to plan a holistic, problem or project-based learning experience based on learner interests. The project would be co-designed with the learners, but with educators guiding the process. There will be community access and involvement, making the learning experience authentic.
- IDS (Independent Directed Studies) becoming more predominant initially as learners look to designing their own learning experience and schools look to credit their learning experience. However, IDS may potentialy fall off as an option, making way for holistic portfolio learning experiences based on learning outcomes, not course credits. This may include BAA (localy developed) courses as well. This will require the education system to rethink assessment, grading, and reporting.
Wednesday, 5 January 2011
However, he (she?) does raise some interesting points concerning ePortfolios that I felt I should respond to:
You say, “how many of the players of traditional portfolios were wondering why e-portfolios hadn’t had better market traction. I commented that it has been broadly accepted but it just isn’t called e-portfolios, it was simply people creating an online identity (not always positive unfortunately) with social media.”
Have you not in your statement summed up several of the reasons why the takeup of ePortfolios has been so slow?
Firstly “players of traditional portfolios” are certainly not the ones likely to extol the benefits of innovative digital systems. The driver for ePortfolios is certainly not traditional didactics but starts with a hunger within teachers and students alike for collaborative approaches to teaching and learning.
I fail to see that ePortfolios have been “broadly accepted”. I do agree that some institutions have established internal ‘Portfolios’ embedded within their VLE, but these hardly come under such criteria as ‘portability’, ‘ownership’, ‘Longevity’ or ‘Lifewide Learning’. Quite simply, these manifestations do not come under an enlightened view of what an ePortfolio can do. But more significantly, “most” teachers or Faculty that I speak to do not have a clue about what an ePortfolio can really do for their students or for their own delivery.
Thirdly, of course, just creating an on-line digital identity is hardly what an ePortfolio is about. As much as some social media might claim to be secure and can be presented to different audiences for different purposes, such sites lack the self-image or self-representation that a true ePortfolio can offer as part of a ‘digital identity’. And again, I cannot see solutions such as FaceBook providing the ability to ‘transmogrify’ from one persona to another in the same way as a good ePortfolio such as eFolio can offer.
I really feel that old assumptions about ePortfolios should be discarded and that we should come up with a clear set of ePortfolio definitions. Several years ago I published the following set of 10 criteria. Since then no-one has disagreed with them:
http://issuu.com/efoliouk/docs/ten_prime_directives (best read in FullScreen mode)