Open technologies can open opportunities for engagement
Open technologies such as eportfolios are changing the assessment landscape. Over the last decade, the use of eportfolios in higher education has been recognised for its transformational power in the learning process. They are seen as a dynamic and innovative medium for recording and showcasing student learning, as well as a powerful tool for reflection and assessment. This session will reflect on the DCU experience with the open source eportfolio platform Mahara and the affordances that open has brought to Dublin City University (DCU) and the wider community.
When considering the implementation of an eportfolio platform, DCU had many options. A comprehensive list of evaluative criteria was produced to ensure that the right platform was selected. This list of evaluative criteria will be shared and discussed during the session. Ultimately, Mahara was selected as the DCU eportfolio platform. Mahara, meaning “to think, thinking, thought” is built on open source and open principles. First established in mid 2006, the Mahara project started as a collaborative venture in New Zealand. The Mahara team strongly believes in open source not only for philosophical reasons but as the best development methodology to harness different ideas, approaches and resource efforts. This collaborative approach to ongoing development dovetails with the ethos of the DCU Teaching Enhancement Unit to embrace open technologies and initiatives.
Whose interests are served?
The choice of an open source eportfolio platform has been beneficial not only to DCU but to many Mahara users globally. The ethos of collaborative engagement for development has fostered international collaborations with Irish and UK universities resulting in technical developments, ongoing continuing professional development (CPD) and the dissemination of skills and knowledge which will impact over 1.3 million Mahara users globally. These technical contributions and their impact will be outlined during the session.
Beyond technical enhancements, the DCU commitment to openness and sharing of eportfolio expertise has been evident in the formation of Eportfolio Ireland, Ireland’s first community of practice. Its aim is to build a community to share information, support learning and collaboration on eportfolios across Ireland. Examples of collaboration through webinars, unconferences and ultimately the development of open resources will be shared. The outputs of this openness and collaboration, including the recently launched Eportfolio Assessment Rubric and Eportfolio assessment ebook, will be discussed and reflections on the benefits of this process shared.
This interactive session will include video, animations and audience participation. Multiple open eportfolio resources will be discussed and shared.
Donaldson, L. (2018) Eportfolio based assessment, Inspiring exploration and supporting evaluation for practitioners [online] Teaching Enhancement Unit. Available at: https://read.bookcreator.com/czHiWg1mbURBt6XGEriXdgYJEr62/j09MDQqZTXGthHfmyzsU0Q [Accessed 19/11/18]