Sunday, October 18, 2009

eportfolios at VET - Thursday 15/10

Arrived off an early flight across from Christchurch to Melbourne. Paul Levy picked me up at the airport & we commenced for a longish drive in the much needed rain to the Croydon campus of the Swinburne University of Technology. Here Terri Mathot had set up the conference centre for my lunch time presentation to staff on 'using technology to teach baking. Prentation went well, with about 40 -50 attending & many relevant questions fielded. My overall message was to start with something apppropriate to subject context & student profile & to gradually build on introducing ICT into enhancing student learning as required.

In the evening, the eportfolios showcase mix, mingle & network sessions bracketed the presentations by vendors of eportfolio platforms.

The presentations were on Concord, from eTech, Desire2learn, Mahara, Pebble Pad & Skillbooks
Mahara, Pebble Pad & Skill books were eportfolio focused platforms with the others being learning management systems with added eportfolios capabilities. Mahara & Skill books are open source.

All pretty much did the same things, allowing for archiving of artefacts, revision of material, areas to store reflections, possibilities for feedback from various interested parties and the ability to showcase the portfolios in a variety of ways to cater for intended viewer audiences.

Visually, Pebble pad stood out with a very clean, user friendly user system. Mahara had drag & drop capabilites & most of the others had standard browse your folders methods for bringing artifacts into the eportfolio.

Desire2learn had a mobile interface for phones, PDAs and ipods.
Most also had the option of putting in a template so that users could then pop in the required evidence into the right places. rubrics were possible for teachers & student reference so that students could work out the level of learning required to be reflected in their artifacts.

So a good opportunity to catch up on other people working on or intending to work on eportfolios. Also good to see what is available in the market for eportfolio solutions. There are inherent advantages & disadvantages to using proprietary software when some alternatives are available the aggregation of Web 2.0 tools. However, a structured eportfolios environment might be one way to get things started.

Learners & teachers, once familiar with eportfolios' capabilites may then be more confident with exploring other options for eportfolio collation & construction.

No comments: