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Using wiki with students as a notebook for ICT learning

Executive summary

In this report I will explain what is a wiki and how I use it in my ICT course with my students as a participative notebook. I will point out the different outcomes and drawbacks I have noticed after two years of practice. Finally I will provide some recommendations for using wikis with students and give some further readings.

Background

Although the web service Wikipedia is well known by most Internet users, the concept behind wiki remain obscure for most of them. A wiki is a piece of software usually accessible on the web in which users can create, edit and improve text as in a word processor.
Text authors embed links, multi-media such as images, sound or video. Wikis are called social tool because they let other users to interact with published media and edit in the same time or at different time. Documents can then be created within a group of users. Authors or wiki managers can attribute roles to each actor and limit the right to edit or create to certain or all readers/users.
An history is preserved and shows all the editing together with the name of those who made them. From this, it is always possible to rollback and return to a previous version of the wiki documents or to decide to purge the history and then freeze the document in its latest stage.

Current practice

With my first year Gymnasium students (secondary school, students in age 16-17) I give an IT course. This course is given half class (about 16 students) every two weeks. One of the most problems is students’ memorisation of taught concepts between two session. Sometimes, taking account of the holiday and imponderables more than one month can separate two lessons.
Until 2007, I requested students to take notes of what we studied during a lesson. Especially when working on Excel with some complex formula or concepts. More than
once, notes were lost and not taken by students and then assessment always shows poor results.
Since 2008, after each didactic sequence, students are asked to write a small report on a wiki for memory. They also have to write step-by-step instructions to show they have understood how to proceed with tasks and to remember the process in the future. These notes are shared among the groups and each member can come on one other’s wiki and edit it if he finds that corrections have to be done.
The result of this is already a better rate of pass at the final assessment. I have observed that students go by themselves to find information in their wiki’s notes whenever they need to recall some procedure in Excel or in Word. They are more critics on the notes they take and on the notes others have taken.
In the future I would like to observe whether the reflexive task requested after each learning sequences gives students more confidence or doesn’t change long term retention.

Recommendation

To extend or adapt use of wikis in teaching, we must be aware that a wiki is not a tool our students have already use. A phase of learning a about the tools is essential, and exercises using wikipedia, for example, could be positive.
Installation of wiki is relatively complicated. But a simple wiki with basic functions is available in Moodle as activity. This activity module supports groups and grouping to crate group, private, or class wikis.
Without tasks that demand collaboration a wiki is useless. And wikis are to develop interactive and dynamic, multimedia, hyperlinked documents. For any other use of text processing, wikis have to be replaced by fora or blogs which are more common to practitioners.

Issues

The main issue is in the nature of wikis which is not very well understood by users. Wiki is a tools belonging to the Web 2.0 family. It encompasses collaborative, multimedia and hypertext facilities. It resembles to a word processor but has to be use differently.
Page layout editing is most of the time less straightforward than in a word processor, in a blog or in a forum. Editing wikis has some limitations that are minors if other functionalities (group, link, multimedia) are used. .

Further reading

Duffy, Peter D. and Bruns, Axel (2006) The Use of Blogs, Wikis and RSS in Education: A Conversation of Possibilities. In: Online Learning and Teaching Conference 2006, 26 Sep. 2006, Brisbane. Available from http://eprints.qut.edu.au/5398/1/5398.pdf (accessed on 11 January (2010)
Educause (2005), 7 things you should know about… wikis, Educause, Available online http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7004.pdf (accessed on 10 January 20010)
Mader (2006), Using Wiki in Education, Steward Mader ed.
Richardson, W. (2009) Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for
Classrooms Corwin Press; Wikipedia (2010), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki (accessed 11 January 2010)

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H808-Core Activity 8-11: Creating a podcast

Here is the transcript of my podcast created for Activity 8-11 in the H808 course by the Open University. If time is money, podcasts are expensive.

———— Transcript ————

Hello I am Dominique-Alain JAN, a student in the H808 Open University course called “The elearning professional”.
For the purpose of activity 8-11, I am delivering this podcast about: “elearning professionals and podcasting”.

First, I will just reflect on my own experience of creating this, my first podcast ever. Then I will talk a bit about podcasting as an activity for elearning professionals.

To begin with, I made some recording trials with Quicktime Pro and Audacity but I was rapidly disappointed by the poor quality of my output and I was puzzled by the complexity of editing the work. My first strategy was to re-record my text again and again, every time I made a mistake in reading, trying to improve the speech.

