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The implementation journey - University of Nottingham

Page history last edited by kirstiec 10 years, 2 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:
The large scale e-portfolio implementation at the University has utilised the e-Portfolio Implementation toolkit to guide the process as well as to evaluate the utility of the toolkit itself.  The e-portfolio implementation model shown in figure 1 that illustrates the large-scale implementation process and the implementation guidance for senior managers within the toolkit have informed ongoing strategic decision making.




Figure 1: The e-portfolio implementation model - the key implementation principles applied across the five stages



Implementation journey milestones

Date Event Description

Stage 0 : Prior developments 

1992-94 English Studies Development of paper Personal & Academic Records (PAR), recognised as 'good practice' by HEFCE Teaching Quality assessors

PADSHE projects 1 & 2


PADSHE website

FDTL (Fund for the Development of Teaching and Learning) funded work across 5 universities: Nottingham, Birmingham, City, Liverpool, Newcastle, Northumbria at Newcastle and Reading. Each university developed a case study University of Nottingham's Case Study

Developed 6-point approach to PDP

Promoted PARS (paper) across the University Personal and Academic Records Paper 2002

2000 TQEF National Teaching Fellowship project PADSHE skills interface project: eventually led to development of the web-based Personal Evidence Database in ePARS
Internet PARS project

Joint project with Newcastle University funded by DfES

Personal Development Planning in tutorials, led to development of ePET e-portfolio at Newcastle and ePARS at Nottingham


Internet PARs final report 

Internet-PARs "Making the Links" Nottingham and Newcastle 

2000 onwards

Projects led by Dr Angela Smallwood - 'The Journey' presentation (ppt)


Helped to develop the Nottingham City Passport (based on DfES Progress File) which became the local e-portfolio for Information, Advice and Guidance and progression (now Nottingham Futures' Passportfolio)


Challenge of being an early pioneer in online PDP/e-portfolio - ePARs - some staff opposition, although still used by a few schools as it provides some unique functions not yet covered by other systems


New Entrant Profile added 2003 (still used by one or two Schools)

2005 - 10

CETL: Centre for Integrative Learning started, contained an 'ePortfolio' strand of work

Dr Angela Smallwood was a co-Director of the CETL and led the e-portfolio strand activity. 


Piloting different types of e-portfolio tools available at the time - namely PebblePad, iWebfolio and Web CT. Key e-portfolio pilots included CELE Year Abroad, Education and the Student Award. The Nottingham Student Award was developed by the CETL and was subsequently adopted by the University to become the institution-wide Advantage Award. 


Part of Cohort 4 of International Coalition for e-portfolio
Cohort IV Nottingham Report


Outcome, School of Veterinary Medicine and Science's Pebblepad pilot is now a core part of their curriculum

Report - Teaching for Integrative Learning Exploring e-portfolio Practice




























Centre for International ePortfolio Development (CIePD) - new name for PADSHE unit

Run by Dr Angela Smallwood, briefly part of Centre for Teaching Enhancement together with IRLTHE (Education Research) and SEDU (Staff Development Unit)


Jisc-funded projects enabled the Centre to blaze a trail in e-portfolio development, thinking and practice and bring expertise into the University


See the full timeline of CIePD projects (web)


2003-2005 Specifying an ePortfolio (JISC MLE Phase II project) with Peter Rees-Jones. First project in Nottingham to use the term e-portfolio


2004-2006 - eP4LL (ePortfolio for Lifelong Learning, JISC Reference Model project) with Peter Rees-Jones. Thin e-portfolio defined


CIEPD - Directed by Angela Smallwood, part of the School of Education - run concurrently with the CETL Centre for Integrative Learning (CIL), ensured learning from the CIL was transferred into CIePD and vice versa.


