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E-Portfolios

screen capture of portfolioCollections of work (files, graphics, photos, curriculum vitas, multimedia etc) used to demonstrate competence that grows with the learner through a lifelong cycle of training and employment. The purpose of most e-portfolios is to provide learners with a space to record, reflect and present information about themselves and their education and training experiences for the purposes of learning, assessment, and making transitions, particularly to employment.

Samples

Formal performance appraisal

Guides the students through a performance appraisal process. Students are required to gather their findings into a portfolio. (More details…)

Source National Public Service – Developing People in Government Toolbox, developed by TAFE Queensland
URL http://toolboxes.flexiblelearning.net.au/series5/514.htm
Use Certificate IV in Government
Delivery Can be delivered using a CD or loaded into a subject delivery system.
Customisation The material in this Toolbox has been developed to allow for customisation.
Availability Details of how to purchase this Toolbox are available on Flexible Learning Toolboxes site.

Certificate III in Retail Supervision Assessment Portfolio

Learners are encouraged to build their assessment tasks into a portfolio for course completion and as showcase to potential/current employers. (More details…)

Source Certificate III in Retail Supervision Toolbox
URL http://toolboxes.flexiblelearning.net.au/demosites/series3/313/index.html
Use Retail Studies learners. While working through the activities of this Toolbox learners complete a variety of written tasks which learners are encourage to put into a folder called Evidence Portfolio. This serves two purposes:

  • It provides a record of learner achievements while working through the various activities in the Toolbox and can be used as a basis for their assessment
  • It can be used for you to show prospective employers the type and level of work the learner is capable of performing
Delivery NA
Customisation NA
Availability  Available to purchase from the Flexible Learning Toolboxes site

Why include e-portfolios?

Electronic portfolios can be valuable activity when teaching online. They give the trainer evidence of a wide range of skills and achievements and can show development of a learner’s knowledge and or skills over a period of time and engagement in collaborative learning activities.
Electronic portfolios support a range of learning processes:

  • recording and storing textual, audio and visual evidence and resources for learning
  • active learning with learners setting their own goals
  • collaboration with others
  • motivating learners to produce work to a standard so that it can be displayed to others
  • encouraging a regular system of feedback so learner
  • reflection on particular items or on a bank of evidence created over time
  • communicating learning outcomes and personal identities to a range of audiences

Electronic Portfolios act as “a personal learning environment” that provides a framework to organise a learners training and work experiences, achievements as well as a range of life-based learning events.

Features

Typically online portfolios may include:

  • evidence of achievement
  • details of learner goals
  • daily notes on learning progress
  • peer evaluations of work
  • journal entries which demonstrate a learner’s engagement and reflection with the learning
  • feedback from trainers, workplace assessors, colleagues, employers etc
  • major assessment tasks
  • reports at the end of the process which demonstrate synthesis and analysis of the research and the practical activities.

There is a range of software tools and options for trainers to develop Portfolios with their learners.

Portfolios can be developed using:

  • An Enterprise Led Implementation
    Learning Institution provided spaces that serve as a “catch all” space for learner profiles to provide evidence of achievements, skills sets, work histories and competencies achieved.
    An example is the QUT Student e-Portfolio. QUT  have collected a variety of perspectives on how these portfolios have been deployed by learners and trainers.
  • Blogs and Wikis
  • Social Network Tools
  • Open Source Content Management Systems
    A content management system, or CMS, is a web application designed to make it easy for non-technical users to add, edit and, well, manage a website.
    Examples of CMS include Mambo and Joomla . Some CMS such as  Plone® and DrupalTM have been adapted to use as ePortfolio systems.
  • Google – for an example, see the  ePortfolio Mash Up.

Regardless of the tool you use to develop e-portfolios, it should enable your learners to easily:

  • input or upload their content
  • organise their content in folders/labels or tags
  • retrieve and edit over time their content and files
  • display their content either privately by invitation or publicly through a url (website address).

Integrating E-portfolios

Design steps

As you develop the concept of using electronic portfolios you may like to consider some of the following design issues:

  • Consider your learners’ abilities in using technology for the development and uploading of a portfolio.
  • The curriculum has been designed to require learners to use the portfolio in completing their course work and assignments
  • Consider the technology (software and platforms) needed for uploading learner work. Several online portfolio tools are available as a means of supporting learners to easily prepare and upload meaningful portfolios. They also provide monitoring mechanisms for staff involved in the assessment of portfolios.
  • Provide guidance to learners on the type of work that should be included in the portfolio.
  • Provide guidance on how the portfolio should be organised, including requirements for tables of content, dating of work, reflection on the process and final product.
  • Support a process that enables the learner to take ongoing responsibility for growing their eportfolio into a sustainable demonstration of their learning and skills.

Assessment

E portfolios can be introduced to learners for assessment purposes but their use with learners should be viewed long term beyond the life of your training program. Initially consider using e-portfolios for assessment of learning objectives. Trainer feedback can be integrated back into the portfolio and treated as an artifact to demonstrate skills and competencies to future third parties, including potential employers.
Support interaction and dialogue with your learners in the e-portfolio around these learning activities and products:

The trainer needs to:

  • Be clear on the competencies, generic skills, and performance criteria that need to be demonstrated. Items within the portfolio should have the potential to demonstrate these competencies.
  • Ensure that guidelines for the development, compilation and submission of portfolios are clearly stated.
  • Develop an electronic proforma or rubric that will aid in the assessment of the portfolio. As each portfolio is likely to be unique this is sometimes difficult to frame but is critical in ensuring a fair and valid assessment process.

Technical notes

You will need to be able to access some technology or software platform on which your learners can upload and view their portfolio. This may involve the use of:

  • a subject delivery system such as Blackboard® or Janison. Such systems often have an area such as Student Presentations where learners can upload various files for viewing by their trainers and peers. In addition, a trainer may set up an assessment task for submission of a final report outlining the portfolio experience.
  • a dedicated software package which specialises in managing electronic portfolios
  • trainers and learners may choose to create websites to display portfolios.
  • Social Networking sites, blogs, wikis, RSS and other web 2.0 tools and software.

Skills

The trainer will need skills in guiding and monitoring the process. In an online environment this monitoring may take place via email or in the Learning Management System.

Tools and resources