Friday, February 29, 2008

Meme: Passion Quilt has hit the Ozzie shores

Within 24 hrs of being tagged by Liz B Davis to contribute to the Meme: Passion Quite cause of what I was passionate about in teaching my students (or what I'm passionate about in helping others learn), I was tagged once again by Simon in his Cafechat's Weblog.
A number of tweets on Twitter recently referring to others who have been Meme:tagged on the isle of Oz, often more than once, has made me realise that the 'meme-chain-blog' thing has reached the Australian Blogosphere.

Being a very small Nation population wise, I pondered:
- 'Which Nation will the Meme move onto next?' &
- 'Will we be able to capture this tagged movement via Google Maps'

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Meme: Passion Quilt

I'm not very good at chain-letters or chain-emails. I never respond to them or follow what they say I should do - regardless of how bad the consequences have been 'spelt out' in the communication.

I have been watching this Passion Quilt Meme thing with little interest, feeling like a chain-blog version of a chain-letter/chain-email, and thinking 'well at least no-one is going to 'tag' me'.

So I was very surprised (and a little 'honoured') that Liz B. Davis tagged me in her Joyful Learning Connections Meme: Passion Quilt blog posting today.

And now since it's been digitally recorded that I've been tagged, I'm feeling like I have a social networking responsibility to keep the chain-meme going.

What am I passionate in 'teaching' my students?

Well, lots of things, but those who know me (esp on Twitter) know that I like 'QUESTIONS'.

Questions about what we need to know more about. Questions about what we don't know anything about. Questions about what we've been told. Questions, Questions, Questions.

But why? How come? What's this? Where's that? Is there more? Who said so?

Questions = Thinking

Questions = Learning

Questions = Self Reflection

Questions = More Questions

To the Susan, Tiara, Harriet, n2teaching & Pamela - I hereby 'tag-chain-meme' you, and look forward to hearing what your thoughts are about this process (apologies if you're already been Meme-Tagged).

Meme: Passion Quilt rules:
  1. Think about what you are passionate about teaching your students.
  2. Post a picture from a source like FlickrCC or Flickr Creative Commons or make/take your own that captures what YOU are most passionate about for kids to learn about…and give your picture a short title.
  3. Title your blog post “Meme: Passion Quilt” and link back to this blog entry.
  4. Include links to 5 folks in your professional learning network or whom you follow on Twitter/Pownce.
Well, since I normally blog on work related issues, especially in the area of e-learning/use of technology, I suppose this has been a rather 'light hearted' experience for me - thx Liz.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Using ePFs to support the RPL process

Below is an extract from a recent email communication to demonstrate my support of raising the aware of the use of ePFs in supporting the RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning or Skills Recognition) process in the VET (Vocational Education and Training) Sector in South Australia.

I, personally, am very keen to raise people's awareness of the use of e-Portfolios (ePFs).

ePFs can perform a number of key functions, including pro-actively supporting the RPL process, whereby an individual can use an electronic tool to gather evidence and information, which could be 3rd party verified, about their formal and informal learning and workplace experiences. With the flexibility of readily and selectively 'releasing' this evidence and information from their ePF to an RPL Assessor, the RPL Assessment process could be streamlined.

Used effectively, an ePF could contain detailed information about formal qualifications or job descriptions, rather than simply listing units of study or places of employment.

An ePF tool, packaged in the right way, would readily allow an individual to carry with them the evidence they need to more easily move between places of employment, training organisations, licensing bodies or different geographical locations.

As ePFs serve a number of purposes, including personal / professional development, career planning, increased self worth and as an assessment tool, the upskilling of the VET sector in the use of ePFs would have a multi-faceted function within the formal training environment as well as providing a means of allowing the individual to 'promote' themselves to potential employers or in satisfying licensing requirements.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Muddled Moodle Mentoring

Over the last few weeks I've been working with a small group of TAFE SA Financial Services Lecturers who are keen to develop better learning experiences for some of their 1000 external/off-campus students using Moodle.

Although we are only 1/3rd of the way through the training and these staff have learnt a lot about Moodle, what's been more interesting to me has been the amount of learning which I have experienced.

What I have realised is that all of my previous face to face and online training development has been based around a set curriculum or around Training Package guidelines.

I have run 'one-off' Moodle training sessions before, but I have never developed a 'Moodle Training Course' before.
So I developed a Moodle Mentored Learning program for these staff from scratch, from my own experiences, without any set guidelines - and this is where my learning journey begins.

This opportunity to mentor these staff has come at a perfect moment in time for me, as I'm also in the process on developing a self-paced Online Mentored Moodle Course for TAFE SA staff.

Previously I've developed 1-2 page 'How to' Word documents for the 'one-off' Moodle training sessions. However, having the need to create additional resources for the self-paced Online Mentored Moodle Course, as well as for the face to face Moodle mentoring staff, I thought I would try 'killing 2 birds with one stone', and asked the Financial Services staff to use the self-paced Online Mentored Moodle Course resources.

I'm so glad that I have gone down this path, as it has:
- made me ensure that I develop the resources for each f2f session in the self-paced Online Mentored Moodle Course - so now this Course is starting to take shape.
- allowed the Financial Services Staff to experience what it is like to be a student using Moodle
- allowed the Financial Services Staff to be 'guinea-pigs' and 'test-drive' the self-paced Online Mentored Moodle Course before anyone signs up for it in the 'self-paced' mode.
This experience has clearly highlighted where any gaps are, and where I need to include more information to the self-paced Online Mentored Moodle Course, if people are to really get some worthwhile learning experiences, which they will be able to utilise to develop their own Moodle Course.
So what I have learnt about myself during the early stages of this 'test drive' mode is:
- that I am happy to 'design on the go'
- that I'm able to conceptualise a 'Mud-Map' design in my head when developing online learning environments
- that I'm happy to 'develop on the go', and then sit back, review, evaluate and change, and then link everything together
- that I'm a lot more productive developing than actually planning ie I'd rather be 'doing' than 'thinking' about doing

However, I've also learnt more about how other people function in developing an online environment:
- that some people need to see lots of Moodle Course examples so they can contextualise what's possible before than can design their own Moodle environment
- that simply giving people the 'how to' information of adding a link/file, creating a web page etc doesn't really have much of an impact, as they do not have anything to 'connect' their learning to, and therefore can not transfer this information into developing/ producing/ creating their own Moodle learning environment
- that some people function better by 'nutting out' a design of their online learning environment, before they can actually start creating it

Now I need to figure out why I function so differently when developing/creating in an online environment in Moodle. Is this because:
- I have had a couple of years experience working with Moodle?
- I can contextualise information internally?
- I am a risk learner?
- I am able to 'change' and 'reshape' my thoughts and ideas quickly?

