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…]

ePortfolios for apprentices: What are the barriers? Pt 2

What are the barriers and how to ‘get over it’? Part two

March 2009 (Becta ePortfolio for apprentices)

‘Evidence shows that when providers use technology effectively, the benefits are inspiring: improved results and retention rates, greater participation by learners and increased effectiveness of trainers. E-portfolios can provide a vehicle to facilitate these benefits because they use technology to allow learners to collect and organise artefacts in many media types, enabling them to track progress, carry evidence of their work across transition points, reflect on their learning and build a skills profile across a lifetime (Barrett, 2006; Becta, 2006).

June 2016

Several years and a wealth of technological advancement later, a significant number of learning providers in the UK appear not to have an IT Strategy that fits in with such a vision or have a long term plan to encourage innovation in teaching, learning and assessment. [Read more…]

ePortfolios for apprentices: What are the barriers? Pt 1

What are the barriers and how to ‘get over it’? Part one

In the third of this series I’m dealing with the perceived as well as the genuine issues raised by management and staff and used as reasons for not introducing technology to improve the delivery of competency based qualifications, including apprenticeships.

I have chosen to deal with the ‘barriers’ ahead of talking about the ‘benefits’ of eAssessment Portfolios, because whilst I don’t wish to give the impression that choosing and more importantly ‘implementing’ an appropriate ePortfolio is anything but an enormous challenge to the most committed organisation. I suspect that this guide is more likely to succeed if the reader doesn’t immediately dismiss the possible benefits as ‘not applying to them’ because: “We haven’t the money, the time, the staff won’t like it, can’t get internet” etc. etc. [Read more…]

Five Steps to Online Delivery

incentive-8.info

At a time when funding cuts top the agenda for most managers in FE & Skills and the common solution is to slice even deeper into depleted budgets. It makes even more sense to maximise the resources that you already have and is quite likely to be underutilised. For example, even if it was not already being legislated for, it is simply common sense to deliver some of your training online. [Read more…]

How do you communicate with your learner?

communication

Using communication technology for education has been around since long before most teaching practitioners were born and in 2015 with everyone from toddlers to pensioners chatting away over the internet every day. Why is it then that so few learning providers make use of 21st century technology to teach, assesses, talk with learners or employers, train staff or hold meetings. Don’t they have access to a PC, laptop, tablet, smartphone – two tins connected with a piece of string, what is the problem?

[Read more…]