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Thoughts about Richardson's article

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How does the work covered in previous weeks compare with Richardson's article?


In week 1 looking at the Google generation and how people search for information made me think whether learning and teaching is affected by this. Do people learn from what they have found online or do they just absorb the facts? I think Richardson's paper shows that the learning depends on the attitude of the learner. However I think that for teaching this is important. If the information and knowledge is searchable students no longer need a teacher to impart the facts they need a teacher to facilitate learning and understanding.


In week 2 John Seely-Brown said great learning occurs in groups and from this I have thought that this can translate to deep learning. This was also shown with the participatory type of learning that Engstrom discussed whereby learning happened in a group and understanding was developed. Sfard talked of both acquisition and participation but did not say one type of learning was better than another just different. Manton talked of passive learning where students felt learning was done to them but I did not feel that Sfard was saying one type of learning was passive and one was active just that one was done alone and one in a group.


In week 4 we looked at many different definitions of learning and also explored situational learning; where learning occurs more sucessfully when it is in context. It was stated that learning cannot happen in a vacuum and it affected by what is happening around the person.


In week 5 we explored how different representations can influence learning. It is therefore important to think about how teaching can take this into account.


In week 8 we looked at learning design and I think it does help to plan the learning to ensure the teacher can consider all aspects of the lesson. By planning it is possible to make lessons more student centred.


In my own context as a learner I definately feel that as I have got older my perception of learning has changed to be one that I understand I have to take an acitvely role in. I also agree that as I have proceeded through my education I have gone through the heirarchy of what I perceive learning to be.


I think in my role as a teacher I do try to take a student centred approach but think it is often a harder and more demanding way to teach.


There are a few things in the paper I was surprised about:

  1. In my own experience I found that my teaching became much more student-centred as my experience increased and also after I had studied my teaching certificate.
  2. I thought that he could have explored more about the differences in disciplines. Is a more teacher centred approach taken when there are facts to be learned, for example in science based subjects.
  3. There was little said about the assessment process and I think that this is really important both to how students learn and teachers teach. If the assessment only requires regurgitation of facts that is usually what will be learned and what will be taught.


Students’ Approaches to Learning and Teachers’ Approaches to Teaching in Higher Education John T. E. Richardson
Educational Psychology
Vol. 25, Iss. 6, 2005


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Activity 5.1 Legislation

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Edited by Deborah Judah, Wednesday, 21 Sep 2011, 21:03

Legislation places a duty on institutions to anticipate the needs of all potential students and it is necessary to embed good practice before it is needed.  There are two aspects of reasonable adjustments:

  1. anticipating what it needed without necessarily having students with disabilities to accomodate
  2. adjustments made in conjunction with and discussion with students, staff and disability officers.

Seale Ch4


US legislation is influencing legislation in other countries.

There are three things that have influenced the provision for people with disabilities in education:

Americans with disabilities act 1990

This act states that individuals with disabilites have a right to obtian equal education, equal access to all programmes and be able to access the same opportunites as people without disabilies.

1973 Rehab Act Section 540

This states that an individual cannot be denied accessibility to education activites that receive federal funding because of their disability

1973 Rehab Act Section 508

this section does not directly apply to HE as it applies to employees.  It states that electronic and IT must be accessible to staff and public.


There is no specific legislation in relation to onine services and sites but education has to comply with certain guidelines and standards


The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 Section 2 states that it is unlawful to discriminate against a person on the grounds of disability.  A website does not legally have to be accessible but there has to be an alternative provided for those unable to access it.

The Disability Standard for Education 2005 is under review.  It clarifies the obligations of education and training services providers.  Students with disabilities must have the same rights, comparible access, services and facilities.

As well as an obligation to make changes to accomodate the needs of the student there is also an obligation to address harrassment and victimisation of a student with disability.


The legislation in the EU is not consistant but the EU commision has recommended that specific legislation for Europe is developed.


The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 states that there should be an end to discrimination that disabled people face.  This includes HE making adjustments to how they provide their service.  There has to be access to communication and the way communication is used has to be accessible.  There also has to be access to and use of IT services.

