Saturday, 26 September 2009

E-portfolio drivers for change

The University of Minnesota Experience

Acker, S. (2005) ‘Overcoming obstacles to authentic e-portfolio assessment’ (online), Campus Technology. Available from: (accessed 27th September).

Drivers:3 R’s

Reflection, Representation and Revision, so student can demonstrate learning has occurred

Reflects constructivist approach students have multiple starting points

Possible use as course E-portfolio

Article addresses issues of confidentiality- who does or who should ‘own’ an e-portfolio this seems to be a minefield…no wonder it is not really taking off.

From the UK The Centre for Recoding Achievement on this page

you need to open the link for further information.

E-portfolios to enable:

Students found it helpful in developing ‘thinking’ (no evidence to support this)

Schools reported it developed independent thinking and provided structure (a rather interesting combination, again no evidence).

In another study at

E-portfolio used to develop PDP

Student participation had to be ensured by embedding marks for completion: so students essentially forced to complete e-portfolio!!

QAA Guidelines for HE progress files.


· To help make the outcomes or results of learning in higher education more explicit

· To improve the quality of learning so that the basis for academic standards will be clearer

· To support the idea that learning is a lifetime activity

· To strengthen the capacity of individuals to reflect upon their own learning and achievement and to plan for their own personal, educational and career development

The QAA is in the position of having an overview of the way HE institutions are functioning in the UK. However each university is responsible for its own academic standards. I am not sure how ‘powerful’ the QAA is as a player in driving change in the HE sector. I do not hear it talked about much in the corridors where I work (unlike the TDA and Ofsted). This is the place from whence that useful chart in the course resources that appeared attached below.

The concept of the HE progress file.

Drivers for E portfolios in Teacher Training: this is from Vuorikari, R. (2006) ‘National policies and case studies on the use of portfolios in teacher training’ (online). Europortfolio 2005, Cambridge, UK. Available from:

In all four cases there is a strong policy drive to integrate use of portfolios. This seems such a top down process. It may be that this is because it needs national level co-ordination or it may be because without the downward push e-portfolio would not be used. If they were not used the companies that make them would no t be able to sell their it conspiracy theiry to suggest there might be a link.

If we try to place e-portfolio into a framework of Personalised Learning Environments (PLE) this downward push seems even more far fetched, though the initiative does get dressed up in PLE language. I would argue that PLE are about choice and choice that is freely made.


Reform and renewal: increase digital literacy, national imperative linked to digital competency p. 3


Reform and renewal: to promote ‘good overall and pedagogical skills…and refresh teaching methods.’ P.2


Europen lang. learning initiative To provide a transparent Europen record of language competancies.


Reform- by ministerial decree, part of school reform

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