Monthly Archives: January 2011

Evernote as an ePortfolio platform

Martin Hawksey, who works at the JISC Regional Support Centre for Scotland North and East posted a while back about the possibilities he’d seen about using Evernote as a platform for constructing an eportfolio.

Here’s Martin’s post. 

It’s an interesting approach as Evernote is really a productivity tool but Martin highlights a range of ways that it’s features for capturing information can be used for building a shareable portfolio. Especially good is the support for mobile devices (which has improved since Martin originally wrote the post).

He’s also pointed out on Twitter that it scores well for being user-owned – even if an institution pays for a premium license for the duration of a course, notebooks can be retained by the learner after they have left the institution and they may choose to continue paying the charge for full functionality.

…and he’s done a comprehensive screencast on the app’s features.

Evernote – a personalised e-portfolio solution from Martin Hawksey on Vimeo.


…and here’s his follow-up about Purdue Uni’s use of Evernote.

Do you know of any examples of learners using Evernote in this way or institutions encouraging its use?


Institutions using Mahara ePortfolios in Europe

Last week, a few people on Twitter (@ruthycl and @garethbraid) were asking about what UK HE and FE institutions were using Mahara as their eportfolio platform. The best example I could think of was Solent University as Samantha Moss presented at the most recent Netskills workshop on their progress but beyond that I was struggling (although ULCC came to mind a wee bit after).

Thankfully, Simon Grant of JISC CETIS started a discussion on the Mahara community pages a few months ago and is compiling an online spreadsheet.

If your institution uses Mahara and you’re in the UK, RoI or elsewhere in Europe, please consider contacting Simon to add yourselves to the list. As Mahara is open source and tends not to come delivered by a supplier, finding central information about other users can be tricky and there must be a great deal of collective experience to share.


ePortfolio Interoperatbility using the Leap2A standard

Portability of eportfolios is an important issue. If we expect learners to be able to take their eportfolio from institution to institution then there needs to be a mechanism for making sure that different platforms can make sense of what was created using a different technology and present it in a meaningful way.

To this end JISC CETIS are working on an interoperability standard for eportfolios called Leap2A. JISC have produced a short introductory web page and briefing paper.

The platforms that currently use it are:

You can also listen to this presentation by Simon Grant from CETIS which was delivered last September to the RSC Scotland North and East’s ePortfolio Scotland Conference. Slides 5-13 are probably the most interesting. He also reflects on the presentation on his own blog.

For me, the key issue he brings up is how we can plan for possible future uses of the information in learners’ eportfolios. For many institutions who are just starting out on implementing an eportfolio-based pedagogy it might not be an issue that is thought about in great detail.

A more detailed description of the specifications for the 2010-07 version can be found here.


Image credit: “Travelling suitcase on the station” by nojich on Flickr – By-NC-ND

Bumper selection of Case Studies from PebblePad

Happy New Year from Netskills, everyone!

Here’s something from back in June 2010. PebblePad hosted the PebbleBash conference in Shropshire last year and they have helpfully collated the presentations and one or two other bits and pieces.

There is also a range of case studies on a wide variety of topics with contributions from the great and the good of international eportfolio practice, including some people we’ve had the pleasure of working with at Netskills. The case studies are categorised according to these themes.

  • Learning, teaching and assessment
  • Personal development planning
  • Pedagogic implementation
  • Placement or work-based learning
  • Professional accreditation
  • Sympathies and tensions with institutional technologies
  • Careers or employability
  • Student perspectives

Hats off to PebblePad and the authors for making these case studies available under a Creative Commons license.

Also, kudos for having a ceilidh as their social event! More conferences should do this. 🙂