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Case study QUT Home Page

Page history last edited by Jacquie Kelly 8 years, 3 months ago

 

Queensland University of Technology  www.studenteportfolio.qut.edu.au

 

 

Case study Home Page An overview of use The implementation journey

 

 

What is unique about this implementation study

e-Portfolio use at the Queensland University of Technology was introduced in 2004 using an in-house developed tool and structured around generic student/employability attributes and skill development settings. Strategic leadership was from the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Information and Academic Services). The QUT Student ePortfolio is available to all students and to alumni regardless of course/faculty/level of study. Linked to careers programmes which may be standalone or part of a course. Working towards professional standards for nursing, midwifery, teaching, librarians within curriculum. Used within the curriculum for other units towards post/graduate competencies. A policy of use is agreed to by students and a process is in place for admin staff to monitor content and a disclaimer statement is included in the e-portfolio. Academics may embed the e-portfolio to suit their individual teaching and learning approaches and to support the learning objectives for their units. A professional staff e-portfolio was developed in 2008. An e-portfolio team facilitates this diverse range of implementation through flexible delivery of both pedagogical and technical support. Their experience has informed practice across Australia and beyond.

 

ePORTFOLIO TOOL: Purpose built in-house tool. The online ePortfolio tool was built within existing systems at QUT to ensure student privacy and security. The tool is structured around generic student/employability attributes and skill development settings. Students enter 'Experiences" (reflections) and 'Artefacts' (uploaded files stored in ePortfolio) against the skills and settings to build up their ePortfolio collections.  Discipline-specific skills/standards sets have also been built into the tool.  

Click here for the ePortfolio skills matrix.

 

PURPOSE:  Personal Development Planning, Transition to/from the institution, Work Based Learning and work placement, Employability/Graduate attributes, Assessment, Lifelong Learning, Continuing Professsional Development of Professional Staff.

 

PROCESSES:  Information capture, Information retrieval, Planning, Feedback, Reflection, Presentation.

 

DRIVERS:

 

International: Under the Lisbon Recognition Convention, ratified by Australia in 2002, the Australian education community is committed to the goals of the Bologna Process, which encourage greater consistency and portability of qualifications within and across different education systems. In 2003, EIfEL launched the campaign "ePortfolio for all". The main objective of the 2010 Campaign is that in 2010 all European citizens would have access to an e-portfolio, giving them the possibility to take advantage of the full benefits the e-portfolio can bring. This activity in Europe was one of the drivers behind the e-portfolio discussions at QUT.

 

National: The Australian Federal Government has, through the creation of the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), highlighted the significant relationships between education, training and workforce participation, specifically to support innovation and productivity to ensure ongoing national economic development and growth. The present Review of Australian Higher Education seeks to examine the capacity of the higher education system to effectively respond to the needs of industry by contributing to increased participation in the professional labour market (DEEWR, 2008a). Especially pertinent to e-portfolios is the Federal government’s Digital Education Revolution policy, which has been described as aiming to create “sustainable and meaningful change to teaching and learning in Australian schools that will prepare students for further education, training, jobs of the future and to live and work in a digital world”. In 2010, the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) was established with the goal of ensuring “renewed emphasis on learning and teaching quality as the bedrock of the Australian higher education system” (DEEWR, 2009, p.15), building on the quality assurance activities undertaken by the Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA, 2010).

 

National Diploma Supplement - On 10 January 2007, the then Minister for Education, Science and Training, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, announced that a consortium of universities had been commissioned to develop a single agreed template for an Australian version of the European Diploma Supplement.

 

Institutional: Because QUT is branded as the 'University for the Real World', students have high expectations in terms of readiness for employment and connection to industry during their studies. The ePortfolio strategy aimed to support students to recognise, document and present evidence of their wider learning accomplishments. It was envisaged that the development of a reflective approach to learning at QUT would increase students' and graduates' awareness of the high quality learning opportunities QUT provided.

 

Key words: QUT, Australia, HE, in-house tool, skils matrix, staff e-portfolio, postgraduate, undergraduate, graduate attributes, strategy plan, policy of use, monitoring of content process

 

Brief overview of the organisation and its current e-portfolio use:  Queensland University of Technology (QUT) is a highly successful Australian university with an applied emphasis in courses and research. Based in Brisbane with a global outlook, it has 40,000 students, including 6000 from overseas and an annual budget of more than AU$500 million. Courses are in high demand and its graduate employment rate is well above the national average for Australian universities.

