e-assessment and e-portfolios

BECTA_portfolios.jpg

Helen Barrett recently posted a number of new articles about e-portfolios on her blog, one of which is Becta’s View: E-assessment and e-portfolios (pdf).

It’s an interesting read, with relevance to many of the educational issues that we’re confronted with here in NZ, including personalising learning and life-long learning.

The paper intro reads:

Within a few years,e-assessment and e-portfolios will be integral parts of modern learning and teaching.They are vital elements for personalising learning,with benefits for both learner and practitioner.E-assessment provides the flexibility for learners to strengthen their understanding of key concepts,and to formally demonstrate that understanding at a time that is right for them. E-portfolios allow learner and practitioner to track progress,carry evidence of their work across transition points (for example, from school to college),reflect on their learning and build a skills profile across a lifetime.
This document provides a short introduction to e-assessment and e-portfolios,how they might develop,and why Becta strongly believes that they will support engagement and achievement in learning. “

One of the things that caught my eye is the list of “Essential Functionality” that appears on page 5. The paper states that whatever e-assessment and e-portfolios may be used for in a local context, Becta believes that both should:

  • allow 24/7 access
  • be based on open standards
  • support nationally agreed interoperability standards
  • be based on functional specifications
  • be convergent with national approaches to MIS architectures in all sectors
  • be transferable across phases of learning
  • be usable over mobile and wireless technologies
  • be able to incorporate many different types of learning and evidence of learning, including multimedia files
  • allow the learner to maintain access to their learning and evidence of learning across a lifetime.
  • be built with accessibility for all learners in mind.

I really like the cross-sector emphasis here, and the reference to mobile learning. It’s a future-focused, ’embrasive’ position that I’d like to see inform what we’re doing here in NZ.

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