29 June: Join our discussion on e-portfolios in education

On 29 June 2017 Open Education Europa is inviting you to join an online discussion on e-Portfolios.

The live chat session is organised as part of OEE’s June focus on e-Portfolios and will be moderated by Teresa Mackinnon. Teresa is Principal Teaching Fellow (e-learning) at the Language Centre, University of Warwick with extensive experience across sectors within the virtual learning environment and as an open education practitioner.

During the live chat participants can discuss topics such as sharing best practices in developing e-Portfolios, the challenges involved and what emerging areas there are. Have you ever created an e-Portfolio? What platform have you used to create it? Share your thoughts with us and learn about your peers’ experiences from across Europe!

The event will take place on this page on 29 June 2017 from 1:00PM to 2:00PM CEST. Participation is open. Before taking part, make sure you’re logged into your account (creating an account is free).

**Comments are now closed


Hello, my name is Orna Farrell, I work with online distance learners in DCU, Ireland. We are using eportfolio for assessment as learning in several of our humanities modules. I am also completing my doctoral research on eportfolio and critical thinking. @orna_farrell
Welcome to our live discussion on the topic of e-Portfolios. Today the discussion will be hosted by Teresa Mackinnon, Principal Teaching Fellow at Warwick University.
Hello. I'm Kristina Hoeppner and work for Catalyst in New Zealand on the Mahara project.
Welcome and thanks for joining us, I’m Teresa @warwicklanguage on Twitter https://twitter.com/WarwickLanguage in the UK Midlands. Principal Teaching Fellow at the University of Warwick where I teach French, also a learning technologist
Oh. The chat doesn't refresh automatically. Have to remember to click the refresh button.
Buenos días. My name is Mari Cruz García and I am a Spanish citizen (proud to be European) working at the University of Edinburgh. We use the software PebblePads as digital porftolio platform and I am interested in knowing which platforms other European colleagues are using.
Thanks for joining us! Please introduce yourself. What are your experiences with e-Portfolios?
Hi! I'm Lisa Donaldson from Dublin City University. I'm the project lead for implementing eportfolios across the institution and a colleague of Orna's!
That's great Orna I'm sure you will have lots to share with us so thanks for coming!
Hi Kristina, good to have you join us!
Hi, I'm Isabell Grundschober, @isabellgru on twitter (https://twitter.com/IsabellGru) and I am a researcher at Danube University Krems, Department for Interactive Media and Educational Technologies. Using ePortfolio in Higher Education but also at school is improtant for us - we use Mahara as ePortfolio platform!
Hi, I am participating in the project on ePortfolio use for teachers professional development. Nela from Serbia
Hi Lisa, good to have Dublin contingent here :)
Доброго дня всем! И у нас на Украине, епортфолио используеться для конкурсов, аттестации, оценивания учеников.
I primarily support Mahara users in their endeavours of ePortfolios. Being part of the development team, we look into how to make the technical platform support the pedagogy as best as possible.
Do we need to refresh the page every time we want to see new comments?
Good to meet you, now following you on twitter too :)
Hi and welcome!
We will use Google Sites. Currently we are developing training that will be ready for September.
Yep, need to keep refreshing
Welcome! I look forward to hearing about your experiences :)
I have used Mahara in the past and started the first pilot projects of Mahara in Scotland. I was in the first Mahara team (as contributor) and I am the founder of the Comunidad Mahara en Español
Hi, I am Preeti Gahlawat from Stockholm, Sweden working as a High School Science teacher. We use Google site and seesaw as digital portfolios.
Hi @mcgarcia, we are trying to sort this out at the moment! For now, if you could refresh the page to see new comments.
Anyone got any good UK journal articles on eportfolio
I think ePortfolios are very helpful to develop and assess transversal skills like autonomous learning, digital literacy, information literacy, communication& collaboration, etc - we pilot an ePortfolio based learning model with 12 000 students at the moment in the Project ATS2020 --> http://ats2020.eu/
Hello Kristina, I remember you from the Mahara early days. Nice to see you again.
Ok lovely to have so many countries represented today. Several platforms too. We have been using e-portfolios for 6 years in modern language skills assessment. Do you use your e-portfolios for assessment too?
In DCU we use Mahara and launched with a series of pilot projects in 2016/17. This involved 17 faculty and 5,100 staff across all faculties. The majority of our pilots were based around using the eportfolio for summative assessment however it was also used formatively (with great success) and for reflection on work placement.