What type of online learning environment developer are you:
- a design and develop on the go kinda person? or
- a design then develop kinda person?
and does it really matter which way you start - so long as the final product provides an improved learning experience for the users?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Using the ePF concept to develop the individual

An e-Portfolio (ePF) tool can be a static collection of documents, evidencing the 'achievements' of an individual.

However, using the ePF concept can be a much more 'rich' experience, and offers a process whereby individuals can tap into their true potential.

Using the ePF concept to develop the Individual (Miller, 2008)

Consider this scenario:
If an individual is able to value their own 'self worth', they will then be able to develop the skills of 'self promotion'. The ability to 'self promote' naturally builds 'confidence', as an individual can articulate what they can do. This increased 'confidence' allows an individual to take on more 'challenges', and by being open to more 'challenges' the individual is more likely to be exposed to more 'choices'.

Using the ePF concept to develop the Individual
ePFs allow individuals "to draw together all of their rich learning experiences (ie work, community, spiritually, individually), not just those experienced in an educational institution." (Sutherland, 2008).

Teachers, Lecturers, Career and Student Counsellors can use an ePF tool to work with their students to successfully recognise and draw together the evidences of each individual's 'rich learning experiences'. And through this process, develop the individual's self worth.

By having an individual's life experiences (ie evidence) in a logically and systematic way (as in an ePF), then an individual is better equipt to self promote. Armed with this package of themselves, an individual will feel more confident to take on the many challenges involved in making career, work, education and life choices.

The effective use of the ePF concept and tool will progressively increase the successful development of the individual.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Social Justice for All!

As I sat in a Lecture Theatre at Flinders University at 10.24 am South Australian time, Sarah ‘Intellagirl’ posted the following tweets:

I repeated this tweet for peeps in my own network, and then I tweeted:

I asked this question, as this is what the Australian Government did after the Pt Arthur shooting in 1996.

However, this question drew out the following tweetery conversation between myself and Frank in Mexico:

Frank: those that really want them will always be able to get them I guess. It is the underlying society turmoil that needs addressing

Me: great point @MetaWeb20 could this year's Presidential election allow some leverage to deal with some of the social issues in US?

Frank: we need to work on eliminating institutionalized hate/discrimination from schools, religions, families, politics, business, etc. I like this from Martin Niemöller as a reference point Meaning we all need to work together as we all have differences that someone hates. If we allow one group to be a target, we are all targets

Me: beautiful poem. How do we build our communities so people look out for each other?

Frank: Well, I think plain everyday people need to join together to save ourselves, not really politicians. Answer: Education

Me: I totally agree with you here - investment in education = reduction in justice/health issues. Creating community learning experiences are so important - SN communities are great conduits for this

So from this tweetery conversation I came to the conclusion that we need to create more community learning experiences which model what is happening the Educational (Social) Networking Community …..

- who share and are open to new ideas
- who trust and respect

-who teach, mentor and learn
- who laugh and express their feelings

- who build networks with strangers, and

- who readily accept differences

These are the attributes which help build communities where there’s a ‘Social Justice for all’ and we all speak up and care about each other.

My thoughts are with the families who lost their love ones in the NIU shooting today (14/02/08 in the US), and to those who experienced this ordeal and will have to live with this tragedy for the rest of their lives.

Let the COMMUNITY look out for you all.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

PebblePad e-Portfolio (ePF) Presentation and Workshop

PebblePad ePF Presentation and Workshop
Shane Sutherland, Pebble Learning, UK

Presentation and Workshop at Flinders University,
organised by Prof Harry Owen and Sue Skinner, Flinders University, South Australia

PebblePad is a very simple to use ePF proprietary software system.

An e-Portfolio is a purposeful aggregation of digital items – ideas, evidence, reflections, feedback, data etc – which ‘present’ a selected audience with information about the subject of that eportfolio

Features of an ePortfolio
Articulation… many other purposes

ePFs are ‘Just a presentation’

ePF issues and solutions:
- Many users are still terrified of technology – ePF needs to my easy on eye and easy on the mind
- Need Support in writing
- learning takes place outside the institution
- different audiences need different ePF
- people will only use an ePF when they’re made to

ePF allow students to draw together all of their rich learning experiences (ie work, community, spiritually, individually), not just those experienced in an educational institution.

PebblePad has mobile phone and PDA versions

PebblePad will soon be releasing a ‘text to voice’ tool which can be ‘switched’ for sight impaired students

Friday, February 8, 2008

e-Portfolios (ePF)- tool or concept?

As highlighted by my online colleagues when I first tweeted that I was attending the Australian e-Portfolio Symposium, e-Portfolios (ePF) can take many shapes and forms in respect to the concepts and the technologies.

An ePF can be defined as "a personal digital collection of information describing and illustrating a person’s learning, career, experience and achievements." (ElfEL, 2005)

Many in the Educational Networking-sphere have already created their ePF in the form of web pages, wikis, blogs, RSS aggregators, social networking sites, and refer to them as Personal/Professional Learning Environments (PLE).

However, governments and educational institutions take a much more formal approach to ePF and prefer to utilise specific ePF systems and software to 'house' all of the 'tools' to develop an ePF environment.

There are a wide variety of open sourced, proprietary and custom-built ePF models available.