2004-2006 RIPPLL - Trialling e-portfolio interoperability within a region; data transfer to aid progression and transition into learning and work in both directions. Use of UK-LEAP (early e-portfolio data standard, now superseded by Leap2A)


2006-2009 JOSEPH - Embedding e-portfolio learning processes into Information, Advice and Guidance practice with Connexions Nottinghamshire using Passportfolio


2008-2011 - Leap2A CIePD part of 'vanguard' group developing and testing Leap2A e-portfolio data standard alongside PebblePad, Catalyst IT, MyKnowledgeMap, University of Newcastle and others


2009-2011 SAMSON - Bioscience pilots for work placements - key champion Dr Judith Wayte - Mahara set up on internal server - integrated authentication


2011-2012 - ESCAPES - enabled Bioscience placements pilots to carry on and develop. Judith presented and recorded session at the eCommunity and Assessment event - video shared amongst interested lecturers


2011-2012 - SHED - Investigated e-portfolio as part of wider ecosystem in business engagement and employability


2007-2010 - Lifelong Learning Network regional pilots

Trialling e-portfolio in regional HE and FE contexts focussing on progression, transition and promoting higher level learning.

Important for building CIEPD capacity and recognition from UK, particularly in publications as core output of the project.

Lifelong Learning Network report and case studies

ePortfolios and Lifelong Learners (Coolin, Harley, Smallwood 2010) 


Capacity built within the Centre - change of focus and changes in funding. 


Positioning the Centre and Personnel changes
2010 - CIepD moved into IS a Central Service

2011 - Angela Smallwood retired

2011 - new Director of Libraries, Research and Learning Resources

2012 - Kirstie Coolin took over as lead

2013 - CIePD part of new LRLR department and core delivery

2014 - CIePD handed over Mahara to Learning Technologies


2008 School of Veterinary Medicine and Science began using PebblePad

This was initially funded and supported through the Centre for Integrative Learning CETL (CIL). Once funding finished, the School continued to use PebblePad supporting and funding it through the School. 

2010 onwards - embedded into curriculum with all students using PebblePad for reflection, placements and Personal and Professional Skills.


School of Health Sciences began using PebblePad
Changes in the Nursing curriculum and the need to streamline practice on placements were drivers for the School. PebblePad was chosen as it was being used successfully in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science and met the needs of the School. There was at the time no centrally offered or supported system. 

2008 - 2010

Involvement in the Fourth Cohort of the Inter/National Coalition for into Electronic Portfolio Research. International group of ePortfolio experts
Nottingham's report available from Cohort IV website 
2008/9 ELGG Led by Learning Technologies, implemented by staff from Learning Technologies and CETL CIL. Hosted internally and open source. 
2011 ePARS review CIePD were asked to review ePARs functions and usage to establish a baseline and put forward recommendations for future replacement.
2011 External factors  University Grand Challenge in Tutoring - recommendations for e-portfolio; employability focus; Browne/Students at the Heart of the System; Wilson review of University and Business Collaboration; extra-curricular/placements; increase in technology enhanced learning (2013 MOOCs etc.); Assessment and Feedback Grand Challenge.
  VLE Review and Moodle choice

University embracing an open source product.

Open developments in Learning Technologies (Open Nottingham, OER/Xerte etc.)

Consultation with lecturers and students in making the choice.

Choice made at high Board level

  CIEPD central point for e-portfolio

All queries about e-portfolio directed towards Centre - capacity built, expertise institutionally recognised. CIePD have overview and knowledge of all e-portfolio activity in the University.


Kirstie Coolin asked to join review board of the International Journal of ePortfolio



Stage 1: Planning 

Dec 11  Business case to Teaching & Learning Coordinating Group

Time now right for an institutional solution.  Evidence within e-Portfolio Implementations (EPI) Toolkit used to provide context.


Planning for change

Tied pilot phase to University strategies

Provided evidence from the sector (used EPI)

Asked to run set of pilots separate to Moodle (due at the time to central focus of resource on the new VLE)

  Setting up pilots

Planning learning activity, materials, training and dissemination

Challenge - hard to change people's perceptions of 'e-portfolio' term itself so focus on how the tool can flexibly address sets of teaching and learning requirements.