SENDA 2001 is an ammendment to the above act and concentrates specifically on education.  It makes it an offense for an institution to discriminate against a disabled person.  Reasonable adjustments have to be made so that they are not at a disadvantage.  It mentions distance and elearning.

The legislation varies between internal standards where it is explicit what standards have to be reached and others rely on benchmarking against external standards.


It has been shown that there has been no marked improvement to accessibility of elearning in HE due to the guideline and standards. In many was accessibility is worse due to increased complexity of websites.  48% of academic websites in UK and USA have been found to be inaccessible.


  1. No provision of text equivalent eg text for images
  2. Inconsistant or ineffective navigational systems
  3. Misunderstanding of the requirements to make sites accessible


In many ways practice is not changing and there is a lot of confusion in how the legislation should be interpreted.  There is a tension between flexibility and rigidity of compliance and in some ways the standards cannot ease this tension.  This is because often the guidelines are used as a checklist rather than really working out what should be done to make education more accessible.  The standards do not always take into account what the student wants or needs.


There is a lot of support for students with disability studying physiotherapy.  This includes university based modules and clinical placements.  The disability officers of the university are often involved in the discussion about the type of support needed and the students are involved as well.  There are some general standards that are adhered to which support students with disability but are  beneficial to all students.  These include being able to change the website colour and font, providing lecture notes 24 hours in advance of the lecture.  Students with dyslexia and allowed extra time in exams.  All students have access to the disability office.


It is important to address issues of accessibility as a challange to be met rather than a problem.  The legislation should be an impetus to provide change and should be integral to the teaching and learning not an add-on.

Anticipating needs should not require the student to be there some needs can be addressed as a way to prepare better.  In practice this can be a challenge and does not always fulfill the needs of the student.  However it does ensure that accessibility is at the forefront of the process.

Disclosure can be a difficult this for students but a student does not have to provide evidence of a disability to qualify for assistance.  Institutions could make disclosure easier by ensuring an open atmosphere and ensuring privacy and confidentiality.  It is important that the instituation takes steps to find out the disability that a student has and what needs they have.

It is important to achieve change on courses that lead to professional accrediation.


Which do you think benefits more from legislation: disabled students or educational institutions?

Legislation can push the case and promote change with is beneficial for the student however unless the atmosphere is open and supportive change will only occur in order to comply with legislation.  This means that the institution will benefit more than the student.  An institution can publish statistics about compliance with legislation which will provide good marketing but may just be following the letter of the law rather than the spirit of it.


The UN has tried to standardize rules for people with disabilities.  They claim that there has to be participation and it is important to provide training, capacity building, awareness raising, show areas of good practice and spread knowledge.  It states that everyone has a right to education with no discrimination and equal opportunites.

The UK has signed and ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. They have reservations about equality in the military and reserve the right to provide alternative eduaction opportunities to school children.

Wong-Hernandez 2001

Look at the author’s concluding comments. What common factor or factors does she identify as hindering progress?

  1. Resources need to be allocated to implement government changes
  2. There has to be active participation of people with disability
  3. There must be training and education of community leaders within the disabled community
  4. Society must be unified worldwide.


Disability as part or the Equality Lobby

Do you think that there are specific issues relating to disability and accessibility that are different from those arising with regard to other aspects of equality and human rights, such as racial discrimination?

Yes, there are issues with people with disability not being able to do certain things due to barriers in place or support/assistance not being available.  This is different to educating the public about treating all people equal regardless of race, religion etc as adjustments are not required for these people to function equally and without discrimination in society.




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Challenges for students with disability

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Who is affected

Common to all Post compulsory education

Completing application forms

Ensuring support for particular disability

Use of computers and other equipment

Planning time and essay writing

Online forums


Communication with staff and peers

Assessment by any form

Use of email

Cognitive eg Dyslexia

All students with disability


Physical impairment

Cognitive eg Dyslexia

Visual impairment

Cognitive eg Dyslexia

Potentially all students with disability but in particular those with hearing impairments

Depending on the assessment any student could be affected

Visual impairment

Campus Based Education

Lectures and tutorials

Accessing buildings, computer areas

Seeing information being presented

Hearing the lecturer

Joining in discussion

Physical impairment

Visual/ cognitive



Online learning

Reading text on screen

Accessing websites with hyperlink/segments/non labled images



Synchronous online learning

Cognitive eg Dyslexia/visual impairment


Hearing impairment

Visual/hearing impairment


Particular Subjects

Outdoor fieldwork

Laboratory Work

Sports actvities

Reading subject specific content e.g. mathematical or scientific expressions.