As mentioned in my Storing, Sharing, Reflecting, Learning using e-Portfolios blog post, Clint Smith (2007) describes a variety of purposes for an ePF:

- As a personal digital diary
- As a lifelong learning organizer
- As a record of events or journeys
- As a CV/resume
- As a creative portfolio
- As a project management tool
- As an individual course diary
- As a class project organiser
- As an academic record
- As a student desktop

Source: Clint Smith, e-Works – Elluminate Presentation at the Learnscope SA Final State Workshop 16/11/07

Who accesses and utilises ePF is defined by the ePF’s purpose. For example, if the ePF is being used as a class project organizer, then the ePF would be 'viewed' by the owner of the ePF, the other class project participants as well as the teacher of the class. It could also be ‘viewed’ by external agencies in the form of 'evidence' of an individual's capabilities, by potential employers, by management/HR for promotional purposes or by other educators or licensing bodies for the process of recognising existing skills when applying for course accreditation or articulation or licensing.

The following simple diagram illustrates some of the attributes of an ePF. ePF may incorporate all or just some of these attributes, and some attribute may overlap.

Purposes of an e-Portfolio, Miller, 2008

The ICT issues associated with ePF include:

- interoperability and transferability of the data between ePF
- the ability to have lifelong access to your ePF
- who will be responsible for the cost and on-going updates/maintenance of the ePF tool
- the choice of utilising internal or external expertise in establishing and maintaining the ePF
- date storage space and confidentiality
- considerations of access and equity
- to ability to have single sign-on
- the integration of the ePF with existing e-learning environments
- the length of the implementation period (“Expect about a 10 year implementation process to become fully functional” (Veugelers & Aalderink, Australian e-Portfolio Symposium, 2008))

Ease of transferability of the ePF data between the various educational sectors is very important. An ePF developed at one institution should smoothly transfer across to the new institution’s ePF framework.

ePF experience in the UK has shown that by making learners re-invent their ePF every time they move into a new educational institution, employment situation or life phase seriously encroaches the ePF concept. The development of a national ePF e-Framework structure is being investigated through a collaborative project between DEEWR and JISC.

The following simple diagram illustrates the basic structure of an “ePF on legs” (Ward, Australian e-Portfolio Symposium, 2008), whereby the ePD travels with the learner, enabled through a flexible web interface/e-portal.

The e-Portfolio Tool, Miller 2008

The Diploma Supplement / Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement Project initiatives could aid the effective implementation of “ePF on legs” through the development of a 'national repository' of authenticated academic records, which could be securely feed into each unique ePF environment.

ePF offer more derived benefits in terms of effort, course/career planning and employment readiness when they are incorporated within a particular 'discipline' or program area, and should 'value-add' to the learning experience and not be an extra chore.

Staff utilization of an ePF, peer/mentored support and having ‘established’ ePF examples for new ePF users is very important.

It has been found that “learners who are already participating in Personal Development Planning (PDP) are the ones who need ePF the least, hence ePF assist students/individuals who are not currently doing PDP through another process” (Ward, 2008)

ePF have not been implemented into many workplaces, as employers are reluctant to engage with the technology and confidentiality issues, unless the ePF has been linked to professional development/PDP/Career Professional Development (CPD)” (Ward, 2008).

Depending on the industry sector, ePF are not being highly utilised during the recruitment process. However, Industry does value the ePF concept when it assists the accreditation/licensing process and allows individuals to more readily move from one location or job to another.

The UK has used ePF to implement PDP as a means of capturing all of the skills and attributes of students which employers value, and that traditional recording methods were not capturing through academic transcripts and parchments.

Linking to Strategic Priorities and adopting effective Change Management processes is required to aid the paradigm shift required to get all stakeholders ‘on board’ during the implementation of ePF.

Adopting an eclectic implementation method, which “does not hold rigidly to a single paradigm or set of assumptions, but instead draws upon multiple theories, styles, or ideas to gain complementary insights” into the ePF concept (Wikipedia) will ensure the ePF concept and system selected will intrinsically develop learners to have a clearer sense of who they are; where they are going in the 21st century; and how they might get there in the context of their working and lifelong learning, which are highly desirable characteristics in an ever increasing change world.

“Key Message: human aspects affecting the implementation of ePortfolios in respect of changes to the teaching and learning paradigm and in institutational change management, have a substantially greater impact than the technical issues.” (Ward, 2008)

Australian e-Portfolio Symposium – Friday 8 February 2008

Australian e-Portfolio Symposium

Friday 8 February 2008

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) – Kelvin Grove Campus

Review of Day 1
Associate Profesor Angela Smallwood, Director, Centre for International ePortfolio Development, University of Nottingham, UK
- ePortfolios = ePF
- What impetus will enable ePortfolios (ePF) to be valued in the Vocational Educaton & Training (VET) Sector?
- need to link ePF into Strategic Priorities
- ePF can 'touch' the whole of human life - so all parts/depts of the Institution may have a potential interest in ePF
- Pedagogically-led pilots in Institutionally Strategic Areas
- can ePF be attached to the individual - learner owned, learner controlled - distributed/disaggregated ePF - drawing on plural repositories - to prevent them having to learn a new ePF everytime they move into another educational/workplace setting
- ePF allow educational institutions to share all of the 'extra' skills our students have, which are not being assessed in the traditional way (ie against outcomes or performance criteria). In VET, ePF could clearer highlight students 'employability skills'. Can ePF allow the better articulation of the employability skills contained within our Training Packages? ePF = employability skills
- ePF purpose: celebrating learning, personal planning, transition/entry to courses, employmnet applications, professional registration
- ePF processes: capturing & storing, evidence, reflecting, giving feedback, collaborating, presenting to an audience
- Start where the pedagogic need is and use tools which are to hand
- focus on the ePF concept and not on the ePF itself

