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Friday, 21 October 2011

New wine into old bottles?

Or is it old wine into new bottles?  Anyhow, the above graphic amused me because it illustrates the old didactic 'me in charge' approach to teaching and learning rather than the constructivist approach to learning that allows some degree of individuality of learning, at one's own best speed, using a variety of tools and learning styles.

This is Oh, so true of ePortfolios.  On my Scoop/it! site ( )  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! site (  ) which attempts to collate some of the best apps or tools that might help this approach to learning.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

An Introduction to ePortfolios

A nice presentation focussed on preparation for the job-interview. The problem is that an ePortfolio can be used for so many other things. It would be good to see such a clear and straightforward approach being used to present on 'constructivism', feedback, peer-review etc. Another presentation could deal with using the one set of artefacts spread across different personas.  And yet another, more delicate activity, might be an illustration of how Faculty put together an Institution ePortfolio.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

eFolio and the top 10 Added Values

A sliding word puzzle for Added Values
I was recently asked, "What is the Added Value of your eFolio system?"  -  and that got me thinking.  It's not so much the saving of money, but that IS a major advantage, it is all the other extras that go to make up an effective product that does not need the "Oh, by the way, this will also cost you..."  The picture of the sliding block puzzle says it all.  There are many different issues to setting up an ePortfolio system and all of these need to be slid into place from an otherwise incoherent jumble of bits.
So here is my list of the top 10 Added Values of eFolio:

  1. Pride of ownership of a unique ePortfolio
  2. Institutional identity through bespoke banner
  3. True low-cost Lifelong and Lifewide ownership
  4. No problems of conventional portability
  5. Ease of access by readers/assessors through clear menus
  6. Ability to switch on/off a range of feedback tools on any page
  7. Ability to integrate other web-based tools/services
  8. Ability to create multiple views of "self"
  9. Ability to use selected artefacts for alternative personas
  10. 10 years experience of eFolio providing 24/7/365 educational support

Monday, 10 October 2011

The hierarchical structure of an ePortfolio

I came across a very thought provoking paper:  by Assit. Prof. Dr. Nilgün TOSUN, Trakya University, Faculty of Education, Edirne, TURKEY, head of Computer and Education Instructional Technologies Department and thesis advisor to M. Fatih BARIŞ, a teacher at Tekirdağ Technical and Vocational School, Tekirdag, TURKEY. As you can see from this diagram, the versatility of the ePortfolio can allow for divers uses of artefacts as opposed to the traditional linear way of working.

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.

Admittedly, Baris' paper was written from a very academic perspective and several assumptions are made which do not necessarily apply to mainstream education.  However, I must give praise where praise is due.  Thanks again, Dr. Nilgün Tosun and Fatih!