Over the last few weeks I have been working with the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Griffith University to nut out how we're going to approach the whole issue of ePortfolio ie do our students need one; how will it look if we introduce the concept; how will it be used?
Because of my interest in this area, I have also been co-opted onto a Griffith University working party who are looking at the issue of ePortfolio at an institutional level. I have been extremely pleased (and some what surprised) to hear their views on ePortfolio, and that they are more than willing to support 'cloud' options to ePortfolio as opposed to buying into a preparatory ePortfolio platform. What is more exciting is there is a real understanding of the issues around ePortfolio - that it has to be student-led, portable, and focused on learning outcomes as opposed to bells and whistles.
There is still a lot of work to do, but we're starting to come up with a model for the midwifery program. In the first two years, we'll use the processes we already have set up which are more about an e-repository than anything else. In the third year we'll move students into thinking about developing a professional ePortfolio. That is likely to be something like Google Apps, integrating Google Documents into Google Sites...or something similar. This will be integrated into the students' third year clinical and professional practice courses. This will leave them ready to move into professional practice as midwives.
We still have work to do, not least on issues of privacy and security. I also think we can do more with the reflective practice aspect of the midwifery program and integrate that better into the curriculum, ePortfolio and graduate profile. But this approach feels so much better to me than imposing institution-led platforms on students that leave them with no sense of ownership and cannot take with them when they graduate.
Image: 'Raindrops and sunlight'