UQ will pilot our new ePortfolio tool in 2016, with the goal of meeting specific requirements in existing curricula in which work integrated learning (WIL) forms part of the student's learning experience.

An extensive selection process led to Chalk and Wire being chosen as the preferred product.  Chalk and Wire was able to meet each of the essential functionality requirements identified during the 2015 ePortfolio Project

This platform has been selected to support teaching and learning at UQ by providing the following functionality:

  1. Publishing all learning outcomes for a complete degree program online and accessible to staff and students within the program;
  2. Enabling the linking of appropriate assessment items to learning outcomes for staff and students to interact with as needed;
  3. Managing the assessment and tracking of student achievement of learning outcomes in each assessment item at course and program level;
  4. Delivering required reporting and administrative functionality around all aspects of the assessment and outcomes management;
  5. Providing portable and complete learning record and evidence for schools and students;
  6. Linking from within Blackboard courses to specific assessment items, with grades appearing in the Gradecentre where required.

Pilot

The UQ ePortfolio will be piloted in two under-graduate courses in Semester 1, 2016.  These courses have been selected to test the main requirements identified in the ePortfolio 2015 project.  If successful, the pilot will increase in scope throughout semester 2, 2016 to include a small number of additional programs and courses.

For the duration of the pilot, licenses will be purchased on a per-student basis, and so will be limited to those programs and courses directly involved.

Alongside the live pilot, the project team will be working with other schools and disciplines within the three faculties (HABS, HASS and M+BS) involved in the ePortfolio Project, as well as the UQ Advantage Office, to prepare specific environments within the system.  The project team will use the 2016 pilot to gain the experience required to develop an effective training and support program for staff and students.

The Pilot objectives are:

  1. Support transition of academic and related administrative processes that currently reside in the bespoke and ad-hoc solutions investigated in the first eportfolio project, into the new UQ ePortfolio solution;
  2. Develop training and support capability and resources to enable a rapid and broad uptake in 2016-2017;  
  3. Investigate integration into university enterprise systems;
  4. Conduct user-acceptance testing and establish stakeholder acceptance;
  5. Maintain adequate stakeholder communication.

Pilot activity example:

To learn how to successfully migrate assessment activity from existing bespoke solutions into the new solution the pilot team will work very closely with the pilot courses.  Great detail will paid to each stage of the assessment lifecycle in order to understand the way assessment is currently undertaken, allowing us to replicate it in the new system.  It is expected that this will result in changes such as some paper based activities being moved into electronic format, and reduction in the number of systems and/or staff involved to achieve the same or improved outcomes.

For example, in the 3rd year course involved in the semester one pilot, a 6 week placement occurs during which seven distinct activities are undertaken by the students in preparation for, or as part of the placement itself. These are:

1.    A confidentiality statement to be downloaded and signed by the student, then re-submitted electronically;
2.    Weekly reflective diary - completed electronically in existing bespoke system;
3.    Evidence examples of developing competency;
4.    Assessment of specific activity verified by the preceptor;
5.    Graduated descriptor tool discussion declaration;
6.    Attendance sheet signed weekly, and;
7.    Satisfactory preceptor evaluation.

Some of these activities are marked or validated by the placement supervisor (non-UQ), some by the course instructor, some are uploaded electronically, and some are received in paper format by the school administration.

The pilot approach:

  • The pilot team meets with the course instructor and school administrative and professional staff involved to discuss the current workflow.  The team analyses the Blackboard course site and ECP, downloading and reviewing any documentation including student instructions and forms;
  • Where required, there will be learning design support providing assistance to develop rubrics and to map assessment to course outcomes;
  • The existing process is then documented using business process diagrams, i.e. the diagram reflects the cycle from start to finish and identifies the various participants and systems involved throughout;
  • The team then configures the ePortfolio solution to comply with the existing workflow, noting any potential changes to paper based activity or actual assessment process that could be achieved in the new solution;
  • The draft solution is presented back to the course instructor and school staff for review and testing.  Any required changes are made and the configuration is retested;
  • Consultation continues until a workflow has been decided on, and school staff are satisfied.  The new process is then documented using business process diagrams;
  • Training and user guides will then be developed and delivered to all staff and students involved in the process and the solution is tested in a live environment;
  • The pilot team will maintain close contact with the pilot courses throughout the semester, to reconfigure or adjust the process as required, and provide close personal support as needed.

Beyond the pilot

The pilot activity is particularly detailed and is unlikely to reflect the approach that all courses will need to take to adopt the new system.  Once the pilot team has gone through this process with a couple of courses the aim is to develop simple guides for schools and instructors to migrate from the bespoke systems to the new system, depending on the kind of activity required.  If the system is adopted following a successful pilot; training, user-guides and appropriate support will be provided to staff and students as with all UQ eLearning tools and systems. 

Student technical support during the pilot and beyond will be provided by Library services as usual.

For project enquiries please contact Elizabeth Wardrop (Project Manager, ITS); and Jessica Tsai (Project Manager, HABS Faculty).

For more information about the product itself, please visit Chalk and Wire.

Further Reading

Catalyst for Learning, ePortfolio Resources and Research

e-Portfolio Implementations Toolkit, Defining e-portfolios