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MoodlePOSIUM 2012 e-Portfolio Workshop: post event write-up

Workshop Resources:


ePortfolio examples from University of Canberra staff and students/alumni 

Why UC staff and students are using ePortfolios (examples of purpose):

Worksheet: A design thinking approach to e-Portfolios:

How it unfolded!

  • Presenter (me) introduced by chair person.
  • Panel members introduce themselves and their relationship with e-Portfolios. (Stephen Barrass - Art and Design UC, Stephen Isbel - Occupational Therapy UC, John Waser -  Careers UC)
  • Examples of e-Portfolios shown - student teacher professional portfolios, rich task activity portfolios by students, staff professional portfolios.
  • Some burning questions by the audience at this stage answered by panel, myself, and others.
  • Launch into mini design challenge (see worksheet).
  • People still sitting at self-selected tables asked to determine the purpose of their portfolio. (either real or hypothetical). People were then asked to identify their purposes. Purposes were largely based around e-Portfolios for professional career or portfolios for teaching and learning.
  • The audience was then asked to form groups based on common purposes.
  • Two main groups were then formed.
  • Panel members decided to sit in on the groups - there were three panel members and three groups so that worked out well!
  • I mainly kept time and kept the groups moving through the design challenge. The panel members helped me to keep things moving in the groups.
  • Panel members also facilitated discussion, answered questions, and provided a wealth of experience for each group to draw upon.
  • Groups then drew their designs on the walls
  • The panel came back together and designs were then pitched to the panel for further feedback.
  • The groups then reflected on the feedback and made any design revisions/notes.
Overall the workshop was deemed very successful and met most of the diverse needs of the audience.

 Photos from the workshop:

Groups (groups based on e-Portfolio purpose that was determined before hand) working through the design challenge (the panel members decided to join the groups):

Refining and communicating the design:

The definition of evidence we used (kindly provided by Dr Tony Krone, Faculty of Business Government and Law , UC): 

Evaluation and feedback:

Verbal Feedback:

Two participants gave some verbal feedback that indicated the workshop was useful.

Participant 1 came to the workshop with the impression that her work involved too much confidential information, to the extent that she could not showcase her work. After the mini design challenge - and the conversations with others in particular, she left with ideas about how to avoid the risk of exposing confidential information, and still have a professional e-Portfolio that explained, promoted and showcased her work.

Participant 2 came to the workshop interested in perhaps creating a professional  portfolio after seeing other colleagues e-Portfolios and hearing about how they helped those colleagues expand their professional networks and how the portfolios led to conference talks etc. During the workshop she sat with two people who working in recruiting areas, they had said they no longer look at paper based portfolios and only accept e-Portfolios. After the workshop participant 2 was adamant she needed an e-Portfolio in the future. I advised to start building an online professional portfolio now since they do take time to build up, and then require ongoing updating. The first portfolio might be a general one, until specific needs/purposes emerge.

What Next

The verbal feedback was very useful, but it would be more useful to know more about the context of the participants. This is something Coralie McCormack has taught me in research projects. Evidence, or information, is more useful when it has context. This could have helped fill in some blanks from the verbal feedback as well, for example, if I knew more about all the participants I would know more about the people who were in recruitment in the feedback from participant 2, and therefore find out more about their context regarding acceptance of e-Portfolios only.
Therefore in the next iteration of the workshop design I will append a sheet called "A bit about me", to gather some detailed about the participants contexts and therefore help me gather a more complete picture and understanding of people in the workshop for reporting and making improvements.

The length of the workshop will also need to be extended to about 2.5 hours, I will see if that leaves room for more discussion - which took a while to get started and then became difficult to stop - and also leave room for the extra context gathering sheet at the start.


ePortfolio Examples:

Education Students (use as evidence against the National Professional Standards for Teachers and as an example by the Teacher Quality Institute and ACT Department of Education and Training) as evidence against the National Professional Standards for Teachers and as an example by the Teacher Quality Institute and ACT Department of Education and Training)

Professional ePortfolios

Jamie Ranse: (conference and other event invitations)

Felicia Zhang: (resulted in 2 key note invitations so far)

and Cross Media Production:


  1. Thank you very much Shane for publishing here this step by step run down of your well orchestrated eportfolio workshop. I facilitate the use of a mahara instance with teachers in NZ and I followed with interest the link to the MiniDesign challenge that you have put together. Identifying purpose is indeed the first step and I like the way you involve participants in designing what their eportfolio could look like, physically. To start with the end in mind! Great stuff.

    1. Thanks very much for your comments Pascale. I'm finding the design thinking approach has many variants under many different names, like ADDIE in software development (my background), or the Action Research cycle for research (my aspiring background). Each of them considers the problem first, and then works through designing a solution - which may be one of many iterations.


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