 

All discipline areas at QUT use the ePortfolio system and at all levels: Bachelor, Postgraduate and Higher Degree Research. Students may engage with the ePortfolio system in different ways depending on their units of study. Academics may embed the ePortfolio to suit their individual teaching and learning approaches and to support the learning objectives for their units. The ePortfolio team facilitates this diverse range of implementation through flexible delivery of both pedagogical and technical support.

 

Timeline (a detailed timeline appears on the Implementation Journey page)

 

2001

First proposal was submitted to provide a student e-portfolio facility.

November 2002

QUT Student ePortfolio 2003 – Strategy Plan was approved by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Information and Academic Services).

February 2003

Design and Development commenced with a team selected from Information Technology Services, Teaching and Learning Support Services, Careers and the Division Executive.

June 2004

 

The ePortfolio was officially launched by the Honourable Karen Struthers MP and promoted as an excellent example of the Queensland Government's 'Smart State' initiative.

2008 Professional staff ePortfolio developed
2011/12  Academic Staff ePortfolio - Pilot 

 

The QUT Student ePortfolio is available to all students and to alumni regardless of course/faculty/ level of study. Linked to careers programmes which may be standalone or part of a course. Working towards professional standards for nursing, midwifery, teaching, librarians within curriculum. Used within the curriculum for other units towards post/graduate competencies.

 

Key factors for successful implementation

The QUT Student ePortfolio was conceived by the DVC Technology Information and Learning Support (TILS). This high level support was crucial to the smooth development and implementation of the ePortfolio across the institution. The DVC-TILS remains a strong advocate for, and champion of, the QUT Student ePortfolio. From the earliest stages of the ePortfolio conception, there was broad collaboration across QUT. Faculty Deans and Assistant Deans Teaching and Learning were consulted early in the development of the ePortfolio. Technical Services and the Careers and Employment Office played a central role in the development of the online tool. The business plan and policy were developed to inform the project. During the pilot, roll-out and continuing, communication with all stakeholders is faciltated through a range of resources including print and online material and face to face sessions at orientation and induction events, ensuring that potential users are informed of ePortfolio. Key phases in the development of the program were supported by relevant Steering Committees (SCs) ensuring representation of the broad stakeholder group. The initial SC for development and implementation ran from 2000-2006. Project funding was gained to further develop the online tool and support strategy and this SC oversaw activities until end 2009, when the QUT Student ePortfolio officially moved from project status to mainstream service.  The service is centrally supported by eLearning Services. This ensures all users are able to give feedback which informs development of all aspects of the program and ensures ongoing relevance to the broad user groups at QUT.

 

The Planned Flexibility Model of support has been key to the continued uptake of ePortfolio across QUT. Through careful planning to develop resources strategically, based on user requirements and feedback, the ePortfolio team has been able to develop discipline structure within the online tool and potentially to adapt this structure in the future to ensure it remains relevant.  Students and staff are able to access a range of print and online guides and modules to support their use of ePortfolio.

 

Lessons learned

The significance of 'lessons learned' is their timeliness. In order to capture the significant aspects of the ePortfolio experience which may inform future development, an action research model underpins ePortfolio engagement. Regular data collection activities are undertaken and the information gathered forms the basis for further development of the ePortfolio space, the ePortfolio pedagogy and the support strategies offered. The action research cycle ensures that time is dedicated to recognising and utilising 'lessons' as they eventuate and that the flexibility of the support model is deliberate and planned.  

 

The future

Technology - The ePortfolio tool was developed in-house within existing University systems. As technology at QUT progresses there is opportunity to develop the ePortfolio tool. As the underpinning technology advances the application layer can be updated. Current opportunities being explored include Web 2.0 strategies and closer integration with wider University systems.

 

Sustainability - As uptake of ePortfolio increases across the University, support strategies have been redesigned to meet the increase and diversity of need. The action research cycle includes collection of user feedback which informs development of resources and ensuring that development of engagement and support strategies will sustain the relevance of ePortfolio for staff and students. Recent trends in this area have been in the design of online support resources for both the ePortfolio tool and reflective writing. It is expected that available technologies will enable the design and delivery of further 'point of need' and 'in time' online support resources. 

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