Later I tried another strategy: never stopping the recording and editing the work to correct, delete or copy paste the different parts to create the final podcast. This task was full of learning, but took me ages and the final product was not any better according to my personal standards.

I then decided to go a bit further into podcasting by finding information about how professionals were doing it. I found some information on the Apple Web site about using their GarageBand software solution for creating and delivering podcasts on Macintosh. I also subscribed to Lynda.com for a course on “Creating podcasts with GarageBand 3.0” which is an outdated version, but concepts in the course are still valid.

I chose to create this podcast with GarageBand and used some of the program’s key features which allow you to include “slides”, “jingles” and “URLs” in the podcast.

So if you are listening to this on iTunes or an iPhone or iPod, you should get more information than just my “funny french accent” talking to you.

Now I come to the point about where, why or when podcasts could be useful. Listening to my previous attempts and to different podcasts over the web, I think that an mp3 file of a few minutes is not very useful and sometimes boring. Except maybe if those are recordings of broadcast radio programmes or interviews, where the context makes us ready to just listen to them.

For education I believe that videocasts or podcasts with embedded media are more useful and will generate more interest and engagement from our students.

This raises the problem of how could we create such material. Looking at a course about screencasting, lighting, microphones, mix-tables and all such professional equipment seem to be indispensable to deliver quality material to students and learner.

As an elearning professional, could we afford that? Even if we could, do we have sufficient talent to do it? Is our voice, our expression or delivery good enough to be listened to for minutes at a time?

Maybe, maybe not. I personally don’t have talent for that, furthermore not in English.

I think that the true talent of an elearning professional is to know about technology, to know about what is feasible and what is not. What does it cost in terms of time, money, people to create engaging learning material.

To create them there are professionals in every art: our skill is to make them work all together.

Thank you for your attention.

Categories: H808_Unit3_2009

H808 Core Activity 6-4: Reflecting on the group dimension of professional practice

In this activity we had to work in a group, chosen by our tutor, with the aim of making a presentation. The information we received was as follows :

—- begin paste  —–

  1. You can organise your group in any way you choose; for example, by choosing a coordinator, identifying who has the necessary technical skills or agreeing on a division of labour […].
  2. You should first use the one or two cases you have agreed on, to come to a consensus on a small number (five to ten) of key principles of practice that you believe to be central to effective elearning, and which are illustrated by the case(s).
  3. Identify which features of the example cases (screenshots, text, description, etc.) you can use to illustrate the presentation.
  4. Agree on the type of presentation you will create. For example, it could be a standalone series of PowerPoint slides; PowerPoint slides with notes outlining the oral part of the presentation; a single slide constructed like a conference poster; a leaflet produced in Word or PDF; or a mini-website […]
  5. Construct the presentation […].
  6. Finally, nominate someone in the group to post the presentation […].

— end paste —-

We had two weeks to complete the task which represents in OU vocabulary about 30 hours of work. I have the habit, when working in a group, of working as much as leader as a member. I have to say I am a bit disappointed by how things happened in our group.

Working in a group

Back at the beginning someone booted up the group and for me became de facto the group’s leader, but this contribution was not followed by other guidance. Until the end of the project it remained unclear what the group really wanted to do and we did something that made, I think, most of the participants happy (though it is difficult to say due to the lack of feedback from the group members on that activity and on what we achieved).

In e-learning as in many subjects where interdisciplinarity is the keyfactor, working in a group is important. By group I mean team and I differentiate a team from a group by the following claims:

A team has a leader

A group is simply a certain amount of people in the same place (physical or virtual) not necessarily driven by the same goals and objectives. A team has a structure and usually has a leader who steers the team by organising its life, distributing the task, controlling the feasibility and the accomplishment of the different sub-tasks. The leader leads and must have the big picture in mind which he can share with the team’s members but this is not mandatory.

As Henry Mintzberg described in his “The Structuring of Organizations: A Synthesis of the Research”, first published in 1973, leadership can take different forms,  from dictatorship to democracy to adhocracy.

Maybe in our group for this task 6-3 we all believed that adhocracy would save the project and that everyone would work in the same direction, taking the same decisions at the same time, without discussing it. While this may work in a few companies in Northern Europe, it certainly could not work here because we didn’t have enough at stake in that project, and we as group members were not implicated enough in its success (= reward).

