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Saturday, 29 January 2011

Graham Attwell on ePortfolios

Graham Attwell makes a masterful presentation (25 mins) describing the whole ePortfolio panorama. He starts by stating the classic opinion that there are just four different types of ePortfolio. However, he does not appear to come to the same conclusion as myself, that all these types, and more, can all be contained within the one system. Later on he does argue that there are many different uses of an ePortfolio which tend to contradict his arguments for four separate systems.

As regular readers of this blog will know, I argue for a single system with all artefacts uploaded once only but that they can then be re-purposed for several different and concurrent audiences. He raises the important question of ownership as an unresolvable conundrum: should the institution, the Local Authority or even Government own and supply the ePortfolio? Or should employers be required to provide the ePortfolio? And, as I have raised before, what happens when a learner is attending two or three concurrent institutions or is working for more than one employer? Graham continues to ask more challenging questions but without presenting the listener with constructive solutions.

My arguments for eFolio are quite simple. The ePortfolio should be learner owned and not embedded within a single institution. By being externally hosted it is freely portable - wherever the learner may go, and whatever various works they are doing. He hints at the possiblity of cloud-based systems but does not give any solution as to where the non-techie can get support. In contrast, eFolio has both excellent context-sensitive help designed for the young or inexperienced learner and also professional help-desk services - and all at extremely low cost.

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