All students with disability could be affected.

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Designing Web sites for people with disabilities

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Visual Dificulties:

Text equivalents for images, because their assistive screen reader technology cannot obtain information from images.

Mouse is not useful as it requires hand and eye coordination. Use Keyboard and screen reader to navigate the web.

Low vision users need to be able to enlarge the text beyond simple font enlargement.

Colour blind and low vision users benefit from high contrast colors or be view in colour and fill pattern, or black and white as well as colour.

Hearing Difficulities:

Visual representations of auditory information are needed. These can be closed captioning, blinking error messages, and transcripts of the spoken audio.

Mobility Difficulties:

People will benefit from switches, latches, and controls that are easy to manipulate, as well as media that is easy to insert and remove. Software needs to be controlled without a mouse, or without a keyboard.

Voice input is helpful

Being able to enter information in single strokes; rather than simultaneously as in Ctrl+Alt+Del

Many of these needs are supported by assistive technology, operating systems, and hardware platforms.

Cognitive Difficulties:

General solutions, which include providing a consistent design and using simplified language are needed.

Template for web pages so they are the same ans familiar.

Providing simultaneaous ways to understand material eg audio and transcript.



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New blog post

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Disability & Society
Vol. 22, No. 1, January 2007, pp. 35–48

‘Managing’ disability: early experiences of university students with disabilities
Jackie Goode*
University of Nottingham, UK

This article showed the difficulties that students can encounter in their first term of univeristy.  Some is due to the ignorance or insensitivity of teaching staff.  Often students do not know what to ask for or are reluctant to ask.  The stress of settling in at university is made so much harder when a student has to chase up assistance that they need.

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H808 Activity 3.1

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Edited by Deborah Judah, Friday, 9 Sep 2011, 10:47

This is my list:

Medical: this is the WHO definition of disability. People with disability are seen as a problem and have to change to fit in. This is also know as the individual or Rehabilitation model.

Expert or Professional Model of Disability: a traditional response to disability issues and can be seen as an offshoot of the medical model. Professionals follow a process of identifying the impairment and its limitations and try improve the position of the disabled person. This is authoritarian and puts the person with disablitly in a passive position. This is an offshoot of the medical model.

Social: Disability is caused by barriers that society puts in place; either attitudes of other people of the structure of the environment. Barriers need to be removed so people with disability have the same opportunity as everyone else. This model emphasises the responsiblity of the indvidual with a disability.

Empowering: A person with a disability (or their family) to decide the course of their treatment and what services they wish to benefit from. The professional is a service provider whose role is to offer guidance and carry out the client’s decisions.

Charity: People with disability are helpless and in need of care.

Economic: Defines disability by a person’s inability to participate in work. It also assesses the degree to which impairment affects an individual’s productivity and the economic consequences for the individual, employer and the state. Such consequences include loss of earnings for and payment for assistance by the individual; lower profit margins for the employer; and state welfare payments. This model is directly related to the charity/tragedy model.

Administrative: This model puts people in categories of disability so that they can be assessed, usually for benefits or compensation.  There is an assumption that people with disabiliy need specialist services to help them and that they cannot solve the problems themselves.

Moral: Disability is a result of the sins of the person or their parents.

Legitimacy Theory: People are put into "groups" based on political reasons and which can perpetuate segragation.

This is the website I used for some of the definitions:

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H810 Activity 2.4

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  • How would you define ‘accessibility’?

Accessibility is ensuring that anyone can get use or get to anything that they need to regardless of disability.  This can be done by removing barriers and obstacles or by altering, adding to or adapting the origional structure.

  • Who do you think is responsible for accessibility?

Everyone has a responsibility to ensure accessibility. The more stakeholders involved in ensuring accessibility the more likely it is to be sucessful. In an education setting this would include the students, teaching staff, learning technologists, web designers and senior management.

