Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Quest: Step # 1

The Quest

The mission to gain an understanding of e-portfolios has been in progress for a while. I just didn't know it at the time :). My first experience evolved through participation in a pilot program where a wiki was used as a reporting tool.

I saw potential in this tool as a way to engage and to collect evidence to achieve outcomes for the VCAL students I worked with to develop language and literacy skills. As always, the learner group was diverse and all but one student engaged in working on-line.

I encouraged the students to use the home page to introduce themselves and subsequent pages were used for assessment work. The classes were facilitated through discussions and brainstorming activities and then students would then work in their wikis recording their tasks.

This blended method of facilitation allowed flexibility and students chose their own activities to develop learning outcomes. The different literacies needed to use this medium meant that written skills were not a priority in telling a story and everyone achieved thus increasing self-esteem.

There were a few hiccups with forgotten passwords and the flashing of the dropping windows as I walked by had my head spinning on occasions but overall, this method of facilitation offered a lot.

Since that time, I have learned a lot about e-portfolios. My readings of Dr Helen Barrett, Sarah Stewart and other’s thoughts on e-portfolios have given me a much greater understanding of what can be achieved and the processes involved.

From reading and listening, I have learned that e-portfolios are referred to as 'digital respositories' for the collection of artefacts,the sharing of these atrefacts, reflection and story telling.

I realise the different purposes for which e-portfolios can be used and believe they have a myriad of foci. I work in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector of education. Competency is determined over a period of time so consistency in performance is determined. This makes an E-portfolio the perfect tool for this sector.

Vocational Education and Training is education and training which develops skills and knowledge for work. This development of skills and knowledge lead to employment, career development and changes in career. Vocational Training and Assessment relates to both formal and informal training in work related skills and knowledge.

Formal training leads to nationally recognised qualifications. Informal training can lead to qualifications through the Recognition process. VET is flexible and transferable and the aim is for national consistency in skilling the work force.

An e-portfolio is the perfect repository to record the development of work skills and allows for variety of digital mediums to display these. Sharing your portfolio can easily be achieved through the simple process of providing a link.

If you are inclined to reflect on your learning or your skills, this is easily achieved by reviewing your portfolio through mouse clicks. No rummaging through draws, boxes in sheds, roof storage or plotting your way through other spider-filled excavation sites.

So what else have I learned of e-portfolios? I’ve learned that you need some skill to put together an interesting,creative,reflective portfolio, that sharing the e-portfolio is an important step in the reflective process and e-portfolios can be used as a repository for many different artefacts with many different purposes.

Whatever the focus of the e-portfolio, they are a truly wonderful tool that offers much!

Level 1

Saturday, July 16, 2011


EpCop MOOC is an open, on-line course that will develop skills and knowledge in e-learning and the development of e-portfolios. It will begin in August 2011.

I have registered for this course and, along with twelve others, will act as a Challenge Mentor throughout the course.

I am a sessional tutor facilitating adult learning in the Vocational Education sector. I currently deliver TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and ICA10105 Certificate I in Information Technology. These courses are worlds apart but I love the challenges and the learning experiences each brings and the diverse learner groups means that no course is ever the same.

As a Challenge Mentor, I hope to bring to the MOOC my love for learning and my passion for all things ‘E’. There are so many opportunities for diverse learning experiences and for connecting to a worldwide community and I hope to be able to share knowledge and skills and encourage those who are beginning their E-journey.

Participants have been asked to reflect on the following questions:
1. What are your expectations/challenges for this course?
2. What areas of your life do you plan to use e-portfolios?
3. What will success look like for you after you take this course?

I expect to learn much from participating in this course. I will connect with people who have the same interests and will learn different ways to collect and present artefacts in my e-portfolio. I hope to learn more of the platforms that can be used for e-portfolios and to further develop my e-portfolio.

There are many uses for e-portfolios and the focus of the e-portfolio I develop will be for Recognition of Prior Learning. Tangible success will be reflected in the achievement of Statements of Attainment that lead to the completion of a qualification. Further success will be in the growth of personal development through learning and connection with others.

A challenge for me may be using time wisely; not getting caught up in the activities but keeping focused on outcomes. Web 2.0 tools can be alot of fun!

I look forward to this experience as a wonderful opportunity to learn.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Reflecting on my practice ...

I have not forgotten this blog and am still embarked on my E-Learning Journey. I am developing a wiki to support the course I facilitate and this is consuming much of my time. I'm also learning about the new units which are incorporated into the course. Building the wiki helps consolidate this new knowledge.

The wiki is a resource for course participants but Web 2.0 tools have been incorporated to demonstrate the ways in which they can be utilised in training/teaching practice.

At present, participants are using the wiki as a resource. They have not engaged in discussions or 'played in the sandpit'. I have posed questions to begin the conversations and encourage participation however; this is a new medium for most and people are treading warily. The course is demanding and time constraints are also an issue.

The wiki is closed because it has been developed in the name of the organisation that I am employed by and I hoped that the privacy would encourage participation.

For the moment, I'm glad the wiki provides additional information, reinforces learning and is the beginning of sustainable practice as far less handouts are required when files can be accessed through the wiki.

And course participants are experiencing aspects of e-learning!

Sunday, February 13, 2011