2010 E-portfolio Implementation Trials - case studies, resources and key findings
During 2010, the Australian Flexible Learning Framework (Framework) funded three VET training organisations (RTOs) over a six month period to participate in the 2010 E-portfolio Implementation Trials (EIT2010). Each participating training organisation implemented an e-portfolio system that supported learners’ ability to move easily between education sectors and between job roles and industry areas. Case studies and resources from these trials are now available at the 2010 E-porttfolio Implementation Trial website.
The 2010 E-portfolio Implementation Trials were:
e-Pathways – Centre for Adult Education (CAE), Victoria
This trial investigated the positive impact e-portfolios can have on the personal development of disengaged and at-risk young people undertaking a Certificate II in Retail. Using the Mahara e-portfolio system, learners created and maintained an e-portfolio to record and monitor their progress in achieving personal and academic goals through personal learning plans (PLPs). This process helped the teachers/trainers develop a wider ‘picture’ of their learners’ skills and competencies which aided in discussions of future career/training pathways with the learners.
Mahara and regional RPL – Polytechnic West, Western Australia
This trial investigated the Mahara e-portfolio system as a RPL (recognition of prior learning) tool for regional and remote laboratory technicians undertaking a Certificate IV in Laboratory Techniques. Point-of-view (POV) glasses helped trainees collect evidence of their skills, offering them the independence to collect their own evidence without having to ask someone else in the workplace. This also meant that the trainee did not have to be in the video as the recording focusses on the task and not the individual. Effective communication with workplace managers was essential in enabling the ‘intrusion’ of these types of technologies to support the RPL process.
E-portfolios for nursing – Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS), South Australia
In this trial, Diploma of Nursing students used the PebblePad e-portfolio system to compile and present evidence to support a range of course and professional competencies, including those required by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. In particular, PebblePad’s Action Plan and Point Allocation function proved to be very useful for managing this process. Learners also experimented with the way the e-portfolio system could help them produce a CV to ‘stand out from the crowd’ in the employment process.
These trials have helped to identify some key factors for supporting teachers/trainers, learners, workplace supervisors/managers and training organisations when implementing an e-portfolio system which supports effective learning pathways based on the information gathered from these trials:
- Good digital literacy and e-assessment skills to use and assess digitally recorded evidence (eg photos, video, audio)
- To develop their own e-portfolio to support their own continuing professional development
- To participate in professional networks such as the VET E-portfolios Community of Practice (EpCop) to support their own understanding in using e-portfolios
- Step by step instructions, templates/examples and ongoing, just in time support
- To know what “appropriate information/evidence” to include in their e-portfolio
- To understand the explicit connection between developing their e-portfolio and what they are learning and/or being assessed on, as well as the benefits of the e-portfolio beyond the training and assessment process eg digital CV, managing continuing PD and/or performance management
- To feel they are working in a ‘safe sharing environment’ to be comfortable about being digitally recorded and to share theirs and others’ (eg employers’, clients’) information online
- To know who can see what parts of their e-portfolio, and how long they will be able to use their e-portfolio beyond their training
Workplace supervisors/managers need:
- Information about how the e-portfolio and mobile devices (eg mobile phones, point-of-view glasses, digital camera etc) is supporting their employee’s learning and assessment
- To understand that their employees’ will need time in the workplace to collect and upload digitally recorded information
- To understand the wider benefits of an employee e-portfolio eg for supporting workforce development or improving employee and/or workplace quality
Training organisations need:
- To establish an implementation plan with input from all key stakeholders (eg teachers/trainers, employers, ICT support staff, learners etc)
- To gain support from senior management and ICT staff to ensure a smooth introduction of the e-portfolio system
- To understand their responsibilities in ensuring learner privacy in using e-portfolios
These findings will be presented at the AVETRA 2011 conference by Allison Miller, E-portfolios business manager on 28-29 April in Melbourne. A full paper detailing these key considerations will be also be available from the AVETRA Conference website post-conference. More details about a ‘blended’ (eg face to face in Hobart and online via EpCop & e-Gems) Strategies for Implementing E-portfolios in your Organisation workshop in May will be available shortly.
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