A team has clear targets

What differentiates a group from a team is the clear understanding of the target that must be reached and the means mobilised to succeed. The first thing to do is to redefine, in the group, the task, its outcomes, the process, the time and the tools to engage. All team members must have a clear view of what place they will have in the project and all the main points must have been negotiated and accepted. In sociology we call this: defining the boundary-objects (Star, 1989). Here, the activity suggested by the H808 team/tutor is not clear at all, and we should have spent time negotiating a common project. Reading forum posts in different groups it appears to me that we all had different interpretations of the task, both in our group and between the different groups’ members.

A team works together

To make people work together it is not sufficient to show them the goal and shout “go”. A preliminary phase is essential to build the team, to learn each other and trust each other before starting to work together. In a distance environment Salmon Gilly suggests a rather long period of ice-breaking and team-building at the beginning of every new project (Salmon, 2002; 2004).

Here we had no time and moreover no tutor or group leader to create that emulation. I believe, and certain other members of other groups also suggested this, that a contact with any social cues would have rendered this process obvious and quick. A quick conference with Skype, Elluminate or other tools of this kind would put all the participants together at the same time although not physically in the same place. I personally can’t consider working with a group of people without having heard their voices, seen their faces and knowing how they want to participate in a project and what they want to achieve.

For me anonymity is a limitation in group management and team building.

About the tools

Nowadays there are zillions of tools on the Web for teamworking. We worked with Google Document and we didn’t use all its potential. Collaborative tools are not necessary the easiest tool to use and need some work to understand and to delimit all their features. I just take the example of wikis: everyone knows about wikipedia but few know they can modify wikipedia content if they desire and fewer know exactly what is and how to use wikis in general.

During this activity, some other groups used Google Documents to communicate on all the different sub-tasks to be achieved by the team. In my experience it is often  simpler to adapt ourself to a known tool than trying to use new technologies promises. In our group we could have used Prezy, a web 2.0 service for presentation, instead of Google Documents – Presentation, but we preferred a more classic and limited, but relatively know tool.

Using new technologies on a so short amount of time where the target is to produce a final document is certainly too much demanding for a group, but maybe not necessarily  for a team where one person could be dedicated to discover and engage with it, in all other cases I think that the cheap and cheerful solution is certainly the best and only answer.

References

Salmon, G., 2004. E-Moderating, The Key to Online Teaching and Learning, Routledge. Available at: http://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&lr=&id=IBf0ZqgHhP8C&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=salmon+gilly&ots=7lgGY4RD1_&sig=QbG0F5vmACM_dUoBkTgYGnvvbhA [Accessed July 16, 2009].

Salmon, G., 2002. e-tivities: The Key to Active Online Learning, London: Kogan Page. Available at: http://books.google.com.au/books?id=ZZYyTV7MwoEC&printsec=frontcover&dq=salmon+gilly&lr=&source=gbs_similarbooks_s&cad=1 [Accessed July 15, 2009].

Star S.L. & Griesemer J.R. (1989), “Institutional Ecology, ‘Translations’ and Boundary Objects: Amateurs and Professionals in Berkeley’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, 1907-39”. Social Studies of Science 19 (4) pp 387–420

H808 Core Activity 2-5: Criteria for reflective writing

In some courses, notably in nursing, teaching and other humanities learning, students are requested, encouraged or made to create and/or provide pieces of reflexive writing about their learning process. Starting such a task is not necessarily easy for everyone and writing about personal things, to look inside our personal thoughts, may seem to be for gifted students only. Nevertheless, I personally think that reflexive practice and reflexive writing about our learning is something that we can learn by practising. Here are some pieces of advice from a reflexive learner, me, reflexively writing about reflexive practice in learning.

Start small or K.I.S.S.

First of all, years ago, when I had to start a journal about my learning as a trainer teacher, I decided to start without too many expectations, and privileged regularity over quantity and quality. What was important was to start the process and write on a regular basis. To be focussed on the task more than on technology, Keep It Simple and Stupid (Kiss) and begin with what you are most happy with: pen and paper, emails to yourself, blog, e-porfolio, whatever suits you the best.

With time, you will discover that taking notes and posting them in an electronic form gives more freedom in the organisation of your work and the reuse of your editing.

From the surface to the depth

Writing directly about profound and personal thoughts on such an intimate subject as our transformation through learning is not easy, but this comes in time. Begin to write about facts to help your brain to focus on what happened, on what you learned or what you read, watched or listened to. Let your thoughts and feelings come up without any judgement. Think less and less about generalities and focus step by step on more specific points about the learning. These points should evoke agreement or disagreement, good or bad feelings, new ideas or bring back old personal experiences. Write all you get. Later, or in another post, you may go over and process your material to deepen or edit it. With time, this exercise will become more and more familiar and the path to your thoughts and deep memory will become brighter and quicker.