Student perspectives on ePortfolio practice: Panel Discussion
Facilitator: Col McCowan, Careers & Employment, QUT with a Student Panel (Uni & TAFE students)
- ePF virgins = people who have not used an ePF before
- potentially students have a number of ePF over the life ie one from school, vocational training, university, community learning etc - how do the 'manage' this
- an ePF which is moves with the individual is the 'ideal' - rather than having to create new ones everytime they entered into a new learning environment
- having word limits in reflection helps to narrow down to the point you would like to make
- ePF = Eclectic: space, place & connectedness
- Eclecticism is a conceptual approach that does not hold rigidly to a single paradigm or set of assumptions, but instead draws upon multiple theories, styles, or ideas to gain complementary insights into a subject, or applies different theories in particular cases.
- FOCUS: on the principles of having an ePF and not the ePF tool
- ePF 2.0 is very important - too much institutional control is not conducive to developing the ePF concept/principles
- Students are the chefs! old school = "if you build it they will come"; new school: "show us the tools and we will build it" - Tammi Jonas
- what is the best approach to introducing an ePF concept
- ensure that you consider what ePF skills your students already come into the learning environment with when incorporating an ePF
- adopting a 'Google' approach to ePFs - a national ePF which has all of the 'Google' type tools
- need to consider the access and equity issues of students having access to their ePF once they've left the educational institute
- ePF need to 'value-add' to the student's learning experience and not be an extra chore
- link the ePF concept to key Strategic Priorities
- peer support whilst introducing ePFs is very valuable
- having 'established' ePF examples are very useful
- will individual educational institutions have the infrastructure and finance to faciliate an effective lifelong ePF concept? and Why can't we utilise the 'Google' cloud type service??
- ePF for everyone and not just for students
ePortfolio Practice: Current Issues and future needs (Part 1): Group Enquiry
Transition into higher education (schools, VET)
Facilitators: Lynn McAllister, Tracy
Participants: Jennie Jahnke, Amanda Pearce, Allison Miller

University of Woollongong ePortfolio Project

University of Nottingham ePortfolio Project
Angela Smallwood:
- Using web servers rather than interoperability standards
(RIPPLL) are very important to allow for transition between the sectors ie having a 'home page' ePF which links into the ePF data from all of the web: ie PLE - (JOSEPH)
- ePF e-Framework would be 'light weight' or 'thin ePF's' ie developing an ePF e-Framework interface with 'generic' ePF services
- Peter Rees Jones - Senior Visiting Research Fellow - DEEWR are interested in what is happening and have met with Angela whilst at this Symposium

ePortfolio Practice: Current Issues and future needs (Part 1): Report Back: Group Enquiry
Sandra Wills, Director, Centre for Educational Development and Interactive Resources, University of Woollongong

- creating an ePF 'on legs' - one which moves around with you
- common 'pedagogical' principles
- Industry would benefit from ePF which allowed for ease of transition between the sectors when articulating commonalities

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Basic, Intermediate or Advanced e-Learning PD

For most of this decade the Australian Flexible Learning Framework (Framework) has been providing funding to the Vocational Education and Training (VET) Sector in the area of e-learning. One of the largest funding opportunities has been around building staff's e-learning capability and was called 'Learnscope'.

Learnscope has provided a lot of opportunity for 'entry level' e-learning professional development, and has been the seed money and sandpit for a number of very innovative and cutting edge e-learning ideas, through a variety of workbased learning projects and workshops.

However, as part of the new iteration of the 2008-2011 Framework the new emphasis is now on the embedding of e-learning into the training environment, and will be providing funding to projects which present a sound 'business case' around a real business imperative.

A colleague, however, sent the following email today to our small group of SA Framework unit staff:
"I was going through some of last year's links, and I came across the wiki which I directed people to write what they would like to see from the Framework in 2008. An interesting read as it shows that so many still want really basic help and PD, however they may all get left behind as the Framework evolves. The Framework does need to move on...but.... [look of uneasiness]"
Some interesting food for thought here.

However, perhaps this evolution of the Framework may actually 'force' Registered Training Organisation's to use a more 'embedded' type approach to e-learning, and encourage them to take some 'responsibility' for upskilling their staff who are new to e-learning, as they themselves will become more confidence in this area.

Has the VET Sector been the 'golden child' amongst its sister educational institutions, ie Schools, Community Centres and Universities, who have not received this kind of external funding or support?

How have these sister educational institutions been funding the upskilling of their staff in the area of e-learning?

Shouldn't e-learning already be on the agenda for all educational institutions if they are to provide 21st century training/education to their clients?

Australian e-Portfolio Symposium – Thursday 7 February 2008

These are my notes from the first day of this event. Reflection to follow
e-Portfolio tweets via TweetScan

Australian e-Portfolio Symposium – Thursday 7 February 2008

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) – Kelvin Grove Campus

Australian e-Portfolio (AeP) Project: Introduction and Overview
Gillian Hallam, Project Manager, AeP, QUT

- Commissioned grant from Carrick Institute
- Consortium of 4 universities - QUT, Uni of Melb, Uni of Wollongong, Uni of New England
- Goals and Key Questions of this Project

ePortfolio practice in higher education: The UK Experience Rob Ward, Director, Centre for Recording Achievement, UK
- Personal Development Planning (PDP) - review, reflection, planning - unique UK policy (mandated) decision in UKHE
- Translating and unpacking 'Records from Achievement'
- Capturing all of the skills and attributes of 'students' in the 21st Century - a traditional qualification is not 'capturing' these -
- Creating a 'Vision' for using ePortfolios is very important ie what do you want your ePortfolio to do/achieve?
- intrinsically developing individuals of a clearer sense of who they are, where they are going in the 21st century, how they might get there in the context of working, and leanring environments which are characterised by increasing change
- ePortfolios - process to assist workplace performance and professional development
- 'Transcript recording of student achievement'
- monitor, build and reflect
- PDP - reflect upon own learning, performance and/or achievement to plan for your own personal, educational and career development
- students/individuals who are already doing PDP - are the ones who need ePortfolios the least - hence, ePortfolios assist students/individuals who are not currently doing this through this process
- Key issues for ePortfolios - how to you engage/connect students to use ePortfolios? staff are the 'gate keeps'/instigates to ePortfolios
- Appreciative Inquiry principles work well
- As the School sector use ePortfolios - then they will arrive into VET/Higher Ed with ePortfolio experiences
- implementing ePortfolios are long term projects
- ePortfolios is in a continuously changing flux - the needs, the requirements, the technology, the users' previous ePortfolio experiences
- Capturing , Storing, Organising, Linking, Presenting = improves student retention of learning
- PDP emphases (Atlay, 2007)
- Personalisation, more holistic view of individuals (UK Burgess Report), raising skills levels (competitiveness in the knowledge economy)
- students value the socialisation of the learning environment
- JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee), HEFCE, Postgraduate Reserach Training, Work-based Learning initiatives
- making connections between all of the sectors are very important ie Community, Schools, Vocational, Higher Education
- Linking ePorfolios to the Institutional Agenda - ie admissions, retention and progression (inclusion), connecting/supporting destributed learners, leanring, assessment and attainment, employability and continuing development
- Challenges of ePortfolios: Incredulity, Compatibility, Complexity, Costs, Individual Accountability
- Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is used to mean lifelong career development in a professional context within the discipline professionalism as a teacher, researcher and academic manager. ...
- Reflection: Many students don't know what to write, students who value the ePortfolio process are likely to perform better academically, ePortfolio tuitition/mentoring/coaching is very important - Educators need to be using ePortfolios if they expect their students to be utilising one
- How do you teach the ePortfolio process of
Capturing , Storing, Organising, Linking, Presenting
- What makes a good ePortfolio tutor/mentor/coach?
- What influences the acceptance by students and teachers? (critical factor)
- Management - What is their critical role?
- The medium? - Paper vs digital. different softward, scalable!!
- Managing complexities of research into ePortfolio practice - range of use of practice institutions: lots of differences
- ePortfolios make more sense when incorporated within a particular 'discipline' or program area
- employers reluctant to engage with ePortfolios (technology/confidentiality) unless linked to professional development/PDP/CPD
- Key Message: human aspects affecting the implementation of ePortfolios in respect of changes to the teaching and learning paradigm and in institutational change management, have a substantially great impact than the technical issues.

