ePortfolios for educators

This post is written by Sam Taylor, e-learning consultant at Catalyst IT Europe.


Earlier in the year I shared a resource I had been working on that I started to develop as part of our annual worldwide company initiative: the ‘Catathon’. Catathon is where we at Catalyst IT would down tools for the day and create something that could be classed as ‘Open’, so for technical colleagues this could be code or development of an Open Source feature (here’s my friend Peter’s recent Catathon contribution – Moodle Multiblock). Not being a developer I decided to create something else that could be useful to the edtech community – an OER, specifically one rather close to my heart, all about creating ePortfolio activities. 

And so ePortfolios for Educators was born.

Overview of the resource:

Presented in an actual ePortfolio page, this resource is based on workshops that I had previously facilitated at Cranfield University to those undertaking the PGCert in Academic Practice, mostly lecturers. It aims to showcase the various scenarios as to how ePortfolios can be used, why they are effective, and then how, as a practitioner, you can plan, design, deliver and assess an ePortfolio activity.

Modes of delivery:

This resource has been designed for two audiences;

  • Self-paced individual learning – where learners can use this resource independently for their own purposes
  • Workshop participants – where the facilitator can use this to deliver a workshop with multiple participants

Workshop content:

  • ‘Introductory lecture’
    H5P resource to be used to give background on current ePortfolio practice
  • Activity
    Steps to follow for successful implementation and delivery of ePortfolios for assessment:
    • Present the competencies/criteria your learners are to meet
    • Suggest/choose the portfolio presentation tools
    • Suggest examples of evidence that could be used to demonstrate competency
    • Offer reflection models where appropriate
    • Present marking criteria for learners to self-assess prior to submission
    • Identify how the portfolios will be submitted
  • Further resources
    • Downloadable rubrics for Moodle and Turnitin
    • Links to key resources for further reading

Comments and reflections

I have tried to make this resource as ePortfolio agnostic as possible, and since releasing it I have had lots of positive feedback from peers via Twitter on its usefulness, including one institution in Germany who have already started using this workshop with their lecturers. What I would like, however, is suggestions of how I can improve this resource – what do you think is missing? Anything else I can add that would make it even more useful to you or your colleagues? If you have any ideas, please get in touch and I’ll see if I can make it work.

At the time of writing, this resource had also been submitted to https://www.oercommons.org/courses/eportfolios-for-educators

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  • Chris A says:

    My question arises as to the longevity of e-Portfolios. If I go back to 2009 and the introduction of e-Portfolio’s in Australia, several iterations have been introduced over this period where each iteration disappears and the data is lost to the ether.
    Several institutions have also introduced a number of variances of e-Portfolio’s with each not compatible with each other.
    This poses a problem for users (students) when they move between or study with multiple institutions who have different e-portfolio platforms.
    Questions also arise as to the longevity and any program.
    I will draw an analogy to Computer Aided Drafting programs. I know of systems introduced back in the early 80’s which to day are now seen as obsolete, the the electronic data behind those drawings whilst invaluable, inaccessible, making these drawings worthless, yet they are an integral component of an organisation. The only copies of those drawings are now hard copy, and like early practice of drafting, hard copy ruled.
    The same can be said with books. Whilst we may enjoy the “online” versions, there are so many inter-dependencies for access when compared to physical book.
    As an academic, there are still far too many unanswered questions in regards to the value of e-portfolio’s other than short term solutions for institutions. As a student, e-Portfolio poses no value to me personally – just another task I have to do to ease an academic’s workload viewed by institutions as a cost saving measure.
    I am happy for someone to change my views – a decade thus far has not.

    • Teresa MacKinnon says:

      Thanks for your thoughts Chris. As a practitioner I believe there is much to recommend the process of creating a personal eportfolio but I agree that institutional hosting can be an issue. I have used Mahara myself and I have taken advantage of the LEAP2 export in order to take my work with me, setting up a free Foliospaces account to do so. I would hope that any practitioner using eportfolio assessment would provide a clear rationale for doing so.

  • Lisa Donaldson says:

    Thanks Sam! That’s a very intuitive resource. With your permission, I’ll reference it in my next workshop! Cheers! Lisa

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