ATS2020 is a great project, I know the Irish team involved Michael and John. At what stage are your pilots now?
Not UK specific, but there might be some articles in http://eportfolio.uga.edu/ From the site: "This database (or “archive”) consists every peer-reviewed journal article we could locate that focuses on ePortfolio. We included only refereed journal articles in this database, as our purpose is to locate and compile evidence that has been formally reviewed by experts in the field. Thus, no books, conference presentations, white papers, etc., can be found on this site."
Yes,Teresa: formative and summative assessment. Which platform do you use?
nice to see you here too, @mgarcia :-)
Hello, I am a learning technologist at Newman University in Birmingham in the UK. Most courses here are blended and often include an assessed Mahara portfolio.
Thanks for those references, I am keen to find more UK references as most of the recent work seems to be from the US, Australia and NZ. Teresa any ideas?
Hi Kristina, I've looked at http://eportfolio.uga.edu/ previously. Thanks. Is this continually updated or was it a snapshot of eportfolio journal articles at that time?
So many great resources and information being shared, thank you! Finding workable assessment criteria can be tricky but it helps to work together :)
Thanks for the links to the eportfolios websites.
We use e-portfolios to integrate technology into the subjects as well as for formative and summative assessments. I would love to see some examples of portfolios on Mahara if anyone willing to share?
yes it is a good one!
Hi Orna! :) The world is small! How did you get to know them? AT the moment we collect the data for the post test of the pilot, so soon we can tell what impact the ATS2020 model (based on the eportfolio approach) had on the individual student's competence development! We will keep you posted - either on http://ats2020.eu/ or at #ats2020 on twitter, we're quite active there, too!
Hi Nela, I'm working on a project around professional development for middle management in higher education. The project is only at an stage and we are looking at eportfolios. Would be good to hear your experiences. Gavin from Ireland
let's share our tips on best practices too. What would you recommend when developing an e-Portfolio for education?
@Lisa: I can't tell. There don't seem to be any 2017 articles in there by the looks of it.
nelaonline последние две ссылки не точны Всем спасибо за материалы, которых нам не достает для работы. Только Google-поиск
I would like to ask you what are the main limitations/challenges that you encounter to promote the use of eportfolios in your universities? Main are mainly practical and administration ones as there is not an easy MIS integration between the eportfolio platform and the University VLE. But from a pedagogical perspective, our platform fulfil the learning outcomes of most of the programmes.
@Isabell Ireland is even smaller! Looking forward to reading about the impact of your project.
I meant to write "mine are mainly practical" :-)
@mcgarcia: What does "MIS integration" stand for, please?
Thank you for sharing Teresa, very interesting! so you use a kind of "Mahoodle" solution, right? Is it easy to handle for students? Do they need some time to get used to it?
@Orna Farrell Love that video! Thank you for sharing! Will tweet it immediately, great resource :)
@IsabellGru yes we do! It is simpler as students can push forum threads and assignement feedback through from their moodle course to display or reflect on them in their mahara space
@teresamac The possibility of using it for reflection, to promote deep learning and the idea that a portfolio is user-centre rather than tutor-centre, like a conventional VLE
Lovely to see you guys making connections and growing your networks so that you can continue conversations beyond the short time we have today :)
@teresamac JISC also commissioned a number of ePortfolio case studies a few years ago.
@teresamac Hi Teresa, thanks for your link. I did look at a couple of CMALT eportfolios briefly last week. There's a possibility I might even do the CMALT through the ALT link with ILTA - Irish Learning Technology Association
We are at the institution wide launch stage in DCU and our challenges thankfully have not been technical! Mahara and Moodle make a good combination and we have invested in developing additional plugins connect them even more closely. Our challenge will now be to create a culture of eportfolio and share widely the benefits of using an eportfolio approach for faculty & students! Changing hearts and minds! Any suggestions on this are gratefully received :)
Implementation of an e-portfolio approach can bring challenges, what were yours and how did you address them?
@teresamac I didn't know, is this for the CMALT accreditation ?
@teresamac Yes, EDUCAUSE is great. AAC&U will publish the "Field Guide to ePortfolio" hopefully at the end of July during the AAEEBL Annual Confernce, this year in Portland, OR, US. http://www.aaeebl.org/page/2017_annual_conf The Field Guide is a small book to cover many aspects of implementing ePortfolios in a sort of executive summary for higher ed administrators.