The Lifelong and lifewide learning vision: Implications for use of ePortfolios in Higher Educations Darren Cambridge, Associate Director, Inter/National Coalition for Electronic Portfolio Reserach, USA
- LiveText - Learning Assessment Accreditation Solutions
- Expressive ePortfolios - creative, individualised, self as authority
- Standardised ePortfolios - common structure, through institutions, objective view of an individual
- Authenticity - Charles Taylor - The Ethics of Authenticity - find truth through what is unique about ourselves, enacting that difference through creative expression, Protecting choise as a core value
- Neutrality as a Consequence - abandonment of 'horizons of significance', validation of choice as an end in itself, freedom of neutrality, procedural justice
- Critique of Authenticity - expressive: promotes a culture of atomism and narcissim (self-absorption, lack of enduring commitments, disposable relationships),
- Necessity of Dialog - need to identify our 'horizons of significance' if we are to know our individual differences
- From Dialog to Deliberation - message with a rhetorical situation - author and audience, means for participation in collective decision making, deliberative democracy
- University as Ethical Learning Organisation - Authenticity (student identity), Dialog (create conversations with others about the student), Deliberation (student's experience helps formulate what the Institute will do)
- A New roles for Competencies - Standardised: Deliberative:
- Competencies in organisational learning: Standardised: Deliberative:
- Deliberative Assessment: Standarised: objectivist/utilitarian; Expressive: Subjectivist/intuitionist (Gray 2002)
- Deliberative Assessment: learning is complex/contectual, judgement based in embodied expertise, students as authoritative informants about their own learning (Kathleen Yancy 1998 - Reflection in the Writing Classroom), institutional values and outcomes the result of deliberation based on these sources of expertise
- ePortfolios based around a set of standards/competencies - ie employability skills can help develop 'self identity' - I am able to .... I have these skills ... I am an effective citizen as I can .... Students take 'ownership' of their learning and the direction of their learning
- ePortfolios can offer an input to a community conversation about what it means to be an educated person in the 21st century
- Harry G Frankfurt - The Importance of What We Care About - The integrity of what we care about: deliberation around ePortfolios hinges on what individuals and institutions care about, caring is a characteristic of the will
- Network Self: creating intentional connections: ePortfolio 2.0 - Symphonic Self: achieving integrity of the whole: ePortfolio 1.0 - University of Wolverhampton - using PebblePad technology's networking features really well with Teacher Training
- blogging into a profession: Julie Hughes' students in classroom placements at Uni of Wolverhampton
- Networked employability -
- The ability to create a Narrative allows you to shape the future
- Integrity - consistency and coherence over time (lifelong), consistency and coherence across roles (lifewide), achieved and asserted through narrative
- Composing a life: improvisation, interruption, redirection - required time, craft, stepping out
- life and work passions often overlap
- Iteration means the act of repeating
- Authencity: how has your education equipped you to identify a need and to make a difference in the world?
- Deliberation: Competencies as boundary objects which connects learning/training, work and life
- Integrity: evidence from diverse contexts integrated into hypertextual
George Mason University:

Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement: Project Review Emeritus Professor Grant Harman, Centre for Higher Education management and Policy, University of New England
- Diploma Supplement Project specific objectives are to enhance student and professional mobility
and make qualifications more portable by providing descriptions of nature, level, context, and status of studies that were completed, as well as information about the education system to which the qualifications belong.

Audit of ePortfolio Practice in Higher Education in Australian: Methodology, Data and Trends
Sarah Lambert, Project Manager, Student ePortfolio Project, University of Woolongong Lynn McAllister, Senior Project Officer, AeP, QUT Claire Brooks, Educational Designer, Teaching Learning and Research Support, The University of Melbourne Associate Professor Gillian Hallam, Project Manager AeP

