Tag Archives: Wordpress

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.


David Hopkins blogs about bPortfolios – #eportfolio

Just a quick post to flag up a recent post from David Hopkins of Bournemouth Uni, looking at the benefits of creating a portfolio based around blogging rather than a more institutional platform.

In it he quotes from another post by Jim Shimabukuro which you can read directly here or better still, link from David’s post.

It’s also worth following the links back to the original paper mentioned in both posts.

You could also have a look at a post I did which has links to some nice case studies.


How can ePortfolios Support 21st Century Learning – Netskills Workshop, Newcastle 30th March

[[posterous-content:pid___0]]JISC Netskills is running a workshop called How Can ePortfolios Support 21st Century Learning? on Weds 30th March. It will be held at Newcastle University.

It’s a great opportunity to meet up with fellow practitioners in HE, FE, Public Sector and work-based learning and discuss the issues arising from the implementation and use of eportfolios in different contexts. 

Presenting will be Lisa Gray from JISC as well as several other guest presenters from different institutions who will be sharing their experiences. Confirmed so far are Duncan Gillespie from Dumfries and Galloway College who will be discussing their use of WordPress as an eportfolio platform and Robert Chmielewski from Edinburgh University who has been supporting an institution-wide implementation of PebblePad. More speakers will be announced shortly and I’ll be doing profiles of each speaker nearer the time.

There will also be an opportunity to try out a number of different ePortfolio platforms including Mahara, PebblePad, WordPress and ePET.

Resources and agendas from previous events can be found on our project site. (The agenda for this event may differ slightly from previous ones)

It’s a highly participative event and we will be streaming elements of it online. Places are £50 each.

To book or for more information, visit the Netskills workshop page.

Come along. We’d love to see you.

WordPress as an ePortfolio platform

There’s been a bit of chatter on Twitter about using Google Apps as a freely available ePortfolio platform.

Another alternative, though is using WordPress. Although a blogging platform, it provides enough flexibility and customisation to be repurposed for use as an eportfolio. Another key benefit is it is fairly easy to export the contents so students can take their portfolio with them after graduation and host it themselves or import it onto another platform.

Ralf Appelt recently blogged about his ideas on using WordPress. My German’s not great (or existent) but Google Translate does a pretty decent job of putting it into English.

There are a few of examples of it already in use:

Duncan Gillespie at Dumfries and Galloway College (South West Scotland) has been running a successful ePortfolio programme with learners for a few years now. Duncan has presented to Netskills’ workshops before about his use of WordPress – see his slides here. HINT: play the slideshare full screen so that all the links to example blogs can be clicked. The examples he links to show the possibilities for personalisation with WordPress which are a great way for helping learners feel that they own the ePortfolio, not the institution. 

Another worth a look is MacCaulay Honors College at the City University, New York (CUNY). They have taken a slightly different route by using the Buddypress, an open source product based on WordPress Multi-User (MU). Buddypress allows an institution to operate WordPress more like a social network (the CUNY Academic Commons shows this in action). There’s a rather good showcase site a as well if you want to see what sort of thing’s the students are doing.