  • What do you understand by accessibility in an educational context?

In an educational setting accessibilty encompasses many things.  Access to the buildings, the computers, being able to use the resources, being able communicate with teaching staff and peers.

  • What do you understand by accessibility in the context of online learning?

Accessibility in the context of online learning means being able to engage with teaching materials online.  This means being able to understand and use them in order to learn and reach the required standard.

  • Why is accessibility a concern today in your context or country?

The main driving force for accessibility in the UK is legislation such as the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).  There are also financial and moral reasons.

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H810 Activity 1.3

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I have 2 different posts at University of Leeds. The first is as an eLearning adviser for the JISC Regional Support Centre (RSC) in Yorkshire and Humber. My remit is for Higher Education and the job involves working with Further Education (FE) and HE colleges, advising, supporting and promoting the use of technology in teaching and learning. This involves advising on the strategic development of ITL in the college, e-safety, discovering and sharing best practice, developing forums,encouraging collaboration, promoting funding available and advising on a range of topics. I don’t have any direct contact with learners within this role although part of the advisory capacity of the jobs requires that I am able to discuss such issues with staff at the colleges.

My second role is as a teacher at the Medical school at University of Leeds. This role is teaching 1st and 2nd yer students on 2 modules. Prior to this I taught on the BSc Hons Physiotherapy at Univeristy of Bradford

I have encountered students with dyslexia, sight and hearing impairments

I have decided to study this module as I hope to gain a greater perspective of the difficulties that some students face and increase my practical knowledge of how to make education more accessible to all learners.

This is my second module of the MAODE and I am looking forward to working with everyone in the tutor group.

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I have realised I am naturally more theoretical than I am practical.  I spent a lot of time reading about and listening to other peoples podcasts and put off doing my own.  I realised that I had to take the bull by the horns and get on with it.  I now have 2 podcasts about eportfolios and feel quite pleased with myself.  I found audacity relatively easy to use and found that if I wrote down my presentation I was able to read it and not get confused about what I was saying. I hope that some people listen to them and give me some feedback.

Time to critique some other podcasts.



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Unit 6 Colloborative work

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Edited by Deborah Judah, Monday, 20 Dec 2010, 20:32

I had mixed feelings about this work. Our group delivered a product which fitted the remit of the task but when I saw what everyone else had produced I wondered if we had "wimped out".   It was only whilst reflecting on the task for TMA02 that I was able to see that what we had done fitted with the key factors we had identified.  I realised that deliberately (or indavertantly ) we had chosen a technology that was applicable to the task and not chosen technology just for the sake of it

The best acolade was feedback from a course member who said they thought it was really useful and was going to laminate it and put it on his wall for reference.


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Collaborative work Unit 5

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The supplementary acitvity 5.3 was to develop a profile for a typical H808 participant.  I think that the group developed a really good survey.

I did feel a bit overwhelmed participating in that activity as a couple of the cohort had started it very quickly and practically developed the whole questionairre.  This meant that rather than being involved in the collaboration on an equal footing I found that I was only able to comment on work done.  I was able to contribute a couple of questions that I felt had not been thought of.

I understand that some people will start on the activities sooner than others but it does make me feel as though I am continually playing catch up or watching from the sidelines.  I suppose one thing I could do is start another supplementary activity in the unit rather than trying to work on everything.  I think I am, also still trying to work through the material in a consecutive order.  I do realise that I may have to start the supplementary activities whilst still doing other bits of the unit however I do find this hard.

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Unit 5 and PDP

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Annotated personal PDP needs analysis shows which areas of development might produce evidence that would meet CMALT and/or LSN requirements. I have looked through both requirements and have matched some of them to my needs analysis.  I feel CMALT and LSN requirements would have been a better start to developing the needs analysis as they relate more to my elearning needs. I think both these schemes are applicable to my current practice and therefore the frameworks are useful to analyse where my knowledge and skills are lacking.

Having completed unit 5 I feel I have a greater understanding of the elearning professional and I finally feel that I can put this course into some context.

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Unit 4 is proving to be worrying to me. I am finding that I just do not have the time to spend playing with the multimedia in order to learn how to use it.  I am finding this very frustrating as this is one of the aspects of technology with which I struggle.

