Leeds Met e-portfolio Steering Group

Given the strong tie up between the PC3 project and the Leeds Met e-portfolio steering group it seems sensible to update people with the current situation here.PC3 has a requirement for students to use an e-portfolio tool to support their curriculum creation and reflect on their experiences of coaching;  Leeds Met is in the process of identifying and deploying a university wide e-portfolio tool.

At present the steering group has created a business case for a university wide e-portfolio and this has been presented and accepted at the University Quality Enhancement Committee and Academic Board. It will shortly go before the Information Systems Strategy Group to ensure that it can be accommodated by other planned IT and process changes within the university. Relevant budget holders for licences, user support and technical support have been identified and discussions held to ensure that monies are available for the coming academic year. So we are close to the point where we can go for tender.

Last week we held a workshop to help us identify staff requirements for an e-portfolio tool to be used across the university. Members of the PC3 project attended and supported the workshop. Not all Faculties were represented and some more active staff involved in employability were unable to attend so the initial outcomes will need some input from these areas of the university. Earlier attempts to collect this data using a questionnaire based around the EduTools criteria proved equally incomplete as the wording for the questions left a number of respondents puzzled. The current plan is to try to bring together this data together with requirements collected at the recent event to achieve a primary list for the university.

The workshop used the JISC e-portfolio worksheet and InfoKit as an aid to help staff identify and focus on what they felt was important for them. We also tried to start the process of prioritising the identified criteria by following a modified version of the processes used in the JISC Biils project (Strathclyde University).

Hopefully we can create a working tender document for potential tool providers very soon. We’ll keep you posted on developments here.

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Telephone Conference with CETIS – Feb 23rd

We had a very interesting discussion with Sheila MacNeil, Wilbert Kraan and Sarah Knight recently. Though it was intended to be an update on the technology used to support PC3 the topics were quite wide ranging. From our initial focus on PebblePad, Elluminate and a small range of tools to support the creation of learning objects we eventually reached issues relating to XCRI, the TENCO project and the JISC competencies in design studio work. We are also planning on offering students access to the Ning however this is on the back burner for the present – possible in danger of overwhelming the students with technology..

For PC3 the choice of PebblePad reflects the need for a tool to support reflection, a place to store  objects with a variety of data formats, the need for profiles to enable competency mapping, facilities for peer support and a mechanism to help us introduce evaluation activities. It is also a recognition that Leeds Met has an e-portfolio steering group that is currently in the process of identifying an appropriate tool for use across the university. As far as possible PC3 would like to take advantage of any chosen tool Рseveral members of PC3 are on the steering group and are well placed to ensure the needs of the project form part of the criteria for evaluating potenial e-portfolios.

The first cohort of students to enrol on the PLC (Personalised Learning through Coaching) module will begin their studies very shortly and we are making use of the University web conferencing tool Elluminate to support some distance coaching with them. We have had some experience of using this tool and are aware that there are a number of things that could go wrong here however we feel that we will be able to cope with any teething issues.

On a related note the need to create learning objects to support the PLC module has meant that several members of staff have made use of tools such as CourseLab and GloMaker. Our experience so far has been mixed with CourseLAb failing to generate SCORM packages that will run under X-Stream the Leeds Met VLE and GloMaker being somewhat limited in what it will allow the creator to do. We are currently in the process of creating independent learning objects using HTML templates such that the results can be imported into X-Stream and also added to our institutional repository. These outputs will also support the OER project UniCycle also running at Leeds Met. Sheila was very helpful here bringing to our attention the availability of a knowledge integration tool for content transcoding, the Open University Atelier-D project and also the 10competence project. We were also directed to th work under way at MMU on competency mapping.

Overall this was a highly successful conference so thanks to everyone that took part.