Thanks for fixing the chat so that comments are displayed directly.
Do you create tutorials for example?
@teresamac I find the biggest challenges often having a good idea why ePortfolios are to be used and getting the support from all stakeholders.
@teresamac I really love the idea! So much is happening on moodle - that's a chance how to directly use it for reflection in the ePortfolio!
I would like to know if there is any specific EU directives, guidelines or research project regarding eportfolios, in addition to the website that you have sent us
Hi, I'm Sinead and I am involved in the ATS2020 project that Isabell was posting about. I was also involved in a previous project called EUfolio
We also use eportfolios to support growing digital capabilities for staff and students, they learn about Creative Commons licences, embedding etc
Keep those connections coming! If you have a twitter account or blog share it so people can keep in touch :)
ATs2020 and Eufolio are the major European projects I have heard about. This American project is very interesting too http://c2l.mcnrc.org/
@Sinead T Is that the eufolio project that appear in the EU website in eportfolios?
Mahara supports the display of Creative Commons licences and that is really helpful
Do any of you use an e-portfolio yourself which you would be willing to show us?
@mcgarcia yes... I think so - it had 7 European countries involved and the final conference was in Ireland in 2015. The site is www.eufolio.eu . We are also involved in ATS2020 with lower secondary students- this is a larger scale erasmus plus project.
@Kobzareva thanks for joining us from Ukraine, I'm afraid I only speak French and Spanish but I want to say hello :)
@Sinead T What are your experiences in the ATS2020 project?
I have to leave, sorry, but thank you for the links and ideas that you shared
Hi Teresa, thanks for mentions the Midlands Mahara group - very useful to know. I will mention this to my colleagues in the E-learning team here at Newman.
What is new in e-portfolios? What emerging areas have there been? I know for example Mahara supports competency frameworks
@anitsirk In Ireland, we have certainly seen some excellent reflective work and metacognition, also some increased student autonomy/ self management and digital literacy. There are however ongoing issues with access to IT in the schools and for some students at home also
Hi everyone, I kinda jumped into a couple of posts without introducing myself so: Gavin Clinch, working in online ed at Institute of Technology, Sligo in Ireland. @gavinclinch I've worked on the development of an e-portfolio for the recognition of prior learning (RPL). We built this in Moodle as it seemed the most appropriate for the assessment of learning. See more at: www.myexperience.ie Now looking for an e-portfolio for a new project: Professional Development Leadership Programme for Managers in Irish Higher Education - http://www.teachingandlearning.ie/teaching-learning-champions-tlc-professional-development-leadership-programme-managers-irish-higher-education/
@Sinead T That sounds interesting. Do you have some more info already on the project website or elsewhere?
@Sinead T ah, access - anyone able to access e-portfolios on a mobile device?
As someone mentioned earlier @IsabellGru has written an excellent blog. The project site is www.ats2020.eu and this will be populated with the findings of the project as we move along this phase. The final conference is in Brussels in Feb of next year
Loving the sharing, you guys rock :)
@ Orna Farrell, no Orna, I work in teacher CPD but H2 learning are partners in the project also
Do any of you use open badges to display digital capabilities? You may have seen that I have used them in my latest CMALT e-portfolio shared earlier
@teresamac I think ePortfolios should stronger involved in the validation of non-formal/ informal learning/ recognition of prior learning! I know of a few universities who use paper-based portfolios already, but so much potential for ePortfolios there!
@teresamac Some did- some of our schools have one to one devices and had varying degrees of success with these
@gavinclinch What are the main goals for which you want to use an ePortfolio in your new project?
@IsabellGru indeed! open badges are a good way to do that, can be collected through a wide range of activities and learning online
@Sinead T that's good to know, tablets and phones are much more the tools of choice especially if you are on the move!
@gavinclinch wow, that's highly interesting! we are also working on research for validation, I think there is a great potential for using ePortfolios in RPL!
@teresamac Yes, I personally have always felt that BYOD could really enhance the potential of IT in learning, but there are a lot of concerns. I was on a study visit in Catalonia a few years ago and saw schools with very effective BYOD approaches
@anitsirk indeed! I enjoyed some of the Mahara conversations from the French Moodle moot yesterday too #mootfr17
@teresamac I agree! At the moment we try to push RPL/validation for access to HE for refugees/migrants (VINCE Project http://vince.eucen.eu/)...this is still quite difficult. The need guidance before they can build their own ePortfolio...