Part of my problem is that I have a lot of other commitments in the next few weeks and therefore I have to start/finish my TMA now in order to submit it on time.

My thoughts are to get the TMA done with the evidence I have from the other units.  Perhaps over Christmas, when we have the catch up time I can do some work on multimedia then.

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Developing new technical skills

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Edited by Deborah Judah, Friday, 8 Oct 2010, 07:26

I have just read a blog post by a fellow student regarding facing demons and using this course to develop new technical skills.  I am so much in agree ment with her but find that my time is so limited.

This is my reply to her:

I have been having the same thoughts as you; I must do something about my demons! I have gone with the easy option.......OU blog and My Stuff to store everything.  It is working relatively well.  However, my thoughts are that I am not developing new skills.  The time element is a concern for me.  With all the acitvities in this course (along with everyday life) I do not seem to have the time to do anything extra. sad

So rather than just feeling sad about the situation sad I decided to look at it head on. And assess the situation

1. My time is very limited; I am working 3 jobs and am a single mother to 3 boy (14,12,10) in addition H808

2. There is a lot of reading/activities in this module which I am keeping up with as long as I do a bit each night. However another part of this course is to increase my technical skills (PDP)

3. What to do about it.

4.  I have decided for the present time to continue with the OU blog and My Stuff as a repostitory.  This will ensure that I keep everything where I can find it and continue to reflect.

5. I will play about with any new technology so that I have a working knowledge of it but not necessarily embrace it use fully at the moment.

6. I feel I have to accept that time is one of my limitations and a working knowledge of some things is good enough

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Enforced reflection for learning

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Edited by Deborah Judah, Wednesday, 6 Oct 2010, 22:09
Despite teaching reflective practice to physiotherapy students for a number of years I find that I am not a natural reflective student.  However I understand the benefits of reflection for deeper learning so am trying to do this.  I don't think blogging automatically encourages reflection as it is easy to only write the facts.  However, I try to keep in my mind a reflective cycle (or at least questions to prompt reflection) as I am writing.  If I am totally honest my main push for doing this is the assessment process.
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Reflections of Unit 2

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Edited by Deborah Judah, Saturday, 2 Oct 2010, 19:05

I found that there was a lot to do in Unit 2 and although my tutor had pointed this out in the Tutor group forum I did not totally comprehand the quantity of work. Consequently I spent lot of time concentrating on Core Activity 2.1 which did not leave me enough time to do the rest of the unit as much justice as I would have liked. I would have like to participate more in the forum discussion but by the time I had formulated some ideas that time for the unit had come to an end.

I was able to complete the work by the end of the unit ( with one day extra) but I felt annoyed with myself that I had lost the opportunity to discuss some of the issues in the other core activity with my fellow cohort. My belief was that I should work through each activity from beginnning to end in chronological order and therefore I did not look at the other discussion forums as I was not ready to do that work.

From this experience I have realised that I must read through the whole unit briefly on day one and make a mental note of what is required for each activity.  I must also try and work on more than one task at a time in order to get the most out of the interactivity of this course.

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Core activity 2.2 Reflection

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Edited by Deborah Judah, Tuesday, 26 Oct 2010, 15:15


The task to work together to identify drivers of eportfolio around the world worked fairly well and we able to produce a template that we were all happy with.  I started of the communication for our group and the board and tried to keep the group on task.  Another group member developed a document on Google Docs. This was a suitable medium to use as it was easy to work on collaboratively and could be accessed online.

I felt that is was difficult to gauge whether everyone had the same understanding of the task as we did not have an initial discussion to clarify this. I jumped in and offered to read the first 3 texts.  Then throughout the task I tried to pull the group together and clarify thoughts. There was some response from a couple of individuals and I was mindful not to be too bossy and also mindful that on this type of course everyone is working at different times.  However I feel the task would have been more collaborative if there had been some discussion about the papers rather than each person just putting in the results.  Looking back on the discussion board and the Google Doc I can see that I have been at fault doing this as well as others in the group. Because of this I did not feel I had a full picture of the drivers for eportfolios worldwide and therefore I read all the core texts for myself.

