What can ePortfolios do for academic practice?

Paul Gillary in this space, in his post has recently given some very clear pointers about developing a portfolio of evidence. The online environment (Mahara) he referred to, is particularly intuitive and well received by our users in the Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning (CTEL) and the King’s Learning Institute (KLI). I am returning to the notion of the ePortfolio to highlight some theoretical underpinnings, and argue why it is such an influential tool in HE, both for staff and students.

However, I will not discuss here the potential uses of ePortfolios to support Personal Development Planning (PDP) activities in HE. They are well documented elsewhere and there are related empirical evidence based accounts. What I want to draw your attention to is the use of ePortfolios to demonstrate achievements in academic practice in a critical and reflective fashion. Continue reading

Developing digital literacies for staff at King’s

One of the aims of the cross College benchmarking exercise, undertaken back in 2010, was to inform the development of information and digital literacies frameworks for different cohorts of staff and for learners. The concensus was that the College was far from having established excellent practice in this area, at least, according to the benchmarking criteria, to the level of:

 ‘all students have information literacy appropriately embedded within their curriculum and also in informal learning beyond the curriculum’.

The findings of the exercise were that in terms of these types of literacies (a) literacy is not consistently integrated with programme design and development and that (b) it is more likely to have a literacy component in large programmes rather than in small modularised courses. The review made recommendations to:

  • Develop an information literacy strategy and link development to encapsulated vision.
  • Establish a framework for embedding digital literacies.
  • Draw from examples of good practice from the College or externally.
  • Encourage Schools to think about how they would embed literacies, taking disciplinary differences into account
  • Include digital literacies in annual and periodic review of programmes and evaluate progress

Continue reading