From privacy to publicity

It is important that this task must remain something you are confident about and trust in. Begin by writing your reflection for yourself and open them up to others with time. Opening your reflexive material, or a part of it, to others gives you the benefit of their comments on your work and the reciprocity to their own intimacy. This sharing can be made only with peers of the same cohort within a wider community. Making part of your thoughts obvious to the world gives you a way to be recognised for who you are. Whichever way, never lose the control of your image. When it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.

Writing towards objectives

The question of having a living reflexive journal in whatever form it can take, is of course driven by targets. Even if we know, through literature, that reflexive activities give students wider ownership of their learning and foster a deeper learning approach with tangible results in higher marks and better learning, these activities are time consuming. Moreover if such tasks are compulsory and have to be assessed, the style, grammar and structure will have to be reviewed.

As a personal learning tool, a reflexive journal is something that has to be tried for a minimum basis of one course before you can discover its advantages, so persevere, or follow a syllabus where you will be forced to do it, if you need, as I did, such a ‘driver’.

Reading notes on ‘Reflection in higher education learning’

October 29, 2009 7 comments

In his paper, Moon (2001) draws a picture of the conception of reflection in higher education as a tool to a better learning. The main points are also summarised in another article written four years later (Moon, 2005).

Moon begins by searching for a definition of the concept of reflection, suggesting that it is a form of mental processing to achieve some anticipated outcomes, and is applied to relatively complicated or unstructured ideas for which there is no obvious solution. Moon believes that emotions are also part of the process of reflection and may influence the way it is carried on. For Moon the process of reflection can occur only on something when you already have some knowledge about it, therefore reflection from scratch has no sense. I find this point interesting regarding what I notice in my course or in the courses I mentor as referee, when students are asked to think and reflect about a case study at the early beginning of learning about a subject where they have only a few ideas about it. What can we really expect from such a demand?

The article then explores different authors’ approaches to reflection, encompassing Jurgen Habemas, David Kolb, Donald Shon. From this quick browsing I was struck by the description of Kolb’s cycle which was visualised as a spiral later by Cowan (1998)

Moon1

Adapted from Kolb (1984) and Cowan (1998)

The important point I keep from this schematic vision is the principle of ‘cognitive housekeeping’ given to the reflection process explained by Moon which permits integration of old and new raw cognitive material into a new form of knowledge. We can then consider actual knowledge as a big jigsaw puzzle image where each piece has its importance but reveals a higher level of understanding by putting it all together in an way that makes sense.

From his summary of Habermas (1971) I note the three kinds of knowledge he described:

  1. instrumental knowledge – how we understand and control our human environment;
  2. knowledge as the interpretation of human action and behaviour – to better understand the society in which we are living and behaving;
  3. knowledge as a way of acting on the two first forms of knowledge (reflexive knowledge?) – which transforms personal, social and other situations and gives the bases ‘on which we make judgements’.

The most interesting point about Schon (1983) is the separation of reflection into a dichotomy, reflection-on-action and reflection-in-action. If I can clearly see how we can reflect on and what we have done as a process ex-post, I agree with Moon that reflecting during the action helped my thought process.

Mo0n concludes this theoretical presentation claiming that none of the previous authors study the importance of emotion in the the reflection action and he raises the question of whether emotional content is always present in reflection and if so, how it influences its result. He concludes that this important point for him is not answered in the literature so far.

For Moon, we can only see the result of learning but it is difficult to perceive the process. Nevertheless, Moon suggests that learning passes through different stages: Noticing and Making sense which belong to a surface learning approach (Marton (1997)) and Making meaning, Working with meaning and finally Transformative learning which all belong to the deep approach of learning.

Moon and assessment of students reflective work

I agree with Moon that ‘assessment tends to drive student learning’ and that we can force them to follow a deep approach of learning if they see in this a way of succeeding in the learning task. For this to be true, we, practitioners, must believe in the method we use and show the way to students instead of asking them to adhere to our proposition of methodology. For reflection as a learning tool, practitioners must believe in its potential outcomes to foster such behaviour. Moon suggests that positive outcomes of reflexive work are apparent during the period of revision before examination.

