Rosemary Cooper, Margaret Phelan, Aideen Reddy, Marie Kielty,
Institute of Technology Tallaght.
The poster will provide a visual outlining details of the journey from the genesis of the idea to offer an eportfolio solution through to its implementation at the Institute of Technology Tallaght. Following on from the publication of the UK Dearing Report in 1997 which defined personal development planning as ‘a structured and supported process undertaken by an individual to reflect upon their own learning and/or achievement and to plan for their personal education and career development’ and the recommendation for higher education providers to offer PDP to students, Tallaght developed a ‘professional development continuum. This was based on analysing and assessing skills of students entering higher education, linking these with discipline- and profession-specific skills. Following the appointment of the Learning Technologist in IT Tallaght, evaluations of specific software solutions were undertaken. These included: PepplePad, the University of Ulster’s PD System, Student Diary Pro and the open source system Mahara. Based on a requirements analysis, the latter seemed to be more appropriate. Help was sought from IT Tallaght’s Moodle Support Partner, Enovation Solutions, who demonstrated Mahara with a business partner. This configuration aligned very closely with IT Tallaght’s requirements so agreement was given to configure and pilot a system in Tallaght. During 2010 several members of staff populated their own eportfolios and one member of academic staff agreed to pilot the system with students. The eportfolio solution is also of benefit to students undertaking work placements during their undergraduate studies to show how their skills are developed over the academic journey. Apart from highlighting progress, it is hoped that users of the eportfolio solution will collect a rich array of resources and evidence to demonstrate competence in a variety of employability skills. At the date of writing (February 2010), anecdotal evidence indicates that students enjoy using the system however a significant amount of work is still to be undertaken to inform staff and students of the vision/benefits of an eportfolio solution to capture progress and plan further development.
Dearing, R. 1997 Higher Education in the Learning Society, London: Stationery Office