- Demostration of collected data and use of 'Keepad' technology was used to capture data from the Symposium audience

ePortfolio Implementation in Higher Education: Maturity Models
Wendy Harper, Associate Director, TALSS, QUT
Associate Professor Gillian Hallam, Project Manger, AeP, QUT
- How do we 'sell' the concept of an ePortfolio
- creating an ePortfolio in an educational institution can be like making a 'cake':
- Institutational factors: eg the Kitchen - Policy, Connectivity, Interoperability/Transferability, Curriculum ICT Policy, Institutional
- Teacher/tutor factors: eg the chef - Staff ICT skills, Teacher engagement, teacher feedback, automony
- Students/learner factors eg the consumers - automony, links to Institution, access/ownership
- Technology factors eg the final product - useability, simplicity, re-use
- IISC-SURF ePortfolio (Netherlands) Model - different phases and levels of abilty matrices

ePortfolio Practice in Higher Education: the Dutch experience
Marij Veugelers, Community Manager, SURL NL Portfolio
Wijnand Aalderink, Chair, NL Portfolio Sterring Committee, SURL NL Portfolio
- SURF Foundation - Netherlands Project in implementing ePortfolios
- Various Roles involved in implementing ePortfolio - Technical - Educational - Management - Other
- expect about a 10 year implementation process to become fully functional
- Primary Functions of an ePortfolio (Van Tartwijk 2003): Showing/Presenting, Planning, Reflecting
- ePortfolios can have different functions, different approaches, different solution - one size doesn't fit all
- Many factors involving educational innovation - balanced model - Goals, Learning activities, Learning environment surrounded by Management, People, Infrastructure, who also need lots of support
- ePortfolio is far more than the structure/software - the implementation / way of embedding is very important, which can be referred to as the ePortfolio Concept.
- Scenarios in integrating in education/ePortfolio implementation: Scenario 1 - as part of the Counselling process; Scenario 2 - as part of the Counselling and Assessment process; Scenario 3 - Counselling, Assessing and Planning
- Implementating ePortfolios requires applying Change Management processes and/ or paradigm shifts practices to get 'everyone' on board for effective use.

International ePortfolio Community of Practice = EIfEL

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Australian e-Portfolio Showcase - QUT - Wed 6 Feb 08

Below are my notes from this event. My reflection will come in another post:

e-Portfolio Showcase – Wednesday 6 February 2008

Queensland University of Technology – Gardens Point Campus

Good starting point when considering ePortfolios: What do you want out of your ePortfolio? What are your educational institutes' needs?

Sakai Project: Darren Cambridge, Inter/National Coalition for ePortfolio Research
- open sourced software, but not free - expensive to establish but very flexible
- Open Source Portfolio (OSP) Initiative - started in 2003 - a collaborative approach between a large number of institutes - Community Source Choices
- 60 institutions in 8 countries using Sakai
- OSP tools - Resources, Forms, Wizards, Matrices, Evaluations, Portfolios: layouts, templates sytles, Goal Management
- layers of customisation required - End User, XML, Code
- Sakai has a 'community library' which allows users to share customisations
- University of Michigan major playing in this platform
- Uses: personal representation, teaching and learning, assessment and accreditation
OSP website:
OSP wiki:
OSP Community Library:

Pae Ulu, Pae Kukulu, Pae Huaka'i Pae Pae - Hawaiian stages of building a boat

Open Source: Carole Hunter, Centre for Enhancing Learning and Teaching, Charles Sturt University
- using Sakai as their LMS, OSP Portfolios are linked to Sakai
Lesson 1
- Our users are a varied groups of people - spoke to their students, and what they were doing with paperbased portfolios
- One end of group of users wanted 'guidance' and the other end group wanted a 'blank' page approach (ie those who had some web design skills). Others wanted highly reflective portfolio - others a 'resume'. Ways of recording reflection included written, as well as video/mp4 / audio/mp3.
Lesson 2
- OpenSource is empowering ... once you get started. Getting started can be very daunting
- 1st portfolios - started working with Academics and Educational Designers - so they could model the use of portfolios - to encourage student uptake. Research has proven this as an effective way of increasing student participation.
- places for public and private reflection was requested by the users
- Philip Uys

Mahara: Richard Wyles, Flexible Learning Networks, NZ
- private learning and development company -
- Mahara - Maori for 'think' or 'thought'
- - to be released on 1 March 2008
- not as mature at Sakai
- designed for flexibility to accommodate range of eportfolio models: reflective learning, assessment and certifcation, and showcase for employment
- has social networking capability
- Can be inter-operability with a range of LMS's ie Blackboard, but inspired by Moodle
- Mahara Framework: various selected 'views' - friends, potential employers, file repository
- can have flickr/YouTube filtering into Mahara
- Massey Univ, Ackland Uni of Technology, The Open Polytechnic of NZ using
- Mahara is being used as a National Portfolio:
- Single sign-on with Moodle/Mahara

Blackboard: Tony Maguire, Blackboard International
- Career Portfolios, Institutional Portfolios, Presentation Portfolios, K12-20 needs are often differnt to Higher Ed requirements
- Personal * Classroom * Campus * Global * Lifelong
- Individual * Course * Program * Institution
- able to integrate with a variety of LMSs
- Signon with Blackboard
- Portfolio tool within the Blackboard Content System
- Reflection is a 'key driver' behind an e-Portfolio system
- Stand alone e-Portfolio product - link artifacts from LMS to outcome statements
- include mp3/graphics etc

ePortfolios at the University of Wollongong, Sarah Lambert,
Student e-Portfolio Project Manager, University of Wollongong
- Home grown database product built in 2002/03
- 'Matrix at a glance interaction' is important for viewing the Record summary
- Using it as 'Academic Integration' was very important
- UoW using a multi-e-Portfolio approach ie wikis, blogs, Blackboard Portfolio for Vista, word/ppt, LMS, and still using paper-based portfolios
- Offering a choices of tools in 2008 - looking Pebblepad and OSP
- Looking at Carrick Institute research in national interoperability
- It's about developing the 'culture' around using e-Portfolios

PebblesPad, Shane Sutherland/Colin Dalziel, Pebble Learning, UK
- Social Learning Tools (web2.0) (PLE) vs Institutional Learning (CMS, LMS) (VLE) = developing a 'Bridging Learning' or Personal Learning Environment (PLE)
- Wanting to produce a PLE that is powerful but User friendly, not tied to formal learning and cater for informal learning
- Asset Store - can tag, private or public, shared/published, exportable as HTML and printable, uploadable, 'Action Plan' wizards in create, edit and review, PD Activity record, Profile/Matrix, link to RSS feeds
- Matrix/Profile allows for 'self auditing' of 'employability skills'
- very easy to learn - very little 'training' - very simple to use