As long as reflection is an ‘encouragement for learners to follow their own thinking, to work without a curriculum’, Moon is not in favour of a formal assessment of this material. But on the other hand, he claims as I already pointed out in a previous post, with Crème that whenever we see value in students’ work it has to be assessed.

Moons then suggests that assessment must follow very clear, and maybe new, criteria enabling fair marking. He also suggest that such artefacts could be marked as ‘adequate and passed’ or ‘not yet adequate and not yet passed’, privileging qualitative rather than quantitative marking. I note that Moon’s marking suggestion gives students a chance to improve even after a final marking. I personally agree with this approach which fosters lifelong learning and the fact that learning from a course continues long after the course’s end.

Positive outcomes of reflection in learning

  • Reflection slows down activities
  • Reflection enables learners to develop greater ‘ownership’ of the material of learning and enhances the student’s ‘voice’
  • Foster ‘metacognition’
  • Challenging learners with ill-structured material of learning improves students’ cognitive ability

Comparing these claims with H808, I agree that reflection slows down the process of learning, fostering a deeper approach and a time left to analyse and incorporate new information to create a bigger picture. This is maybe why the course syllabus is short in H808 but the tasks themselves take a long time to be processed by students. I personally already complained in another post about my feeling of a lack of structure in this course, but in the light of Moon’s claims, this is maybe not a lack but a pedagogical way to push students to find their own way toward professionalism and improvement of our  cognitive ability.

Reflexive tools

Comparing Moon’s suggestions of tools to reflect on, most are offered for engagement during H808: learning journal, portfolio, reflection on work experience, reflective exercises. The following proposed tools are, not yet, part of H808: reflection on work-based training, reflection on placement learning, peer and self assessment.

Issues relating to the introduction of reflective activity

Moon points out different issues as follows:

  • students’ ability to reflect is sometimes weak – ‘not all students find reflection easy’;
  • some staff will not understand reflection either
  • cultural issues – ‘some languages do not have a word for reflection’
  • disciplinary issue – ‘the discourse of some subjects are, by nature, more likely to require reflective activity’

References:

Cowan, J. (1998) ‘On Becoming an Innovative University Teacher’, SRHE / OUP, Buckingham.

Habermas, J. (1971) ‘Knowledge and Human Interests’, Heineman, London.

Kolb, D. (1994) ‘Experiential Learning as the Science of Learning and Development’, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.

Marton, F., Hounsell, D., Entwistel (1997) ‘The Experience of Learning’, SCottish Academic Press, Edinburgh.

Moon, J. (2001) ‘PDP working paper 4: reflection in higher education learning’ (online), The Higher Education Academy. Available from: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/York/documents/resources/resourcedatabase/id72_Reflection_in_Higher_Education_Learning.rtf (accessed 29 June 2007).

Moon, J. (2005) ‘Guide for busy academics no. 4: learning through reflection’ (online), The Higher Education Academy. Available from: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/York/documents/resources/resourcedatabase/id69_guide_for_busy_academics_no4.doc (accessed 2 July 2008).

Schon, D. (1983) ‘The Reflexive Practitioner’, Jossey-Bass, San-Francisco.

Some notes on: “Should student learning journals be assessed?”

Here are some notes I have taken during the reading of Crème (2005) about if, why and how student learning journals should be assessed. Before this reading I had already been thinking for a long time during other courses and even before having begun the MAODE courses, about whether it was a good thing to have a blog or not.

In an essay for H800 (Technology-enhanced learning: practices and debates) I argued that I didn’t use a blog (even if it was requested) because of a lack of time and because I didn’t want to expose my writing (English is not my native language) and knowledge-in-development to everyone. I felt that the content of blog posts could be used by anyone to judge the post’s author and I was not ready to accept this, especially as I had to write in my third language.

With the beginning of H808, the choice is not mine any more and I am forced to post regularly to provide evidences to be enclosed with the different assessments during the course.

After my reading, I begin to see the direction in which the course drives us. During the two other courses I have already taken in the MAODE’s syllabus, we were also students reflecting on their learning, but the learning was more centred on knowledge acquisition, things to know. In H808, so far, I have the feeling that the outcomes are more about becoming self-sufficient and independent. While a student is learning a subject with their peers, a professional must come to a point where he/she can think by him/herself and take the best decision for their clients.

I think, therefore, that this becomes important for tutors in such a course, as well as for students themselves, to see the progress achieved in gaining independence and experience in e-learning. The use of a reflexive journal is thus no longer simply an option but a useful tool for everyone concerned.

