CPD-Eng BR Assembly Reportpaul | June 1, 2011
Personalised spaces for managing your digital evidence
The Rose Bowl, Leeds on 25 May 2011
The event was attended by about 30 people representing institutions and organisations interested in the use of portfolio tools to support professional practice.
David Sowden (University of Hull) provided a background to MyShowcase and the concepts behind the CPD-Eng Project. David provided an overview of the journey which has looked at how to join up systems and the needs of students to share their portfolio of evidence and resulted in the development of the MyShowCase tool. The vision was to have a personal approach, so they are also looking at mobile devices and are now looking at how to access the MyShowCase portfolio, to capture and access evidence into a portfolio.
The tool had to work with the systems used by professional bodies, for example with the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) they expect a user to place evidence on an IET site, but users also need to link from evidence gather from several sources such as twitter, digital cameras, feeds of infromation or even an e-portfolio, google documents, social networking applications such as Facebook or LinkedIn for professionals. So the system had to link to institutional systems and personal social networking applications.
The challenge was to develop a tool to try and meet these needs, and although this has largely been achieved, it still has room for development and ideas for how it will be developed further (see outcomes from activity that asked people for priority areas for development). There are issues about linking with institutional systems as many block it. So they have a Moodle version and also a standalone version.
They have been working BT and University of Nottingham, as well as several colleges to pilot the tool e.g. Grimsby with hairdressing course as well as working with TechDis on accessibility.
Dave Waller (MyKnowledgeMap) gave an introduction MyShowcase and demonstrated how evidence can be collected from a range of applications, social networking resources and uploaded information. Professional frameworks can then be added and the evidence mapped to criteria with the framework. This can then be showcased for presentation for any purpose, such as submission for professional CPD.
A user can create a showcase template, or use templates specified by for example a professional body to meet CPD requirements. Once a showcase has been developed, and locked as a snap shot of evidence, you can invite reviewers to look at the showcase, to allow them to view and comment. Once showcase is locked, it captures evidence such as tweets, pictures from flickr etc (does not currently link to online videos). However evidence that is removed from an external source will be lost from the evidence trail but not the locked showcase.
Size issues mean they don’t upload video file, but they are looking at using hosting services such as dropbox, etc. as a way to address this issue and not make hosting sizes an issue.
MyShowcase is a simple to use and powerful (standalone personal) tool, there were several suggestions for additional features from the audience and some are already planned to be adopted but Dave said they needed to resist the temptation to make it a more complex tool and becoming a full portfolio system.
They are looking at how to make it link better with other systems such as VLEs, integration with Moodle has been simple, and will work with Moodle 2.0 over the summer to authenticate people within the Moodle systems (so integrates access). They are also looking at the challenges of longer sustainability for lifelong learners.
There are all sorts of different ways the tool could be used, for example they have been supporting Belgium fisherman to document their skills to preserve knowledge of a disappearing set of skills.
Feedback from Engineering professional bodies has suggested they want a customised version, with no social networking type evidence, positive feedback but sounds as if their culture will take some time to catch up.
See http://www.my-showcase-org/ for downloads or use the online version. Open source java code so can be modified, and the Moodle example shows how authentication can be integrated with another application.
Jenny Shaw (BSV Associates Ltd) has undertaken an evaluation of project as a whole. The main headline is that it has undergone considerable change over time, but has held fast to a clear vision of the potential users and what they require. The project has moved from engineering to several other sectors and is being used internationally. The context of linking experience between work place and education has proved to be attractive.
An evaluation with many stakeholders has been looking at change and impact. The impact on the University of Hull, where MyShowcase has been used as pilot with a couple of cohorts alongside other eportfolio systems, has informed institutional policy. It has helped people think about issues of CPD and employability in the institution and encouraged working across departments around employability skills.
The evaluation is also looking at the realisation of benefits to other users such as colleges, and they are finding it is helping learners and colleges to look at how they can manage the collection of evidence and translate between what they do at work and in learning. This is moving towards a process of assessment for learning and them having to learn skills about evidencing professional skills.
The open source community, SAKAI thought the MyShowcase community would be useful and several features are being built into future SAKAI tools. There has been no reaction from Moodle community yet.
An online survey of learners is starting to provide some feedback (14 replies) and has been very positive, they found it easy to use and create a showcase and will recommend it to others and will be interested in using in different contexts. People in the work place are also using it to present project plans etc. as well as learning/CPD. The organising features were very useful, particularly for CPD requirements and they felt it had strong link to a professional world.
Comments suggest that MyShowcase is coming together to create the right product at right time, using social networking and a cloud approach, ahead of e-portfolio type applications. The greatest strength is in linking with professional bodies and it is seeing an increasing user base internationally.
