Sunday, June 18, 2006

ePorfolios

At Glamorgan we have spent quite a long time reflecting on Personal Development Planning and the use of Portfolios. Within the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching this work has been lead by Dr Cliona O'Neill.

Cliona has done a great job in developing a VLE based version of the Portfolio, and has rolled this out to local Schools. She is currently working on updating the materials to provide a more interactive media rich version of the eportfolio system.

With this in mind I was interested in seeing Norman D'Arcy's thoughts On ePorfolios and Ownership. Norman argues that eportfolios are not going to be attractive unless "model the ePortfolio as a teacher. "This is how I gather my thoughts together to track what I've done, what I'm doing, and where I'm going in my career as a teacher". If it's not relevant to a professional, why would it be relevant to a student?". His views are influenced by work done by Helen Barrett on Required High School Portfolios in Canada and the concerns sheraisess are valid.

So how about us? Are eportfolios to keep WAG happy, or are theygenuinelyy to the benefit of the students - Any thoughts welcome.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Haydn
Re: Are eportfolios to keep official bodies happy, or are they genuinely to the benefit of the students - a bit of both! DfES is driving the eportfolio agenda, wanting all learners to have online learning space which they can use throughout their life (don't know who will provide it). As you might expect, PDP will only benefit students if they engage. The debate about this still trundles on. Students generally only value activities that are assessed, but if PDP is assessed they may report what they think staff want to hear, which reduces the value of the activity. Generally, the most motivated students are likely to use it, unless there is a lot of staff support behind it, and these students will perform more effectively as a result. The students who really need to engage in the process need lots of support to do so.

Thursday, June 29, 2006 11:43:00 am  
Blogger Haydn said...

You ask Are eportfolios to keep official bodies happy, or are they genuinely to the benefit of the students A really good question. I suspect it matters what we see as their purpose.

For example it was the fourth anniversary of my mother's death on Thursday and I spent the day with my Father. Catching up with some filing for him I found my Mum's folder of qualifications. She had collected everything from certificates for Italian Cookery courses, through vocational qualifications through to her last education achievement a OU degree.

While this only focussed on the end points, the ability to look in one place for achievements, and even to make it richer by showing what led to those achievements, is potentially attractive. But as you said it would need buy-in from the students. Perhaps we have a role of showing the value such a portfolio offers.

I agree that assessing PDP may lead to changed outcomes, but perhaps a completion measure not a quality measure might help people focus on it.

As regards the don't know who will provide it issue. I suspect we will see the personalisation agenda, that is happening now at School level, will become a focus for political support and related funding. Indeed organistaions have been established to look at the funding needed for this.

Saturday, July 01, 2006 11:05:00 am  

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