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ePortfolio Australia Forum 2013: University of Canberra

ePortfolios Australia Forum 2013 

This year the University of Canberra hosted and co-organise the ePortfolios Australia Forum. It was both a challenging task and a valuable event for ePortfolio practice in Australia and at UC. I would personally like to thank Allison Miller of http://vanguardvisions.com.au/ for her passion and effort in coordinating ePortfolios Australia, part of which includes these highly valued forum/conference activities.

Program


Program Day 1Program Day 2


Program Graphic Design by: QUT ePortfolio Strategic Initiatives Team | eLearning Services

My take

Day 1: 2nd October


Pre-conference workshops were run on the 2nd of October. In the morning I didn't have much time to attend workshops, I spent my time arranging tables for registrations, running around placing direction signs out for people arriving on campus via taxis, and setting up workshop spaces. In the afternoon however I re-ran my ePortfolio Design Challenge workshop that I had developed for the 2012 MoodlePosium. The workshop ran largely unmodified with the exceptions of timing (I had 3 hours this time) and I didn't have an expert panel so the whole group both gave feedback on prototypes as well as voting for the best design at the end of the workshop. Ideally an expert panel would be present so that groups can improve their design before voting begins. The workshop was once again very successful and well received. And, once again, the challenge for me was moving discussion on from step to step - feeling that valuable conversations had to be cut short. This workshop really needs a full day - and would then enable hands on play with technology in order to develop a prototype portfolio using real evidence and real tools.

A quick photo of the space as people were still arriving. I created an informal space which could have done with more space between tables because it gets quite noisy, also because people need room to move between tables to get to walls, etc.


Multiple projectors (including one at the rear of the space) are useful for showing various information (e.g. example portfolio designs) while people work on their group designs.


Groups articulate their designs via the wall space, so as to communicate their designs more effectively during formative feedback and for the final pitch before blind voting.


Walls also work well for collaboration.


During the final pitch groups nominate a person to communicate their design to the other groups.


People take advantage of the fact that all these ideas are out in the open, taking photos of the walls using mobile phones, tablets, etc.


In summary, prior to blind voting, I asked the groups to make a final pitch of their designs' positive features to the room and write them on the walls next to their design.





Timings for this instance of the workshop:
1:30-2:00 Introductions and eportfolio examples
2:00-2:20 Step 1
2:20-3:00 Step 1 part 2
3:00-3:45 Step 2
3:45-4:00 Step 3
4:00-4:15 Step 3 part 2
4:15-4:30 Step 4

Day 2: 3rd October

Opening - Prof Nicholas Klomp


Keynote - Prof Phillip Long (University of Queensland)

Title: ePortfolios in the new world of learner driven pathways.
(please contact Prof Phil Long for his presentation: longpd@uq.edu.au)

Opening Speaker - Dr Alan McAlpine (Queensland University of Technology)

(There is a very interesting pie chart showing the break up of what employers are looking for in job applicants)




The remainder of the forum went very well with participants enjoying the range of delivery types such as 20x20 sessions, facilitated conversations, and workshops.

Evaluation:

Summary of Forum / Workshops participant feedback (n=26) (from Allison):

Generally attendees enjoyed the Forum/Workshops, finding them useful, informative, inspiring etc.

2 day format was well received, as was the format for the Forum itself.  Suggestions to have more time for Q&A and more time to move between sessions.  As a result, Org Committee will consider:
  • the incorporation of a panel at the end of the day (replacing one of the opening key notes)
  • only have 5 20x20 to allow question time
  • encourage the use of social media to continue the conversation
  • encourage participants to contact presenters direct using the details from the delegates list
Presenters were well received, with suggestions that the facilitated conversation people be given more direction on how to best utilise this time.  Session moderators need to be reminded to help keep presenters to their session time. Presenters will be encouraged to leave time for questions / moving between sessions.  Publishing the presentation abstracts would help people decide which sessions to attend.

People were very impressed with the venue for the Forum, and liked how everything was in the one location.  Suggested that better signage was used for the Workshops.

Networking was enjoyed, but for the networking session, a space where people could move around a lot more easily would be appreciated.

More cross-sectoral involvement was suggested.

A number of comments were given able the level of the catering, however, with 72% of people indicating that they were satisfied or highly satisfied with the catering, this type of catering would be used again for 2014 (otherwise the cost to attend the Forum/Workshop would need to go up).

Five people nominated themselves to help with future events/Forums - Allison will invite these people to the next planning meeting.  Allison will also ask Helen Eddy if she'd join the Org Group or suggest someone else who might join from the School sector.

It was suggested that with a growing Org Grp we could host 3-4 webinars throughout the year.

Thank yous were or will be sent to: Org Committee, presenters, HERDSA (sponsor); Catering, Uni of Canberra Staff (Leigh, Shane's team, security, IT)


Brief discussions began regarding prep for 2014. Shane will share with the Org Group the list of tasks he undertook as the host.






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