Deborah Trayhurn (Foundation Degree Forward – FdF) shared experiences of using MyShowcase with BT apprentices. FdF have been expanding their e-learning side and wanted to experiment with MyShowcase in the professional and apprentice model. The mode is supporting the journey of progression for engineers and they have worked with BT as they have lots of apprentices and are part of an ICT group. BT liked the tool but had a few issues at first, around HR practice when they realised information was going to be held outside their control, but this was addressed. The pilot started with a group of 30 apprentices, 16-20s, at different stages of apprenticeship and levels of experience. BT has an existing monitoring system that follows there learning and professional competencies are at the core of the system. They used MyShowcase for an approach where managers interacted with the apprentices, using social media and networking practices in a way that could support daily practice and lead to demonstrating practice.
In the field they collected evidence, some tweeting and sharing of experience. The BT “tough books” only supported IE6, so some used their own devices.
The apprentices liked MyShowcase, they were pleased something like this existed and wanted to be able to mix personal and work practices. Some were concerned if BT were able to see what they put up, needed to be reassured their managers could not see everything.
The MyShowcase tool was used in parallel with HR systems, but they are discussing how they may be integrated. The feedback was positive; they liked the way media can be imported into evidence
Outputs from the activities
The group activity asked for people to suggest what features they would like to see developed in MyShowcase and any issues that would stop them from adopting the tool. Kath Bridger summarised these for us and a full list is available below.
- Getting data out
- Portability for the individual
- Dealing with confidentiality
- Different contexts of use
- Communal development of evidence
- Better links to Moodle ( for APEL, CPD, WBL, Work Placement, MoD. Personal and professional development)
- Configurability – Methods
- Competency Maps – Wizard based, building identity
- Interoperability – systems and programmes (overlap with other systems)
- Versions for iPhone and others mobiles
- Awareness of Digital Self and guidelines
- Deleting a showcase
- Support for podcasts and videos,
- Improved usability e.g. tagging, batch imports, and evidence of hard copies
- Application of the tool – work plan comments, assignments, managing students
- Exchange of information between different groups
- Post project support
- Permeability and simplicity
David Sowden closed the day seeking support for two communities around MyShowcase one looking at an open source developers community and the other on uses of MyShowcase or similar tools.
The MyShowcase tool provides an interesting example of how professional practice and social networking are now joining up to provide a new way to evidence professional development and present evidence in a range of applications.
For further information and presentations from the day see http://www.my-showcase-org/
Transcript of Group Activity
- Auto Evidence
- Unique tab generator for an individual for flicker, twitter i.e. #pbshow, #pb24
- Customisable competency maps/frameworks (wizard based) empower the customer
- Individual learning Plans – framework administrator tool
- Internal mail – reviewer comments, handling of multiple mails (large groups?) history of reviewer comments
- Mobile – instant – can capture then & there (empower the user)
- Not just iPhone – Android, Blackberry
- Digital Self – managing digital self guidelines ( can you link to existing materials)
- Customisable export formats e.g. PDF, PPT, website etc.,
- Video clips
- Export option for showcase e.g. PDFs (CV etc.,)
- Batch tagging
- Tagging as you upload (link) to an item
- Tag cloud – larger easily identifiable
- Better links to MOODLE,
- Bringing evidence from Moodle into MyShowcase
- Sending Showcases to Moodle
- Being able to get data out in simple useful formats (zip, html, plain text)
- Need to be clear about brining in resources v’s linking to resources in showcase
- Developer documentation
- Dropbox integration
- Ability to email evidence
- Drag and drop, FB style share button
- Access from different accounts? Personal/institutional – dockable, movable? Allow you to move institution etc.,
- Ability to delete showcases, user control
- Backup local
Possible Uses of MyShowcase
- Work placement
- Work based
- Professional accredition
- Staff CPD
- Repurposing evidence
- Professional accreditiation – CIPD/ CMALT
- Work portfolio for a new job
- Work placement – gathering of evidence
- Study aboard
- Permeability – institution
- Permeability – personal
- Simplicity – ease of use
- Redundancy – resilience, sustainability of the product
- Perceived usefulness/duplication
- Too many other systems
- Integration with other systems
- Student (user) driven – how much ‘control’ does the lecturer have?
- Template functionality
- Export of info – extra layer to navigate when sending a CV, would they click on a link or would they prefer a hard copy etc.,
- How to deal with hard copy evidence – scanning?
- Policing for assessment – how to ensure completion – on a regular basis rather that the ‘night before’ syndrome.
• Age – what age are the users, there understanding of the system
• Skills – what skill set does the user have to understand the system?
• Knowledge – implementation of sharing data
- Are these not part of the education process and not the responsibility of the software.
- Videos – media size – small (need to inform the user of the limitation of the system)