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)