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infoKit: effective use of VLEs

"The use of technology to support learning and teaching has changed dramatically in recent years.

Most institutions are now exploring the possibilities of e–learning and many have implemented VLEs or virtual learning environments. These tools offer great possibilities but they need to be used effectively if they are to deliver maximum benefit for students.

This infoKit takes you from the theoretical frameworks underpinning good teaching to the practice of e–learning. We consider how technology affects the roles of learner and teacher in a number of real–life scenarios. The infoKit is based on sound pedagogic approaches and draws on case studies of good practice across the UK.

Whether you are new to e–learning or an experienced practitioner there are pathways to guide you through the relevant sections of the infoKit. The infoKit will continue to grow and expand as the knowledge base develops and we welcome your participation in its further development."

(2011 Northumbria University, on behalf of JISC Advance)



best practicecase studiesCMC • Computer-Mediated Conferencing • e-assessmentelearninggood practice • infoKit • infoNetJISCknowledge baselearnerslearning activitieslearning and teachinglearning resource • Managed Learning Environment • MLE • Northumbria Universitypedagogic approachespedagogyresourceteacherteachingtheoretical frameworkstoolUKvirtual learning environmentsVLE


Simon Perkins
11 OCTOBER 2009

JISC infoNet : What are e-Portfolios?

"If portfolios are 'simply a collection of documents relating to a learner's progress, development and achievements' (Beetham 2005) then e–portfolios could be defined as simply digital collections of these documents. However, ideas of what an e–portfolio 'is' are complex and to an extent the definition and purpose will vary depending on the perspective from which a particular person is approaching the concept. Consensus is beginning to grow as experience of e–portfolios develops which will help converge these different ideas and definitions.

"An e–portfolio is a purposeful aggregation of digital items – ideas, evidence, reflections, feedback etc, which 'presents' a selected audience with evidence of a person's learning and/or ability." Sutherland and Powell (2007)

A helpful starting point is to distinguish between e–portfolios as products, e–portfolios as tools or systems and the processes associated with e–portfolio development although they are intrinsically linked and in the case of product and process, interdependent.

Essentially then, an e–portfolio is a product created by learners, a collection of digital artefacts articulating learning (both formal and informal), experiences and achievements. Learners create 'presentational' e–portfolios by using e–portfolio tools or systems. As part of this production process, learners can be inherently supported to develop one or more key skills such as collecting, selecting, reflecting, sharing, collaborating, annotating and presenting – these can be described as e–portfolio–related processes. Definitions of an e–portfolio tend to include the concepts of learners drawing from both informal and formal learning activities to create their e–portfolios, which are personally managed and owned by the learner, and where items can be selectively shared with other parties such as peers, teachers, assessors and employers."

(JISC infoNet, UK)



Simon Perkins

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