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Principles for an e-portfolio based pedagogy for SMEs: 17th Jan-21st Jan 2011

Cloud created by:

Sarah Chesney
18 November 2010

Discussion and resources led by Alison Felce and Emma Purnell.

Extra content

Over the last two years we have been running a project at the University of Wolverhampton to develop an e-portfolio based pedagogy for work-based learners in small to medium sized enterprises.

When we started this project we planned to use our experience in using e-portfolios within our existing curricula and to support learners on work placement to enable access to potential learners working in small to medium sized enterprises by designing targetted learning opportunities to meet identified business needs, identified through market research.

The project was developed on an action research methodology using design retreats and consecutive pilot units where the learning from the retreats and the pilots fed into subsequent retreats and pilot units.

We didn't want learners to be put off by the technology we were using so we made their interaction with the software application (the e-portfolio) as intuitive as possible and combined the learning content and learner activities into a web-folio that appears, and acts, like a webpage to use skills that basis users of IT will be familiar with.

Within the project we ran four pilot units, each is the first of four units that can be combined with other units to create a 20 credit module for which HE credits can be awarded. The initial unit, in each of the pilots, uses three types of blog activity (individual activities, group collaboration, personal reflection) to record learner comments and reflections. On-line tutors regularly respond to learner blog posts and facilitate the group blog.

Based on the mid-unit, end-of-unit, post retreat and workshop evaluations we have determined some key principles for our e-portfolio based pedagogy (see below).

Future plans include wider use of the tools within the software we use (PebblePad), appropriate to learning outcomes, and supporting learners towards negotiated work-based projects and claims for accreditation of their prior learning.

We have created a narrated captivate video showing how we are using an e-portfolio for work-based learners in SMEs. You can view this at:

Alison Felce
11:06 on 9 January 2011 (Edited 20:39 on 15 January 2011)

Pedagogic principles that we have identified from our project include:

•Scaffold the e-portfolio
•Include reflection on learning
•Make it context sensitive
•Make it easy to use / intuitive
•Use to support formal / informal learning
•Use to support bite-sized learning
•Can be structured into larger awards
•Needs to be transferable and portable
What do you think about these?
Do you have any you would add?

Alison Felce
11:08 on 9 January 2011 (Edited 11:08 on 9 January 2011)

The link below shows an example of an eportfolio template we have created as part of the ePPSME project. The templates are editied by staff dependent on context. The eportfolio shown below only has a few example weeks built into it. The actual templates populated by staff is based on the design below but will include 10 weeks content and activities, each week requiring 5 hours study by the learner.

Emma Purnell
13:49 on 15 January 2011 (Edited 16:44 on 15 January 2011)

The following is a link to an eportfolio that has been created as a set of resources to guide staff through the process of design, development and delivery of 5 credit units for use work-based learners using an eportfolio.

Emma Purnell
14:25 on 15 January 2011 (Edited 16:43 on 15 January 2011)

Project blog

We've written a project blog over the last two years. This can be viewed at: (the project website). In this we've included copies of presentations we've made a conferences and links to key materials developed during the project. The link to the blog is about half way down the page.

Alison Felce
21:08 on 15 January 2011 (Edited 21:10 on 15 January 2011)

Animated Learner Journey

One of the outputs we've created to explain the learner journey and the principles we've identified for our e-portfolio based pedagogy is an animated narrated journey of a typical work-based learner, based on feedback we've had from learners on our pilot units.

We've created a link to the animation from our project home page:

Note the file is quite large so it will take a short time to download and start playing.

Please post any comments you have on the animation, its content, accessibility etc in this cloud.


Alison Felce
09:23 on 20 January 2011

I can contribute a free Appendix from our book on Mahara which provides a "Mahara Implementation Pre-Planner".

Click here:



Derrin Kent
18:21 on 27 January 2011 (Edited 22:20 on 31 January 2011)

Embedded Content

E-Portfolio based pedagogy

E-Portfolio based pedagogy

added by Sarah Chesney