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The implementation journey - Newham College

Page history last edited by Janette Hillicks 9 years, 6 months ago


Summary  Case study Home Page An overview of use The implementation journey 




Brief overview of the organisation and the e-portfolio implementation journey: 

Newham College of FE is a large organisation with learners from all walks of life and ability.


In 2009, e-portfolios were implemented on a large scale as a collaboration tool for the  delivery of Progression and Employability Skills course, delivered as part of the lifelong learning skills agenda at Newham College.



The Head of Learning Resource Centres has responsibility for e-portfolio implementation. Established in 1999 at the two main college campuses, the centres offer a support programme to all full-time students, timetabled into each of the learning centres. The Executive (Directors and Principal) make the decisions which are supported and informed by the ILCT strategy Group (Vice Principal,  Directors and Head of Learning Resource Centres, e-Learning  Manager).


Head of Learning Resource Centres has a team of Study Coaches who work with students on a daily basis, the team works over the year to ensure resources are developed and uploaded onto the college VLE (Moodle) ready for delivery to students during their session in the learning centres.  Students are encouraged to give feedback on services and surveys are regularly rolled out to collect information which helps to inform the ILCT (Information,Learning & Communication development strategy. The Head of Learning Resources and e-Learning Manager have a shared office - are well established in the institution (12yr and 8yrs) and have daily contact.



Learning Centres were established in 1999, they work on a timetabled basis offering support sessions to all full-time learners, focusing on lifelong learning skills. This focus on lifelong learning skills gave the centres their name of SIS centres, short for Supported Independent Study. e-Portfolio use came about due to an Executive decision in 2009/10 to change the role of the pastoral  care tutors, who up until then had delivered face to face teaching sessions covering Progression and Employability Skills (PES). Personal Learning Plans were to be delivered by academic and pastoral care tutors but not the PES, this was now to be delivered during students' sessions within the SIS centres.


The Head of Learning Resources was charged with considering how to  deliver the PES through the Learning Centres via the VLE and suggested to the Director of her Faculty (Quality Improvement & Learning Development) that Mahara e-portfolios could be used in collaboration with a PES Course delivered online via the College VLE. As Mahara is an open source tool which was brought in by the College as part of the Moodle package, there was no additional cost.


Technical integration: Mahara is intergrated with our Moodle package, which is hosted by ULCC. Mahara has an export option, it becomes an HTML link. As yet we have no evidence of learners taking and using their e-portfolio in any other organisation. It's something we are looking to get feedback on with those leaving this year.


References made to e-portfolios in institutional strategy documents:

No direct reference in ILCT strategy 2008-11 as at this time the college was not using Moodle. Strategy was  important in influencing the introduction of a new VLE to meets college needs. A new strategy is being developed in 2011 that will incorporate the way e-portfolios can become integrated within subject areas and support other innovations and developments.



Funding: Becta project funding was used to develop online interactive induction to Digital Brain for all students, this project helped raise the profile of the Learning Centre team and  the skills they have.


Implementation journey milestones     


Date  Event  What happened? What decisions were made? What was the rationale/evidence base? Who made the decision?
2007/08 Decision to introduce a new VLE  Competitive tendering process by a shortlist of three from which Moodle to be hosted by University of London Computer Centre was chosen. Direct feedback and Student surveys influenced the requirements for the VLE and the decision making process.
Jan 2008 Implementation of Moodle In-house training developed, new team of e-Learning Advisers recruited and trained to support lecturers with e-learning resource development. All resources migrated from previous VLE (Digital Brain) to new Moodle, students begin to use Moodle from April.
Sept 2009  Online courses ready for delivery, completed work to be part evidenced via Mahara e-portfolios

The summer was used to develop the programme into an online course, using interactive resources and embedded into the College VLE - Moodle. Completed work was to be evidenced via a variety of means including the College e-portfolio - Mahara.


The online course has four levels, entry level and levels 1, 2 & 3, each level has its own course area and learners are enrolled on the level appropriate to their ability.


Learners are introduced to Mahara as part of their main induction to Supported Independent Study and supported in becoming familiar with all the features via workshops and tailored online tutorials.



Dec 2010 Staff ILCT Fair 

After successfully introducing use of e-portfolios to all full-time learners and also publication of two cases studies conducted by Becta and JISC - on our implementation process, e-portfolios were showcased at the College annual ILCT Fair - learners were invited in to showcase their use of e-portfolios to lecturing staff. It was a very successful event.

Ongoing  ILCT strategy being developed  for Sept 2011 onwards Strategy to look at how to use e-portfolios as part of assessment evidence and continue to look at how we can use this innovative tool to enhance the learner experience. 


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