Tag Archives: Mahara

Guest presentation details: How Can #ePortfolios Support 21st Century Learning?

As mentioned in my previous post, JISC Netskills is running a workshop at New College Nottingham on the 24th January (for more information and to book, click here) and I’m pleased to be able to give you more details about the 3 guest presentations. The presentations cover some fascinating topics and the presenters themselves have a wealth of experience in this field.

Who needs a system? Developing staff capacity to support learners in producing online portfolios.

Neil Currant, Academic Development Advisor, University of Salford

E-portfolios are a tool that allows learners to evidence their learning over-time, reflect and showcase their achievements. However, what happens when you don’t have an e-portfolio system? How can we take advantage of readily available tools to achieve the same benefits to learners? At the University of Salford we are building the capacity of staff on the PGCHE to discover for themselves the benefits of e-portfolios with a view to how they can use them with their students.

This presentation will look at the impact the use of WordPress, as an e-portfolio tool, has had on staff development. It is clear that staff development impact also closely mirrors the impact that e-portfolios have on learners. So lessons on the PGCHE seem equally applicable to a wide range of learners.

e-Portfolio based learning at the University of Wolverhampton

Emma Purnell, Blended Learning Advisor, University of Wolverhampton

The University of Wolverhampton has been using an eportfolio system (PebblePad) since 2005. Eportfolio based learning is in place in a number of discipline areas such as Psychology, Education, Nursing,  Midwifery, Sociology, Accounting, Pharmacy, Bio-medical Science, Human Resources, Dance, Sport, Art & Design, Law, Construction and the Built Environment to name a few.

The majority of eportfolio practice across the institution starts with a scaffolded template approach. This template structure is evident in individual elements such as eportfolio based action plans and skills audits but the most widely used practice is that of eportfolio templates. Tutors across the institution create a scaffolded framework within an eportfolio for the learner to copy and make their own. The template guides the learner through completing the necessary elements but is flexible enough that learners can be creative in the development process.

This session will look at a range of eportfolio templates and how they are used. It will showcase learners finished eportfolios that were once based on a template. Finally we will look at the most recent eportfolio developments at the university where we are using our eportfolio system for Distance Learning, where it is being used as both VLE and eportfolio.

Embedding Mahara at Birmingham City University: experiences of two early adopters

Professor Alan Staley, Birmingham City University

This presentation will focus on the progress that is being made in embedding the Mahara e-Portfolio system at Birmingham City University. In particular two case studies will be described which have had significant impact on subsequent adoption. The first of these relates to the Business School in the context of skills development for first year degree students, and also use with post-graduate students. The second relates to the Law School, again in the context of skills development. Examples of student e-Portfolios can be seen, and there will also be the opportunity to hear some feedback from students.


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