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Level Two: Why?

Your Mission

Determine the purpose of your e-portfolio

Let's begin with some reading below about why people use e-portfolios and viewing the videos to provide the next step in understanding the purpose of e-portfolios.

Then consolidate your learning by visiting the Quests and completing them this week.

Remember to visit the Ning Network forums to join in the discussions there.

Why e-portfolios? Why now? Why are they important to us?

Why are we immersing in social networks? Why do we seek out free Web 2.0 tools to tell our stories?

These and other why questions will frame our experiences in Topic Two and place e-portfolios within the context of connecting the pieces of our lives online. Here we give you licence to 'think outside the box' and consider the broader compelling actions of social networking and its place in your e-portfolio.

Let's look at three compelling reasons for keeping an e-portfolio. You'll also find examples in the E-portfolios Gallery that provide insight into the wide range of reasons why we build, maintain and share e-portfolios.

Then consolidate your learning by visiting the Level 2 Quests and completing them this week.

Lifelong and Lifewide Learning

Sarah Stewart says:

Which way do we go?
... "So on the one hand I am personally committed to keeping my ePortfolio in the format I am currently a mix of blog, wiki, YouTube, Slideshare etc. But on the other hand I recognise why education and professional institutions, as well as hospitals and health organisations are moving toward standardised, closed ePortfolio platforms....places where midwives and nurses can reflect in private, and a technology that easily interacts with systems set up by professional regulatory bodies...." (Sarah Stewart 2010)

Current Course Participation

Ray Tolley establishes certain criteria to pose the 10 things about:
What makes a good e-Portfolio?
  1. The e-Portfolio MUST be ‘portable’
  2. The e-Portfolio MUST be personal
  3. The e-Portfolio ‘tells a story’
  4. It is a place of organisation
  5. It is a ‘window’
  6. Collaboration
  7. Profiling
  8. Reflection, Self-Assessment and Planning
  9. ‘Showcasing’
  10. Simplicity

Ray has written a collection of blog articles that will help you unpack the answers to some of these issues:

e-Portfolios are coming. But how much do teachers really understand about e-Portfolios? How will it change Teaching & Learning? How will it affect working conditions? Do parents have a say in all of this? And what do students think? (Ray Tolley 2008-2011)

Recognition of Prior Learning

Don Presant says:

Portfolios and ePortfolios are career self-management tools that can be useful to anyone who is experiencing a career transition; who wants to change occupations, or simply wants to discover their strengths, gaps and goals. For example, they provide a bridge for immigrants experiencing barriers to employment due to a lack of Canadian experience. Prior learning can be presented in a positive manner, with evidence of transferable skills.

The journey of building a portfolio or eportfolio is often more important than the final result  due to the personal growth and awareness that results from the participant exercises.  (Don Presant 2010)

You can view samples of e-portfolios from the Career Portfolio Manitoba project and listen to Don as he tells us more about the importance of E-portfolios for Employability.

Why are e-portfolios being implemented into learning organisations?

What's the 'big picture' on this? Consider these five threshold concepts that Allison Miller posted about in the E-portfolios Blog in August 2010: Emerging considerations when implementing an e-portfolio

Here's how Allison summarised this.

Joyes et al (2009) describe a threshold concept as an idea which is central to the mastery of a subject or skill. This underpinning knowledge is required to make the practical outcomes possible and tries to overcome some of the common misconceptions about implementing an e-portfolio into a learning process.

‘Five Threshold Concepts for E-portfolio Implementation’ include:

  1. Defining the purpose for using an e-portfolio - there is no clear or global definition of what an e-portfolio is or can be used for, so learning organisations need to scope the purpose or reason for using an e-portfolio. ...
  2. Designing learning activities which incorporate the e-portfolio - e-portfolios need to be integrated into the learning activities of a course or subject, and they should not be seen as a separate unrelated activity.  ...
  3. Both technical and pedagogical support is required - learners will need inducting into any new e-learning space, including e-portfolios and they will also need support developing the skills on how to be effective reflective thinkers or how to present themselves online for a variety of audiences.  ...
  4. E-portfolio processes and outcomes are OWNED by the learner - this will encourage consideration of the portability of a learner’s e-portfolio and encourage the use of a range of digital devices to capture evidences eg mp3 recorders, digital cameras.  ...
  5. E-portfolios will create disruptions to existing teaching, learning and workplace practices - adopting an e-portfolio process requires a ‘paradigm’ shift by educators and administrators in the way learning organisations manage learning and e-portfolios cannot be viewed as the ‘holy grail’ to cost-effective online learning.  ...

E-portfolios connect the pieces of our lives!

Dr Helen Barrett tells us why we need to find, gather and connect the pieces of our lives in the video below. Helen also provides us with a clear view of the impact of E-portfolios in Adult Learning in this set of slides.

You may find answer answers to this question by watching this video: 'What impact will technology, social networking and reflection have on you in your learning?'

Barrett, H. (2010 February 25). TEDxASB – Helen Barrett -2/25/10 Social Networks and Interactive Portfolios: Blurring the Boundaries [Video file].

A professional eportfolio can be developed in the cloud!

Sarah Stewart shows us her eportfolio approach using a wiki space  and a blog site.  This is one approach that may appeal to you. We'll look deeper into the choices of an eportfolio 'space' in the next topic, Topic Three: Where?

Another implementation perspective from Wales!

Graham Attwell explores the compelling reasons why we all need eportfolios! His Blip TV video says it all about implementing eportfolios in educational and learning settings. This is a rather long video (26 mins+) so set aside some time to really focus on what Graham has to say about: Who provides the eportfolio? Who owns the eportfolio? Authentic Assessment FOR the Learner! Personal Learning Landscapes.
Learner published journals, artefacts and exchanging views on their learning journey.

Attwell (July 2007)

E-portfolios for self-expression

Emma Purnell, University of Wolverhampton (1.21 mins)
Emma talks about how e-portfolios can encourage self-expression and reflection - transcript

Why Use e-Portfolios

JISC projects reveal the following tangible benefits in relation to efficiency, enhancement and transformation.

For efficiency - time savings in:

  • information retrieval
  • supporting reflection and feedback
  • supporting presentation
  • assessment
  • administration

For enhancement

  • improving quality of evidence
  • reflection and feedback
  • skills development
  • student motivation and satisfaction to inform

Teaching Quality Enhancement

  • increases in recruitment and retention
  • use by staff for professional development increasing and informing use with students supporting women returners to the workplace

For transformation - through:

  • engaging practitioners and policy makers
  • institutional integration of e-portfolio use in a number of professional development activities
  • providing a work placement quality management system

Coach Carole,
Jun 18, 2011, 5:55 PM