Exploring e-Portfolios event

Filed Under (e-portfolios) by elearning4bradford on 19-12-2008

I attended the JISC RSC YH Event “Exploring e-Portfolios” at York St. John University on Friday 12th Dec. The event was well organised and featured in the morning session an interesting debate on the use of e-portfolios that centred on whether this use was to the learners’ benefit or whether it was more to the institutions benefit. Four speakers who supported either side of the debate were entertaining and raised some interesting points. The audience were given the opportunity to participate by txt message during the debate presentations and also to ask questions from the floor – this added an enjoyable interactive dimension.
The debate really focused on what I’m calling the “control aspect” of the deployment of e-portfolios; on the one hand an institutionally sponsored e-portfolio solution might provide highly structured function typically within the, what one of the speakers Neil Currant – University of Bradford – called a safe environment. On the other hand there is an unstructured non-institution sponsored approach that relies heavily on the use of Web 2.0 tools such as flick and Google docs to allow the learner to develop their own portfolio – Kevin Campbell-Wright spoke to this theme with much passion and made the profound point that for today’s learners the world is the classroom. I came away from the debate not convinced by either argument – or perhaps not convinced that there needed to be a choice made between the two – could both approaches not work in the same institution?

At Bradford College Malcolm Smith (who was also running a workshop at the York event ) is using Mahara while we also have staff using other systems e.g. ELGG. This for me then is a key aspect; in short do I need to advocate a particular approach to e-portfolios or even prescribe one particular e-portfolio product or do I provide a set of guiding principles to ensure teachers (and learners) have a range of options to choose from.

Mahara arrives at Bradford College

Filed Under (e-portfolios) by elearning4bradford on 17-10-2008

Mahara Home Page logo

Mahara the eportfolio and social networking tool is being used at Bradford College by approximately 100 students in Teacher Education. I had a quick demo and chat with Malcolm Smith at McMillan and he was very enthusiastic about the benefits to learning that could be achieved. I was impressed at the speed with which the tool had been deployed and also with the huge take up.

Welcome to Mahara

Mahara is a fully featured electronic portfolio, weblog, resume builder and social networking system, connecting users and creating online communities. Mahara provides you with the tools to set up a personal learning and development environment.

For more information you can read About Mahara

SEEC Conference on e-Portfolios

Filed Under (e-portfolios) by elearning4bradford on 15-12-2007

On arriving at the University of Westminster (Baker Street Tube) I noticed this rainwater stain on the brickwork that seemed to depict a ghostly shape of Sherlock Holmes.

The SEEC conference E-Portfolios: employability or engagement? was held  on  December 7th. The aim of the event was according to the programme “to explore how E-portfolios capture evidence of skills and learning curves for a range of purposes, including credit accumulation. What are the benefits for student, academic tutors and others, including, arguably that vital ‘end-user’, the employer? ” It was an excellent event with a good range of presentations. I learned a lot about the practical application of e-portfolios, took lots of notes and made some useful contacts.

At Bradfrod College we are conducting an evaluation exercise prior to implementing an e-portfolio solution. It is complex with many different definitions of an e-portfolio still causing a fog amongst practitioners. There are quite a number of product on the market for example; Pebble Pad, ELGG, MyStuff and MultiPort. Our evaluation exercise will look at our unique requirements and then match these with the right product. If you are interested in taking part in this evaluation exercise please contact me.