  Common questions Always asked question 'what happens to it when we leave' - students keen to use post-graduation to help them with employability.  These sorts of requests passed on throughout pilots to relevant areas.
Jan 2012  Funding awarded 

Top down approval for a set of pilots moving into implementation in 2013/14 

2012-13  BBSRC funding  Research as a driver - RCUK funded for Graduate School to develop Training Needs Analysis plug-in link to Researcher Development Framework competences
2012-  Technical planning Servers hosting, technical support, systems planning, user support
2013  Planning for next phase  

Cross-University events - eCommunity, Wiki Space. Flyer. Workspace


Presentation for CRA November 2012 - Practical ePortfolios Placements and PDP

ALT-C 2012 'e-portfolios and employability', Epic 2012 - 'New opportunities to embed e-portfolios into communities and lifelong learning'

  Community of Practice

Knowledge transfer and developing the change agents / champions

Capacity building (within Libraries Research and Learning Resources and amongst academics and administrators involved) - via Community of Practice (CoP) facilitated by CIePD and with a research focus.

  Stakeholder Engagement

Met with and demonstrated to Senior tutors, students Union, Careers, Student Operations. Low key - but early.


Met Alumni Head of Alumni Relations (Summer 2013) to discuss potential for student use beyond graduation (employability, networking)


Internal events - eCommunity and Assessment and Feedback - CIePD stand and Judith Wayte and Liz Mossop presented.


National and international engagement - EPIC, ALT-C, ASET, CRA etc. capacity building (CIEPD). Inward and outward - understanding of change, technologies, pedagogy.


Engagement with Learning technology networks

  Stage 2: Early adoption  
Oct 2012 - August 2013 Pilots running 

Streamlined Helpdesk support processes

CIePD access to Supportworks (IT helpdesk software) - monitoring user queries


2013 CIePD became part of new department Libraries Research and Learning Resources (LRLR) New department meant closer integration with Learning Technologies Section (LTS) and the core strategies of the department. A location move brought CIePD staff in closer proximity to LTS colleagues therefore easier to share knowledge and practice.
  CoP events Meetings December 2012 and June 2013
  Stakeholder engagement  Student Survey with results consolidated onto Learning Technology blog 

Blog post 'what our students are saying' from CIePD in University's Learning Technology blog


Invited to present at BETT 2013 Learning Live 'Evaluating the Benefits of a Reflective Pedagogy'


Conference papers and presentations at ALT-C 2013 and EPIC 2013 focussing on Open Implementations


CIePD members and Nottingham e-portfolio experts joined 'Europortfolio'

  Planning for phase III

Low risk piloting - next phase based on successes of phase II


Working with Central Learning Technologist to share knowledge

Aug 2013-Dec 2013 Stage 3: Embedding  
  Mixture of pilots and embedded projects 

Practice now embedded into Education, Biosciences Placements, English, CELE.
Pilots being assisted to set up are Social Work, Biosciences Tutorial Modules,  Medicine. Phase 1 and 2 pilots now proficient and running all of their own training and materials development.


Addition of a growing bank of help materials and FAQs to Mahara.


E-portfolio content developed by CIePD for the Teaching and Learning website. Embedded alongside other learning technologies and referenced from employability and curriculum review areas.


Blogs from e-portfolio champions on University's public Talking of Teaching Blogs


Learning Technology eCommunity event focussing on e-portfolios (December 2013)


Phase 2 at a crucial stage


Core Learning Technologies to take over running and supporting Mahara from January 2014.


CIePD upload knowledge to Learning Technologies documentation spaces

CIePD give training sessions for staff and recommendations on developing the next stage
Technical continuity plan developed
3 year vision discussed and communicated 

Knowledge remains within University

Dec 2013  Closure of CIePD CIePD ceased to exist from January 2014. Staff remain in the University in new roles. 
2014-  Stage 4: Sustaining Now with Central Learning Technologies 


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