TTN - 21st Century Learner
We have been working with the Pilgrim Partnership teacher training agency in Bedfordshire now for a couple of years, developing their use of ePortfolios in assessment, teaching and learning. The key to the success of the project has been the close relationship we have developed with Pilgrim: from the outset it has been a partnership between educators and developers working towards a common ambition, to provide online spaces to help student teachers evidence their capability.
The TAG team are all ex-teachers and teacher trainers with a passion for evidence based learning and so have enjoyed working closely with the Pilgrim Partnership to help them implement an ePortfolio system into their practice and to structure their use of the system in a way that would be appropriate for them. This meant, in the first instance, spending time with the team to understand their work flow and to understand their desired outcomes from their use of ePortfolios. This allowed us to work towards delivering a system that was in line with expectations from the moment that users began using it.
For the teacher trainees the journal is key to their use of the ePortfolio. By tagging journal enteries against assessment activities that have been assigned by Pilgrim Partnership tutors, progress against the TDA standards are self-assessed by the students and verified by the tutors. This puts the student in charge of their portfolio, they choose which evidence to map to which activity, but at the same time the tutor is in control of how the evidence is presented to them, creating the activities against which the students choose to tag their evidence. The MAPS system automatically collates the portfolio evidence, both reflections, photographs, video and audio and maps it all to a story board portfolio of the students' development. Evidence from these story boards can then in turn be tagged against individual assessment criteria using the red pen tool, a mechanism by which anybody can tag and annotate evidence in any form using only their browser.
Naturally though, implementation was not perfect. Some aspects of the system did not work quite as was hoped in the Pilgrim Partnership's context and so the development team are in regular contact with the Pilgrim Partnership team to develop the ePortfolio in the direction that suits their needs. This is part and parcel of our approach to our users. We want our users to be as passionate about evidence based learning as we are!
"We have worked with the people at MAPS since Spring 2008 on the development of a bespoke e-portfolio to meet the needs of our organisation. We were very pleased that the first version of MAPS was ready to be launched in September 2008, quickly followed by an updated version in May 2009. During the short time of using MAPS it has been embedded in our practice and developed into a robust system used by students, lecturers, mentors and assessors. Our students find the system simple to use, with the ability to tag evidence direct to the Standards and the Red Pen tool is a favourite tool to highlight relevant points and add comments. It has been a pleasure working with a partner who understands the need to adapt and improve the e-portfolio to meet our needs over time. We have always been of the opinion that ‘one size does not fit all’ and glad to work with people who understand that e-portfolios need to be personalised to fit the needs of the organisation." - Jeanette Mills, Pilgrim Partnership, 2010