Page 17

s Universities

BY ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR MICHAEL SANKEY

A recent sector scan across

multiple tools were being used, usually

system (LMS), three (6 percent) were

the functionality (or otherwise) of

Australasian universities conducted

in different schools or faculties to meet

using the portfolio tool in Bright Space

these tools.

by the Australasian Council on Open,

a particular or perceived need. So,

(D2L) LMS, two were using Google,

Distance and e-Learning (ACODE)

although the institution may have had

one each were using Chalk & Wire and

how higher education is embracing

found a variable uptake of ePortfolio

a centrally supported system, others

Career Hub, and seven (15 percent)

newer forms of technology and how

tools across the university sector.

(departments and often individuals)

had no centrally supported ePortfolio.

the role of the commercial marketplace

Although many universities now have

within the university were bypassing

In nearly all cases, those institutions

is changing. This is seen in the

well-established ePortfolio systems in

this for other (non-supported) solutions.

that had no centrally supported

plethora of social media tools that can

place, and have had for many years,

This is not necessarily a problem, but it

tool were currently trialling some

now slot (although not comfortably)

others are still grappling with, or slowly

does point to the fact that the centralised

different options.

into this virtual learning environment

moving towards, a more consistent

system may not necessarily be fully

approach to providing this institutional

hitting the mark or that the functionality

identify the products used, in many

linkedin.com/in/michaelsankey/) and

service for their students and staff.

of the tool is not understood well

cases this was accompanied by

a range of efficacious self-authoring

It is fair to say that although

enough by the staff and thereby

a disclaimer, such as ‘but we are

website tools sites (such as Wordpress

the students.

trialling X’ or ‘different schools have

[https://michaelsankey.com/], Weebly

different requirements, so we can’t

[https://www.weebly.com/au], and

ePortfolio has been on the higher

Not only did the sector scan

Anecdotally, this is partly to do with

space (such as LinkedIn, https://www.

education agenda for quite a few

Of the 48 institutions, 18 (38

years now, it has not necessarily

percent) were using the Mahara open

get any agreement’. So, although the

Wix [https://www.wix.com/]) making

been adopted as quickly as some

source tool, 10 (21 percent) were

above is simply a product list, there

it possible for students and staff to

may have hoped. In fact, it was the

using Pebble Pad, six (13 percent)

are implications that can be drawn

quickly develop an online presence.

dream of many, including myself,

were using the portfolio tool in their

from this, particularly when looking

As the functionality of these newer

that national projects such as the

Blackboard learning management

at some of the tools being used and

tools improves, some are seeing

Australian ePortfolio Project (http:// www.eportfoliopractice.qut.edu. au/) and, more recently, ePortfolios

ePortfolio Systems 2017: 48 Australasian Universities

Australia (https://eportfoliosaustralia. wordpress.com/) would have had a more profound impact on the uptake

7

of this tool within the sector. In some instances it has, but this dream has not In the ACODE sector scan Australasian universities responded. This represented all major Australian

n Pebble Pad

2

yet been fully realised. conducted in September 2017, 48

n Mahara

n Blackboard

2

18

3

n Google

and New Zealand universities and one from Fiji. The scan asked these institutions to identify which centrally supported ePortfolio tool they were using. This does not mean that this was

n Bright Space

n Other

6

n None

10

the only tool the institution was using; rather, it was the main tool they were using, thereby attracting some broader institutional support. In some instances,

educationtechnologysolutions.com.au

016-019_ETS81 Interactive Learning.indd 17

EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS | 17

21/11/17 12:52 pm

Education Technology Solutions Issue #81  
New