ePortfolios for apprentices: What Next?

For this the last article on the subject of ‘ePortfolios’ I had anticipated that the content would be based on questions raised throughout the series by way of the ‘usual channels’ and whilst there have been a few direct requests for advice, there are as many comments as questions, mostly positive which is encouraging. But such is the nature of the medium, comments are more difficult to respond to than a live or even virtual audience without having more information. For example, one comment was – ‘my learners detest e-Portfolios’ to which my answer might have been, ‘as a former work based learning coordinator, I know for a fact that none of my apprentices liked paper based, barely understood the content beyond the ‘next instruction’, may even have detested them, best tell me more’. But social media is no platform for such a discussion and a snappy response might be construed as me being at best, ‘picky’. [Read more…]

ePortfolios for Apprentices: Making a business case

…to get it past finance

“The use of e-portfolios to support apprenticeship programmes is likely to be a key factor in ensuring the ongoing success of vocational qualifications in the digital age, thereby contributing to the skills campaign and ultimately the acquisition of world-class skills.” (Becta ePortfolios for Apprenticeships 2009)

A message myself and others have expressed in many ways over several years, so clearly not news and might just as easily have been written today as ‘post referendum’ the current skills minister stated that commitment to apprenticeships and investment in future skills development more broadly was ‘absolute’. (Nick Boles speaking at the AELP national conference London. June 2016) [Read more…]

ePortfolios for apprentices: What are the challenges?

and how others have found a way.

Another reminder, that the purpose of this series of articles is to provide information to those in the sector that are yet to embrace appropriate technology to deliver competency based qualifications.

I hope to achieve this by cutting through unnecessary ‘jargon’, putting into perspective the preponderance of so called barriers and filtering out systems that are likely to make a very difficult task more challenging than necessary. As in ‘I wouldn’t start from here’. [Read more…]

ePortfolios for apprentices: What are the benefits?

…and who wouldn’t want them anyway?

But before I go into a long list of what an ‘advanced’ Assessment ePortfolio can do for a learning provider delivering Apprenticeships, I feel the need to recap a little. Especially as many people are reading these articles as ‘one-offs’ and may be commenting on points already covered, such as in using the generic term ePortfolio as though they are all the same which they most definitely are not. Cutting across such confusing information is the basis for producing this short series. [Read more…]

What is an eAssessment Portfolio?

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

And which are ‘fit for purpose’? The ‘purpose’ in this instance, is of course competency based qualifications and in particular, apprenticeships. And having reduced the choice of ‘ePortfolios‘ by discounting those designed for professional development or reflection. We are still left with a dozen or so brands or types to choose from which even though they purport to be ePortfolios, they are not all as ‘effective’ as one another. So in this second of a series of articles, I will try to simplify the process a little further and refer to the next phase of ePortfolio selection as: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. (cue music). [Read more…]

ePortfolios for apprentices: A guide for providers and employers

(as well as: QCFs, NVQs, BTECs, Key Skills, short courses and all criteria-based qualifications).

Overview

Despite previous articles suggesting the contrary, I don’t consider all statements on the use of technology from the past as being ‘out of date’, far from it. My concern is when agencies which purport to ‘lead the way’ in the use of technology for Post-16 education, choose to ignore what has already been established for years. Such as the findings and recommendations from the Becta report on ePortfolios for apprenticeships 2009, which begins with this statement:

“We think that e-portfolios are going to be important for apprenticeships.”
In Harnessing Technology: Next Generation Learning 2008–14 (2008)

Well I didn’t see that reflected in recent advice and guidance. [Read more…]

What is an ePortfolio?

eportfolio

A simple enough question one would believe, but not if you are a Learning provider starting from scratch. For example, type into a search engine ‘what is an ePortfolio’ and you have every chance of finding absolutely no useful answer whatsoever, regardless of what part of education you live or the purpose that you have in mind.  Furthermore, even the most recent entry references information from 1994 and 2008…….!

[Read more…]

Is Work Based Learning Fit for the 21st Century?

I have been very fortunate to have spent more than a decade dishing out advice, supporting and occasionally nagging, learning providers about the fantastic and often simple technology available to them. But here we are beginning the fifteenth year of the 21st century when I  feel the need to make the following observations which may touch a nerve with some, bewilder others and perhaps, just perhaps, encourage a few to reconsider their organisations methods of delivering Teaching, Learning and Assessment in Post-16 education. Particularly in the FE & Skills sector.
[Read more…]