Monday, June 29, 2009

Australian E-portfolio Plan

A "VET E-portfolio Roadmap: A strategic roadmap for e-portfolios to support lifelong learning" (640 kbytes PDF, 16 June 2009) has been released by the Australian Flexible Learning Framework. This provides a useful 26 page overview of what electronic portfolios are, how they are useful in education and how they can be applied in Australia. Unfortunately AFLF published the plan as a difficult to read PDF document, rather than web format (excerpts appended).

AFLF is a state and federal funded body to support e-learning and has issued a call for participation in
a VET E-portfolios Showcase in October 2009. Unfortunately the VET and higher education sectors are not coordinating their e-learning initiatives in Australia, with the federal government funding the wasted duplicated effort resulting from this. This is mostly the fault of the universities, who have difficulty accepting that the TAFEs are more advanced in e-learning than the universities are. This is dispite some reports recommended cooperation, such as QUT's "AeP ePortfolio Project - Final Project Report" (August 2008) which said something similar from the university point of view. This creates problems for organisations, such as ACS, which are involved in both vocational and masters level postgraduate education.
Section 1: Introduction 1
What is an e-portfolio? 2
Why are e-portfolios important to VET learners? 2
What is an e-portfolio system? 3
Activities or processes for a VET e-portfolio system 4
A reference model for VET e-portfolio systems 4
Section 2: VET E-portfolio Roadmap goals 6
Section 3: VET E-portfolio Roadmap key outputs 8
3.1 National guidelines for VET managers of learner information 8
3.2 Functional specifi cations for e-portfolio system implementers and developers 9
3.3 Strategies for embedding e-portfolios into VET 9
Section 4: VET E-portfolio Roadmap implementation strategy 10
Roadmap implementation strategy 10
Section 5: Getting involved 14
The role of jurisdictions and RTOs 14
For more information 15
Appendix 1: Summary of the VET E-portfolio Roadmap 16
Appendix 2: Key national policy drivers 19
Appendix 3: Defi nition of e-portfolio system services 21 ...

Appendix 1: Summary of the VET E-portfolio Roadmap

Goal 1: Enable portable e-portfolios and associated content to effectively support learner transitions and lifelong learning.

Requirements: A learner should be able to access and develop their e-portfolio throughout their lifelong learning journey. This will require them to be able to move their e-portfolio between various e-portfolio systems.

Strategy: A technical method for associating competencies, employability skills and other relevant frameworks/classifi cations to e-portfolio content/evidence will be investigated and recommended for the VET sector.

Import/export functional requirements for e-portfolio systems will be recommended and agreed nationally.

The use of a VET person profi le to facilitate the portability of e-portfolios which is interoperable with specifi cations such as auEduPerson8 specifi cation will be investigated.

This roadmap was commissioned by the Australian Flexible Learning Framework’s national E-portfolio business activity1
in 2008 to assist in the development of work to suppsaining system.

Goal 2: Enable electronic verifi cation of educational qualifi cations, membership of professional associations or trade/occupational licensing information.

Requirements: The ability to electronically verify evidence will help to streamline applications for employment, course admissions and recognition of prior learning processes.

Strategy: Existing systems for validating claims including Qualsearch9, Purple Passport10 and Digitary11 will be evaluated for their potential suitability in an Australian VET context. The Australian Graduation Statement for Higher Education and European Diploma Supplement will also be considered as part of this investigation.

Goal 3: Ensure that personal data is protected and under the control of the e-portfolio owner.

Requirements: There are legal requirements for privacy which, along with agreements on ownership of content, need to be clearly articulated and addressed in e-portfolio implementations.

Strategy: Generic legal advice will be sought regarding privacy issues and the roles and responsibilities associated with the delivery of e-portfolio services.

Information and advice on privacy and ownership policies will be researched and guidelines for RTOs and developers of e-portfolio systems. This information will be based on best and emerging
practice in this area and use-cases illustrating common issues and scenarios will be provided.

Goal 4: Ensure key stakeholders, including e-portfolio owners (learners) and organisations hosting e-portfolios systems, understand their copyright and intellectual property (IP)

Requirements: Copyright and IP considerations can affect the access and usage rights for a range of different types of e-portfolio content.

Strategy: Guidelines concerning the management of copyright and IP in e-portfolio implementation will be developed for the VET sector. In particular:

• guidelines on licensing of materials and usage of third party materials
• guidelines on appropriae content.

The E-portfolio business activity will monitor relevant developments such as Creative Commons Australia, in particular ccLearn initiatives.12

Access control
Goal 5: Enable effective authentication methods for third parties seeking access to sensitive personal information.

Requirements: Effective digital security facilitates learners’ privacy rights under law, allowing only authorised access to protected content and services.

Strategy: A set of representative VET use-cases for identity, authentication and access control will be developed based on further stakeholder consultations. Although focused on e-portfolios, an identity framework for the VET sector will need to be broader in scope.

A trial of a user-centric identity framework approach such as OpenID or Information Cards will be undertaken.

The sector will also need to engage in related activities such as the higher education sector, auEduPerson and the work of the schools sector in developing a localised version of the SIF data model13 to form a common agreement on data attributes for students. (see actions under Portability above).

Guidance and support for RTOs implementing e-portfolio systems will be provided.

Goal 6: Advocate the availability of suffi cient web connectivity, appropriate access devices, and suffi cient digital infrastructure.
Requirements: Access to appropriate infrastructure is required to support widespread adoption of e-portfolios within the sector.

Strategy: Infrastructure requirements for learners, e-portfolios and e-portfolio systems to support lifelong learning will be communicated to RTOs, jurisdictions and federal government (including the Digital Education Revolution initiative) and other relevant stakeholders.

Goal 7: Establish a shared understanding of storage issues and requirements for e-portfolios in VET.

Requirements: Storage agreements need to take into account that some e-portfolio content will be stored in the e-portfolio system, whilst some content will be stored in other systems or on the

Strategy: Guidance on storage of digital content for e-portfolios will be developed and agreed upon. This guidance will be informed by a number of key resources including higher education
sector’s Australian E-portfolio Project’s e-portfolio toolkit14 and JISC e-portfolio15 resources. It will be aimed at balancing the needs of learners, RTOs and the requirement for longevity of

Guidelines on supporting the longevity requirements for e-portfolios will be developed.

Goal 8: Establish a strategic approach to developing effective e-portfolio practice.

Requirements: The uptake of e-portfolios as a teaching, learning and recognition tool needs to be accompanied through professional development, adequate business structures and support.

Strategy: The Framework’s E-portfolio business activity will play a central role in supporting the establishment and facilitation of communities of practice to provide assistance, dissemination of
information and a mentoring role for new users.

The business activity will also seek FLAG16 and AICTEC17 support to advocate the establishment of a cross sectoral working/reference group that focuses on issues such as policy, professional learning, standards and advocacy at national level to support a standards-based approach to e-portfolios across the sectors.

Goal 9: Promote e-portfolio good practice which supports learner transitions and key national policy drivers such as RPL (recognition of prior learning) and fast-tracking apprenticeships.

Requirements: E-portfolios provide a means for presenting a variety of evidence from formal and informal learning environments which have been acquired through workplace and life-wide experiences.

Strategy: Pilot projects within the VET sector will be encouraged to further develop an understanding of the technical and policy requirements of learner transitions.

The COAG RPL community will be engaged to ensure e-portfolios support RPL processes. ...

From: "VET E-portfolio Roadmap: A strategic roadmap for e-portfolios to support lifelong learning", Australian Flexible Learning Framework, 16 June 2009

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