Badges: Learning Gain or Just a Game, and what’s wrong with that?

Badges are Digital image files with text metadata stating criteria for which the badge has been earned. Badges are (presently) self-certified by Learner or Earner and  Self-certified by Provider or Issuer. Below are resources for a short session I ran for the Technology Experimentation Group (TEG). Continue reading “Badges: Learning Gain or Just a Game, and what’s wrong with that?”

Thoughts on Internationalising the home student conference 19/06/09

I attended the opening plenary of the CICIN conference to hear John Raftery, ProVC for Student Experience and Douglas Bourne, head of the Development Education Centre at IoE, London.
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Flourish: PebblePad Technology for professional development #HEAtpd

Sarah Chesney discusses the aims, ethos, key activities and the PS portfolio developed under the Flourish project. Evaluating the use of an eportfolio for CPD for admin and academic staff. Used to ease the admin burden and provide personal learning system (PLE?), within which is an eportfolio.

Academic model practice before students.

Over reliance on email and MSWord.

Duplicating information at:

Usability was key. Should I be using PPad for this report? Or consuming my Posterous in my PPad “blog”. PPad allows tagging of artefacts.

Eportfolios were not an instrument of monitoring and control.

PCTHE at Cumbria is done using PPad.

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4 dimensions of digital literacy #shock09

I was discussing an unpublished draft of a working paper on digital literacy at Oxford Brookes. It struck me that a communication theory model might be useful when looking at the tools we might use. The four dimensions I recognised in the paper were:

  • n-0: solitary reflection
  • 1-n: broadcasting ones self: blogging, writing for publication
  • n-1: using a library, searching the web
  • n-n: participation in discussion forums, teams.

It seemed that if one were aware of the different kinds of communication one could suggest that some tools were better for some things and some for others.

Interestingly, about a week later I was doing a bit of a lit search for Digital Literacy in Academic Search Complete and came upon Guy Merchant’s (2007) article: Writing the future in the digital age. Literacy, 41(3), 118-128. There I found the same approach used as a typology for digilit.

  • One-to-one Messaging Inter-personal email
  • One-to-many Broadcast messaging Blogging Webpages
  • Many-to-many Chatrooms, 3D Virtual Worlds, Online gaming, Discussion boards, Wikis, Photo-sharing (123)

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Digital natives? Analogue colonists

Graham Attwell makes an important point here, which resonates with work done on university students’ use of the Internet for learning by colleagues at Brookes.

The locus of work or study: the context in which the person engages in online activity is far more important than other more accidental attributes of the individual such as their year of birth or their sex. Yes, year cohorts will have different contexts available, but there are adept and critical users of the internet of all ages, just as there are digitally illiterate “digital natives”.

Continue reading “Digital natives? Analogue colonists”

Why blog? Hello crowdsource, friends & lazy web: answers on a Tweet

I am writing a series of pages about blogging for

The audience is

  1. Teachers of undergraduates,
  2. Undergraduates at Oxford Brookes
  3. Other students and staff who might use the service,
  4. Other stakeholders and policy makers

The first wave of university blogging services has long since flowed. The BBC covered it in 2005 (

The list below is only a quick sample of some of the more significant, or visible of UK universities’ blogging services or directories.
Continue reading “Why blog? Hello crowdsource, friends & lazy web: answers on a Tweet”

One eportfolio for every hippopotalopardile in the human zoo?

Ray Tolley ( got me thinking.

If you are going to use the term eportfolio in a particular, restricted way, then you need to define the term precisely. Many people have several eportfolios: LinkedIn, Facebook, Flickr, blogs, PebblePad, various forums and repositories, their own web site, a CV, etc. Many more people have none. Those with several often cross reference between them. We may choose to call just one of these collections our portfolio. But, if we do, we should say why this one, not that one. And, given the fast-moving field, we must be tolerant of exceptions to any rule and be willing to negotiate meaning.

Continue reading “One eportfolio for every hippopotalopardile in the human zoo?”

#NGTiP09 Portfolio typology further to Flourish

Eportfolio needs to be discussed in respect of at least four dimensions:

1 Process
– collection, selection, reflection, presentation

2 Tools and artefacts:
– portfolio: items, systems, presentations (CV, assessed piece of work, etc)

3 Areas of application:
– PDP, CPD, PDR, competency assessment, personal reflection

4 Cultures of use:
– Disciplines, educational sector, professional bodies, learner preference, maturity, aptitude, attitude

Eportfolio processes are done with tools to produce artefacts for particular purposes. The tool and its habit of use has an effect on the shape of the artefact that it produces. The culture of the site of application determines the habit of use of the tool: there is a “way things are done ’round here.”

One size won’t fit all.

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using eportfolio for HE staff CPD and Professional Review – with a Flourish

The Flourish project:

Flourish, funded by the JISC, looked at eportfolio for HE staff in annual appraisal, accredited PGCert in Teaching in HE course, and CPD/Training. They used PebblePad in a “low-risk” environment running workshops, elearning retreats, staff information sharing channels, and using it with students.

The key message is if you want to use an eP for students you need to use it with staff first.

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