The question raised by Crème in his article is whether such a learning process has to be assessed or not. Without responding directly to the question, Crème points out a certain number of issues for both cases:

Where assessment of student learning journals is made

  • students may engage with this form of learning because it is assessed and not because they find it useful;
  • it means that the institution recognises a different way of thinking and then a different way of assessing skills and knowledge acquisition;
  • tutors estimate learning journals are useful and pedagogically important (we assess what we think is important);
  • students may be intimidated by such a big process (i.e., amount of work, difficulties in commenting regularly about what is read, fear of showing their weak points);
  • the risk is that student will be tempted to write journals as if they were a final and definitive product and not as a reflective and formative instrument.

In short Crème states that assessment may have ‘killed off the qualities that the work itself was designed to foster’: to be a more personal tool showing how students’ ideas have changed and to give students ownership of their learning.

The problem of honesty

Writing a journal and making it public or semi-public, exposes the owner whenever their writing is honest and not driven by the desire to present information to please tutors, but to serve their own reflection on the path to knowledge. I agree with Crème that assessing such sensitive work is judging the person more than their abilities. Knowing that learning journals are being assessed will just push students to write about non personal feelings and then turn the reflective blog into another plain essay without heart.

A mid-way solution

As a solution, Crème suggests using learning journals as evidences to quote from during the writing of a formal essay for assessment. These entries are provided as evidences and not assessed for themselves but serve to scaffold the final work  students will present to their tutors for validation. In this way, students are forced to engage with a reflexive tool such as a learning journal and can hold forth on the subject in their own language, fostering questioning more than answering, learning more than knowing.

Regarding the H808’s Course Guide and Assignment Guide, this middle approach to assess an essay (TMA) supported by evidences drawn from our blogs and e-portfolio follows Crème’s suggestion, thus emphasising the importance of the process but keeping formal writing for formal and final assessment.

Reference:
Crème, P. (2005) ‘Should student learning journals be assessed?’, Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 287–96. Available from: http://libezproxy.open.ac.uk/login?url=http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02602930500063850 (accessed 9 October 2009).

H808 Core Activity 2-3: Case studies

After the reading of the different suggested documents, I have chosen to focus on the second case study from the Becta’s Impact study of e-portfolios on learning (2007), called Early e-portfolio activity across a local authority – West Berkshire Council.

West Berkshire Council is a local authority where a diverse range of learners (teachers and students) are encouraged to collaborate and cross many types of boundaries.

What were the anticipated outcomes of using an e-portfolio?

Some teachers believed that using e-portfolios will help students to identify their needs and express themselves however they want. Other outcomes were also targets such as being able to follow students across the board from primary all the way through. From the beginning it was clear that the institution wanted e-portfolios to encompass every bit of the students’ learning.

What were the limitations to its implementation?

Because Schools in West Berkshire do not have policies regarding e-portfolios, each has taken different approaches to implementation. This has certainly limited the adoption rate by the lack of good practice, moreover, the project started with the children only, and in certain cases only with gifted students, without teachers showing the path. The result was that at the time of the survey, no school has achieved complete implementation of e-portfolio use.

The tool was primarily used as a show case e-portfolio allowing parents to watch the work of their children; for communication and feedback between students, teachers and experts.

A strong policy fostering standardisation and extensive use of e-portfolios would maybe have helped the development and a quicker adoption rate through the different schools. The lack of harmonisation will certainly create problems of interoperability and data exchange between the different schools.

According to the survey it seems that the curriculum has not been adapted to e-portfolio use and support which would have created a better engagement with e-portfolios from the students (some surveyed students claim they don’t know what an e-portfolio is, even after having used the tool).

How is the e-portfolio supposed to help the user to identify and manage their learning?

Teachers report they have changed their practice through using ICT resources, which doesn’t imply they have changed their practice against e-portfolio and student-centred pedagogy. One school’s Head teacher claims that now ‘people see the reason behind things, they are introduced reflectively. We are good at reflecting and evaluating, creating a learning culture’.

In this case, there are not many contributions from students and comments are generally made by adults. They believe that such a tool permits students to ‘access [the learning platform] at any time and […] work on things in the way they want to , rather than just what the teacher is telling them to do’.

Surveys in that case study suggest that teachers were confident enough with the ICT facilities and had allowed students to take a lead in learning.

In primary classes, pupils’ parents have the possibility to connect on the system together with their children and be involved in their apprenticeship. This symbiotic relation of school-pupil-parent seems to be a good thing according to all the stakeholders.