Desire2Learn, Ian Smissen, Desire2Learn
- - to be released in the next few weeks
- Learner Centred - it's about learning and teaching, but not exclusively - collect, reflect, organise, feedback, review, assess (self, peer, SME)
- Common platform preferred for interoperability and can stand alone
- user-centred, tracking and evaluation, match to competencies and assessment, collaborative learning and social networking, multiple purposes, multiple audiences, lifelong learning, integration, flexible/freedom to choose

CareerHub, Darren Hughes, CareerHub
- Making it simple and usable
- Portfolio to manage employment opportunities - used by a lot of Australian and New Zealand Universities
- good for developing an online resume

Student e-Portfolio, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Col McCowan, Careers & Employment, QUT
- structed, learning showcase
- start with a small group of students to trial and increase
- experiences, artifacts, targeted views, release views
- 512mb file limit per student
- built around skills areas and incorporate non-University situations ie personal life and work
- being used in a large number of ways across the University - Voluntary to Compulsory - Serendiptiy to Embedded -
- Community Services Courses are fully embedding into their course

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Does e-learning equate to penny pinching or improved client services?

TAFE SA is a large Vocational Education and Training organisation, helping to skill the South Australian workforce.

Like most government organisations in recent years its funding has been 'squeezed through a wringer' and Management have been continuously instructed to 're-construct' their budgets (ie 'reconstruct' meaning CUT).

Current State Government initiatives and the need to upskill a lot of people quickly due to skills shortages has meant that flexible training options, including e-learning, have been given 'greater attention' by TAFE SA management.

Following a meeting between Managers, Program Leaders, Trainers and Industry today to 'brainstorm' the possibilities of developing a project to adopt more flexible Electrical and Instrumentational training options, my Manager commented that this project fitted in nicely with our Director's call for 'working better for less'.

I agree with this concept - it's sound business management to want to maximise your dollar - however it is not one which our staff take to lightly. They see the concept of 'working better for less' to mean increased workloads for them.

So if we are to encourage and motivate our staff to change their currently training practices, and embrace e-learning, then we need to demonstrate:

- that flexible learning offers better customer service,
- that e-learning can provide a learner centred environment which develops independent learners, and
- that accessibility and choice allows more of the population to undertake formal accredited training.

So does your organistion consider e-learning to equate to money saved or does it see e-learning as a means of providing a better service and increased accessibility to its clients?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Trying to figure out thatsmymouse

Last night whilst reading blogs in GReader I came across the recently released thatsmymouse, which enables you to "share your mouse position with other visitors on the same webpage.". (Apologies for not giving the blogger credit who alerted me to this tool - but sorry I can't remember whose blog I read it on - but thanks anyway)

I wasn't sure what this way - so I thought I would ask Twitterdom:

Then this evening, whilst catching up on HeyJude's blog postings I was reminded of this site again, and figured I should try to work out what it is all about.

Adding thatsmymouse to this blog - well I copied the html code into my last blog posting's Html and viewed my blog.

Since then I've been able to add a comment, by simply starting to type anywhere on the screen ...

which attaches itself to my mouse - and then follows my mouse around the screen.

It appears I need to move my mouse around to keep this function alive.

So what's its greater purpose? I'm not quite sure right now - I suppose if someone else was reading the same page, you could have a 'voice box' text/IM chat. That would be interesting to see. I'll try testing it with @kerryank - who added it to her blog last night and will let you know.

I'm now wondering if YOU can also just start to type on this screen - go on try typing something - does a 'thatsmymouse' voice box appear and follow your mouse around the screen? Or do you have to 'register' at thatsmymouse first?

Posted 'findings' in the comments would be greatly appreciated :)

Learning how to function in an online environment

I found Kate Olson's recent blog posting called "Finally Facebook" very interesting and relevant to the recent FB discussions I've been blogging about here.

In "Finally Facebook", Kate describes how she has just started a Facebook (FB) account "
in the name of research" for a parent workshop she is holding at her school on “what kids are up to online these days”. Kate felt that she couldn't teach others about FB without actually using it herself, as she is keen to help 'educate' your students' parents about Social Networks.

Kate writes:
"In no way will I be conveying that social networks are something to be scared of - I will be emphasizing parent awareness, monitoring, and open communication with teens and referencing much of Danah Boyd’s work.

I believe every parent (and TEACHER, but that’s another post) should at least understand what social networks are, even if they aren’t interested in using them for personal use. Not because social networks are something to necessarily be worried about, but we need to understand how our kids work, interact, and think. It’s just simply NOT ok anymore for parents to say, “I hardly even know how to email, ha ha” and have that be just cute and a sign of the times. We need to wake up and figure out where this generation is spending time.

- Why doesn’t every single school have parent education courses?

- Why aren’t all teachers REQUIRED to learn and discuss how social networking affects learning and interacting with teenagers (students’ personal, not educational use)?"
Kate also includes some really good links to "educational writings on social networking".

And since using Social Networking Sites like FB has been high on the agenda in the e-learning circles at TAFE SA this week I thought that I would include my comments to Kate's blog here, so that I can start to gather a 'repository' of information which can help us 'massage' people's understanding of the importance of 'learning how to function in an online environment'.

This is the comment I left on Kate's 'Finally Facebook' blog post today:

"You're spot on here Kate - the message to parents is - 'get amongst it' - because it is only once you're in the social networking-sphere that you can truly understand what's going on.

Like you I create a MySpace account a while back, and then the next time I went back to it I had 6 friend requests - I was so excited - 6 strangers wanted to be my friend :). However, upon opening up the 'requests' screen I had 6 men wanting to be my friend - hmmm - perhaps they mis-read my desire to 'network'. I was shocked and quickly rejected all of them.

However, it did bring home the question:

- how do young adolescents deal with this kind of thing?

A work colleague mentioned that her son wanted to get a MySpace and that she wasn't going to let him. I asked her how she was going to stop him, and suggested that she actually got her own MySpace, so she could at least understand the attraction of these sites to young people, and then start the 'conversations' needed to guide young people through the digital world.

Social networking is such an emerging area - so we all need to be in it together, so as a community we can shape it into a healthy and vibrant place to be.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Look what the Google-bots fed me!