Using the framework for Personal Developmentto assist my reflection I believe I have worked mainly within the competences of communication and research and partly in the practice and technology related competences.

In communication I have shown skills, proactivity and reflection.  I worked proactively by starting the conversation on the discussion board and continuing throughout the task to communicate my ideas with the group. On reflection I feel I may have more sucessful by suggesting the group discuss our understanding of the task and agree goals at the beginning.  I think my contributons to the discussion board and the Google Doc show proactivity and these can be seen viw the links below.

In research I have shown skills in reading academic papers by completing the reading list, making sense of the information and being able to decide which is the salient information. This also show my ability to critique.

For the practice related competences I have shown knowledge of use of eportfolios in Higher Education by analysing and presenting a description of a case study.

For the technology based competences I have shown the skill iln using Google Docs. Collaborative work Discussion Board



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Core Activity 2.3

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Edited by Deborah Judah, Friday, 1 Oct 2010, 19:21

The case studied was a JISC funded study based in the UK. The anticipated outcomes for the eportfolio were to widen participation in higher education in the UK and encourage the concept of lifelong learning.  The emphasis of the project was how eportfolio can support students in transition points in their education career.  The eportfolio was used to record evidence of skills or competencies and to reflect on the learning. It was hoped that these reflections would assist the students in making decisions about future study and/or to compile a personal statement. This case study was implemented in response to national policies in the UK that promote the use of progress files to “make the outcomes, or results, of learning ... more explicit, identify the achievements of learning, and support the concept that learning is a lifetime activity". It was also developed because of a commitment to two other national policies; widening participation in Higher Education and Lifelong learning. Whilst developing the template these national policies where noted as drivers for use of eportfolios in the UK.

This project was evaluated as successful with the eportfolios being embedded in the departments involved in the study, however there were some limitations.

· Engagement of all stakeholders- It is also important that all stakeholders have 'buy-in' for the use of the eportfolio including support from management for training and time needed to mark eportfolio. It was found that is important that the interface of the eportfolio product was user-friendly and that the users were interested and saw the benefit of its use.

· Time - Continued use of the eportfolio was important to gauge success. It was found that some learners did not use the eportfolio at all or only used it a couple of times.  Reasons for this were available time for working on the eportfolio.

· Technology - This included access and authentication, external firewalls and security, lack of technological experts and usability and organisational issues. It was found that some problems could be overcome with extra training of users but that extra support was needed form IT staff.

· Skills training – this includes training staff and students to use the technology but also other aspects of training. E.g. it also become apparent during this study that that ways in which students evidence and record their achievements and how is it marked is different for eportfolio compared to paper based ones.

· Ownership and control -

· Change management - It was found that if existing practises such as paper-based portfolios have been successful in the past there is resistance to change.  Also, if eportfolio are made optional students will not take up the opportunity.


For eportfolio use to be embedded in institutions al stakeholders have to see the benefit of the tool. Discussion online has shown that UK, Singapore and Europe have a strong government push to implement eportfolios.  However this project shows that the drivers of lifelong learning, career planning and advice are also important and perhaps these provide a greater impetus for engagement with eportfolios.

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ePortfolios around the world

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  • UK, Singapore and Europe have a stong government push to implement eportfolios.  I wonder if this infact works as a tick box excersice whereby institutions make eportfolios part of a course so that they can be seen to be complying with these policies but do not provide the training and time required for staff and students to fully engage with these tools. Perhaps the drivers apparent in the USA of lifelong learning, career planning and advise provide a greater impetus for engagement with eportfolios.
  • In my mind there are 3 types of eportfolio; the institution owned/based one, the off-the-shelf company owned one (eg PebblePad) and a personal learning environment developed by the user using a myriad of Web 2.0 tools to suit their needs. In my opinion there are pros and cons to all three.
  • For eportfolio use to be embedded in institutions al stakeholders have to see the benefit of the tool.
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Collaborative working

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This is our first week of working in a group and I'm finding it hard.  I think our group is all doing the work and posting up on the Google Doc.  I feel nervous that the work I have done will not be as good as everyone elses.

I am also finding that there is so much to do and the TMA is on my mind.

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