Monday, August 04, 2008

E-portfolios for vocational education

There will be a free event on E-portfolios for vocational education, at the CIT Reid Campus, 14 August. This will feature Allison Miller, Business Manager, E-portfolios - Managing Learner Information and CIT Children's Services e-learning innovations project, Lisa Beattie and Aaron Pont.
Thursday 14 August, 10.30am - 12.30pm - E-portfolios with guest presenter Allison Miller (E-portfolios business activity manager) hosted by the Australian Flexible Learning Framework.
To register > email Kerry Manikis before cob Monday 11 August
Further information > E-portfolios Network, RPL Online Network (RON), Leonard Low's E-portfolios slideshow and Mahara (open source e-portfolio tool)

From: Australian Flexible Learning Framework ACT, 2008
Electronic portfolios (e-portfolio or digital portfolios) are an electronic collection of samples of evidence of a person's experience and learning. Usually they are in the form of a web page. There has been interest in E-portfolios from universities and the vocational education sector as a way to provide non-paper evidence of what students have done. This goes beyond the usual cryptic academic transcript. But the main interest from government (and fundingr) is to have educational qualifications in a digital form which can be electronically verified.

QUT ran an Australian ePortfolio Symposium in February 2008. The US approach to ePortfolios is to have companies or consortia of educational institutions provide them. An example is Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium (CTDLC)'s ePortfolio. EIfEL (European Institute for E-Learning), has been working with HR-XML.

Australian Universities are working as the Australian ePortfolio Project, with government funding. AeP surveyed me about potential use of ePortfolios. I pointed out that ACS is working on international accreditation for ICT professionals this has recently received support from Microsoft. The ACS already has a system it uses for recording qualifications and experience of its own members. It is likely that something similar will be used internationally. The ACS exposes some of the information in its system to other members and more limited information to the public via a member's list and consultant's directory. I have suggested the ACS provide an ePortfolio, as an option for members, from the same data, using the standard format. The ACS just needs to format the data in the correct format for this.

Professional bodies have have to check the experience and qualifications of members and many now have schemes for members to report their ongoing education (such a s ACS's PCP program). It would seem a small extra step to make this information available in an a e-portfolio format.

In addition commercial web services, such as Linked-In, provide the information which members provide , marked up in a machine readable format.

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