Earlier this evening I wrote a blog posting of my concerns about having Google-bots scour my Gmail emails - and to my (further) amazement - a little later on I found the Google-bots actually feeding this post back to me in my G-Reader as 'top' billing' of "A look at what's new".

Is this because it contained Google content???

Yes, it does seem a little sad that I subscribe to my own blog posting. No I'm not desperate to fill my G-Reader - I was just 'curious' to see what came through on my blog posts after reading Nancy White's '
2 tips for making your blog easier to read in my feeds'

So what are the Google-bots feeding you?

So what can the 'Google-bots' tell about you?

Whilst Microsoft has been setting its sights on Yahoo! I've been more concerned about Google!

My concern with Google started a few nights ago during some email communications with
Stephanie. Stephanie is one of Clay Burell's PLN Students, who is doing a project on designing a 'dream restaurant', and she tweeted:

Mr.Burell's PLN Class-Send me photos of your favorite restaurants/bars in your town ( It'd be very helpful for my project
So I promptly 'Googled' the URL of my husband and I's favourite restaurant, the Taj Tandoor in Adelaide, and Gmail'ed it to Stephanie, along with some comments about why this was our favourite restaurant.

Whilst reading Stephanie's replied 'Thank You', it was much to my amazement that I noticed on the right hand side of the screen that the 'Sponsored Links' were all directly related to the email communications which Stephanie and I were entered into.

What? Gmail is 'monitoring' my emails? Is this right? Should the Google-bots be allowed to scroll my private communications for the sole purpose of selling me something?

Well I obviously didn't read the 'Terms & Conditions' when signing up to my Gmail account too well (which I've had for less than a month).

This all feels a little "Big Google Brotherish".

I know Google and their 'Sponsors' need to make a living - and I'm quite happy for these links to be attached to my publicly open searchs in Google Search engine - but hey, I'm NOT happy about having Google 'monitoring' my email communications.

I've always considered email to be a fairly 'private' arena - just me and the people I'm emailing to. A place where I feel I can write something which is only for a directed audience.

This has made me more 'conscious' about what I use my Gmail account for. How do I know that the data
Google is gathering through their 'keyword searches' is only being analysed and used to 'sell' to advertisers?

In all of its faults, at least Twitter does not have 'Sponsored Advertising' - at least I don't feel like my privacy is being 'invaded'.

recently went public - and for one day only had 'Ads by Google' appear. So why did they decide to no longer run these ads after only a very short period of time?

Facebook has attracted a lot of media attention about the potential 'privacy' infringements of its 'Beacon' application

This led me to think about:

Who 'owns' the data in my Gmail emails?

What political and social gains are there to be had from Google having access to all of this data about us?

How do we raise people's awareness of the motivation behind Google's ever watching eye over our activities whilst using their applications?

Don't take everything at face value - Question - Question everything!

I wonder how the 'Google-bots' will use this blog posting to sell me something?

Friday, February 1, 2008

e-Learning PD ideas for Primary School's teachers

As mentioned in my post entitled "Can I have some 'training' with that please...." my children's school invested in a class set of laptops and several Interactive Whiteboards late last year, and it was these new technological purchases which enabled a conversation between myself and the school's ICT teacher/co-ordinator around offering professional development (PD) or training and development (T&D) as it is called public schools in South Australia, to the staff at my children's Primary School.

This conversation has carried over into 2008 and now the ICT teacher/co-ordinator has asked me "a short description" of what I can offer to staff so it can be discussed further at a staff meeting.

As I originally started my professional life as a High School Teacher (a thousand years ago), and for the last 7 years, I have been training adult
Vocational Education and Training (VET) students and staff, I would really appreciate any input into what PD/T&D Primary School teachers of 5-13 year old students would benefit from.

Here are some workshops which I've already proposed to offer:

Blogs - online journals and personal learning environments
Your students usually only present their writing to an audience of one - you - their teacher. How much different would their writing be if their audience included their peers, parents and family? How would your students' writing/learning improve if they were interacting and collaborating with peers from across the globe?

Blogs can be personal or group project journals, information/research repositories, creative and reflective writing spaces, portfolios of work. Blogs allow you to embed photos, videos and audio, as well as provide the option for others to 'comment' on your blog.

This hands on workshop will demonstrate how easy it is to set up and manage a blog; link to other useful 'teacher/professional resource' blogs, as well as how to manage a number of blogs at one time (through RSS).

Wikis - a collaborative whiteboard and personal website
Do your students do 'group work'? Would you like to create a class or personal website?

A Wiki, which is Hawaiian for 'quick' - is an easy to create webspace which allows anyone to edit, without having to understand html or coding. Wikis allow you to upload pictures and documents.

This hands on workshop will demonstrate how easy it is to set up and manage a wiki, upload photos and documents, create new pages and manage users.

Social Bookmarking - access your 'Favourites' from anywhere and
share them with others

What do your 'Favourites' look like? Can you easily find previously saved bookmarks or do you remember why you saved others? Do you use more than one computer - so would being able to access your 'favourites' from any computer be useful?

Social bookmarking allows you to save your favourite websites under 'tags' or 'topics' - so you can search by 'topic' rather ramdomly by the title. Social Bookmarking also allows to you to share your bookmarks with others. Imagine the time saved if you could see all of your colleagues' numeracy and literacy bookmarks?

This hands on workshop will demonstrate how easy it is to set up and manage a social bookmarking account, as well as find and share favourites with other.

Of course I consulted Twitterdom on this topic - and here are some suggestions for other PD/T&D for Primary School Teachers:

@murcha - What about images, size, appropiate format etc and manipulation for online use - I'm reading this to be about photo re-sizing, cropping etc

@marlenemanto - Primary School teachers? How about digital storytelling...always popular and easy to get started.

@lindiop -
flickr? especially show them

And Patrick Woessner has created an A to Z of relatively new, free e-learning/web 2.0 resources which would make great 'Show'n'Tell 2.0' sessions at your staff meetings for the rest of the year!

Why not try some of these with some Primary School teachers you know? What other useful PD/T&D e-learning workshops would you recommend?

Thanks to Tim Davies, Sue Waters and Lee Lefever for the great free online resources you have developed in these topics - and which I have referenced to. Long live Sharing Social Networks!!!