[LINK] Australian E-portfolio Plan

Tom Worthington Tom.Worthington at tomw.net.au
Sun Jul 5 10:39:49 AEST 2009

At 10:04 AM 3/07/2009, Markus Buchhorn wrote:
>At 08:13 AM 2/07/2009, Tom Worthington wrote:
>>... government needs to tell the sectors there will only be funding 
>>for work on one common system ...
>Sorry - you accept there are genuine differences between the sectors 
>but will only encourage one common system?? ...

Yes. One system will require compromises and be difficult, but 
worthwhile. An example of where this would be useful is for 
sustainable computing. The ANU is offering a masters unit on 
<http://cs.anu.edu.au/students/comp7310/>Green ICT Strategies next 
semester <http://cs.anu.edu.au/students/comp7310/>and Box Hill 
Institute of TAFE have now announced some ICT sustainability units 
<http://www.bhtafe.edu.au/Courses/GCIS1.htm> These courses will cover 
similar topics from a different point of view. It seems likely that 
employers and universities will be interested in students who have 
done either of these courses, so it would make sense to have the 
details of what they did in a compatible format.

But unless there is a financial incentive for universities to 
cooperate with TAFEs on common e-portfolios, I doubt it will happen. 
It will be difficult enough for universities to cooperate on a common 
system, given they are competing for students. It is not in the 
interests of any one university to make it easy for their students to 
study at a rival university, let alone at a TAFE. A powerful 
countervailing incentive is needed for cooperation, such as providing 
e-portfolio development funding only for common TAFE/university systems.

>... there is additional variation, between summative and formative 
>portfolios use in both/all sectors, and again a single common system 
>is unlikely to solve that. ...

The details of the e-portfolios may be different for TAFEs and 
Universities, but it should be possible to at least get agreement on 
the essentials: what was the title of the course, when did they do 
it, did they complete it, did they pass or not. As an example for an 
industry course it might just say if the course was completed or not, 
for a TAFE course, it would say if the student passed or failed, 
whereas a university course might have the additional information 
that they got a "credit". There could also be a whole lot of words 
saying what I did in the course, samples of work, perhaps even a 
video interview with the teacher giving impressions of the student. 
But in most cases the reader will just want to know: did they do the 
course, or not?

Tom Worthington FACS HLM tom.worthington at tomw.net.au Ph: 0419 496150
Director, Tomw Communications Pty Ltd            ABN: 17 088 714 309
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617                      http://www.tomw.net.au/
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Australian National University  

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