So we recognise how useful e-portfolios are these days as a portable record of your achievements, so much easier than trying to keep your certificates clean and probably more secure in the cloud, holding your open badges?
I think portfolios are great for demonstrating learning and ongoing reflection - they are used a lot on our teacher training programmes. There are difficulties as ever. We find with Mahara that students and staff can get confused about the difference between sharing and submitting work. I don't know if other Mahara users have experienced the same on this forum?
Gosh! Time flies :)
@anitsirk The Establishment a Teaching & Learning Champions Forum for Senior Managers combining an online platform with bespoke digital resources along with events, short presentations, discussions and questions . It needs to provide a forum for discussion/exchange of ideas as well as the more traditional aspects of a portfolio as a repository of work. It will form part of an accredited Level 9 module
We are now looking at integrating Moodle and Mahara for a September start as I think some of you are already trying. That will enable students to submit Mahara pages and collections directly in Moodle.
@Kristian Dines this aspect is a really important teaching point for us. It helps students get to grips with the challenges of sharing online, understanding who can see what and when. In this project we shared students experiences of online navigation https://padlet.com/profteresamac/TEL4SMLC
@teresamac Thanks for this Teresa. Yes, I agree that a subsidiary learning objective is developing digital literacies and wider skills for collaborating with others.
@anitsirk Refugees need digital literacy, information literacy and in general personal development planning...very often they lack orientation in the new country, new labour market. HE personnel in charge of RPL needs to support this @gavinclinch - do you have any experiences in RPL for refugees?
@Kristian Dines We are looking into getting this to work for LTI. If you have any comments or additional ideas, you can add them to https://wiki.mahara.org/wiki/Developer_Area/Specifications_in_Development/MNet_replacement/LTI_implementation (or the Mahara discussion forum that is mentioned on that page).
I would love to support students and staff in integrating more varied media in their portfolios - particularly video. Do you find portfolios tend to become very text heavy?
@IsabellGru Thanks. Lots of different skills come together when creating a portfolio.
So we have shared resources and connected, talked about how e-portfolios can support digital literacies and non traditional learning, evidence a wide range of experiences and provide reflective spaces. What a rich discussion!
@Kristian Dines Ah Kristian - Yes!! Sharing caused us significant issues in our B. Ed programme...Whilst the portfolios are obviously private and very reflective, students managed to then share across all of DCU. As admin, I saw it, and manually changed them back to private!
Many thanks to you all for chatting here today, you can of course return to the resources on this site and share too!
@anitsirk yes, I agree. Not so easy, it takes time! But communicating learning from experience for RPL is also not trivial and needs time.
Hi Teresa, just catching up on the discussion now, sorry I'm late....!
I look forward to continuing news on e-portfolio developments, an important tool for transversal skills development which is working well internationally.
@dewiparry hi! everything is archived here so you will be able to see lots of links and sharing!
@Kristian Dines I think they still are very text heavy. It might get better when people use mobile devices and push content directly from there to the portfolio. My go-to example is from Denis Mc Grath (previously at Wintec) https://www.linkedin.com/in/denismcgrath that he presented on in Hamilton, NZ, 2 or 3 years ago: His nursing students had a portfolio that was mainly created by calling a phone number. The more immediate verbal reflections gave better insight and reflections and also conveyed emotions much better than text could.
@gavinclinch this would be great! Just followed you on twitter! my mail adress is [email protected]
Thanks all! Keep in touch and many thanks to #oeechat for inviting me to host today it was a joy :)
@teresamac looks brilliant, just going through the resources now! Thanks for arranging this conversation.
Thank you for everyone who took part in our discussion today and special thanks to Teresa for hosting it. Join us in July for the next live discussion on Recognition of Open Courses!
@anitsirk That's a really interesting example. Yes that's exactly the sort of thing that would be interesting to develop and is probably a future direction for eportfolios eventually.
Thanks very much for this opportunity to take part in this discussion. Really useful. Lots of leads to follow up now. Hope to keep in touch.
Thank you everyone for the great chat :) and thank you to Theresa for moderating!
@Kristian Dines Give Mahara Mobile a go. It can save audio into your files area for use in portfolios.
Thanks everyone - this has been great. Thanks Teresa
Thank you for organizing and facilitating this chat, @teresamac Nice meeting / seeing you all.
thank you everyone