Embedding E-portfolios

Executive Summary

Provide a summary of the project goals

Organisational overview

Established in 1984, Box Hill Institute of TAFE provides education and training in a range of local and international locations with a total enrolment of approximately 40,000 over its campuses and licensed partners in Singapore, Macau, Kuwait, Tehran, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Fiji, Samoa, PNG, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Malaysia and China.
Employing more than 1,300 staff, Box Hill Institute offers degrees, apprenticeships, short courses and diplomas across a range of delivery modes to local and international students. Box Hill Institute specialises in training and education to meet current and future workforce development needs, industry-aligned training and the building of work-ready skills.

Box Hill Institute’s e-portfolio implementation

We are using Mahara ePortfolios with a level of customisation and integration that will continue to evolve over the lifetime of this project.
Can all data be readily exported for use outside the system?
Yes, the students can export their ePortfolios and take them with them when they finish their course at Box Hill Institute.
Which file formats does it support?
The ePortfolios can be exported as LEAP 2A
They can accommodate most file types for import and also link to external files.
Are there limitations regarding file size or e-portfolio size?
Students and teachers presently have 50mb of space and so far no one has needed to exceed that. However, individuals who need more space can have this allocated.
What ongoing costs are there (per head)?
No on-going costs per head at present
Is it stand-alone or is it integrated with (eg) the organisation’s LMS or other system/s?
We are using Mahara ePortfolios which are integrated with Moodle, our Learning Management System.
What kind of ICT support is required, both at implementation and ongoing?
Our system engineers have managed the implementation and on-going maintenance of the system.
What is the learning curve for learners and teaching staff?
Box Hill Institute has provided extensive training for staff through the Professional Development program which BeLS manages to support staff in the implementation of new educational resources, such as, ePortfolios.
What expertise did the organisation need to employ in the initial implementation?
An initial analysis of BHI systems and associated ePortfolio systems that would best integrate with our infrastructure and meet our desired outcomes for a student centred ePortfolio system was undertaken by our Blended Learning team. In conjunction to this, consultation was undertaken with teaching centres to determine potential applications within courses.
What makes the implementation sustainable?
Box Hill Institute project will allow us to track students and assist them in planning their own learning pathways. This will be achieved with our new program known as GPS Learning Pathways.
The GPS Learning pathways is a program that all new students would attend and was designed to address student pressure points. This three-hour introductory face-to-face training program is followed up with online learning. The program is mapped to a unit in the CGEA training package.
The program integrates the Mahara ePortfolio as one of the two key systems into which each student is inducted. Students must upload and organise evidence of learning and assessment in their ePortfolio and they are encouraged to maintain a reflective blog of their learning pathway.

Outcomes of this longitudinal study

Can you provide any quantifiable evidence that learners have benefited through the use of e-portfolios over time? This can include pre-existing data where available and appropriate.
Can you provide any anecdotal evidence or survey response data from learners indicating that they perceive benefits (or otherwise) in the use of e-portfolios over time? What are those perceived benefits or drawbacks?

Lessons learned

What are the educational benefits and drawbacks your implementation?
What are the business benefits and drawbacks of your implementation?
In hindsight, what (if anything) would you have done differently?
In broad terms, what are the organisation’s plans for e-portfolios in the future?
Can you provide any other data or information that may be useful to the VET sector?

Resources and references

[Please provide references to any referenced identities or resources, eg software or hardware vendors, information resources etc]

Team contact information

Pauline Farrell
phone 9286 9237
email: p.farrell[at]boxhill.edu.au

Barbara Macfarlan
email: b.macfarlan[at]boxhill.edu.au

Julianne Seaman
email: j.seaman[at]boxhill.edu.au