How do digital technologies transform the way we collect, organize, visualize, and exploit evidence to inform future learning? The 12th International ePortfolio and Identity Conference (ePIC 2014) has opened a call for contributions on the topic of Evidence-Based Learning.
Emerging technologies and tools have created new opportunities and methods for the collection, interpretation, and use of evidence in the learning process. Innovations such as Open Badges, xAPI, Learning Analytics, MOOCs, and Open Data are now contributing to our understanding of technology-supported learning.
In this context, Evidence-Based Learning covers two different and complementary perspectives. Firstly, the use of evidence can help educators to optimize their practice. Secondly, the exploration of newly available types of evidence could lead to transformative innovations in the learning experience.
ePIC 2014 aims to form a complete picture of the technology landscape wherein current ePortfolio initiatives are being built, and to understand how evidence collected in this environment can be used to transform future education. Authors are invited to submit an abstract that relates to the following issues:
- Evidence: how wide is the range of evidence we can collect to plan, support, assess and improve learning processes, as individual learners, professional educators, education leaders, employers and policy makers?
- Collection: what are the methods and technologies at our disposal to collect this potential much wider range of evidence?
- Trust: how to insure and verify the validity of evidence collected?
- Visualisation: how to represent collections of evidence to make informed decisions?
- Interpretation: how good are we at making sense of this range of evidence?
- Practice : how the answers to the preceding questions should impact professional practice?
- Technologies : how the answers to the preceding questions should impact ePortfolio and ePortfolio-related technologies?
ePIC 2014 brings together policy-makers, researchers, teachers, trainers, human resource managers and technologists. As a thematic event it allows an in-depth and broad exploration of the issues - and results in real outcomes. Past events have lead to the creation of national and international networks, contribution to policies, contribution to standardisation bodies, establishing partnerships with other communities in the field of digital identity and human resource standards, transnational projects and numerous publications.
The internet is a place where curiosity and creativity can thrive and where you develop a wide range of skills in a seemingly less threatening manner. Nevertheless it holds certain pitfalls for the unwary. As in all other aspects of life, education is essential to foster more reflective ways of using online media.
Following the rich discussions triggered by the presence of Mozilla Open Badges at ePIC 2012, the 11th ePortfolio and Identity Conference intends to explore further the concept of 'openness' in relation to the themes traditionally addressed by the conference. In particular, as ePortfolio and Open Badges are containers of personal data, what is their place in what some predict as the next big revolution: Open Me — open personal data?
The conference will take place on 8-10 July, 2013
Deadline for abstracts submission: 11 March
Contemporary media (digital, social and mobile) is transforming the landscape of identity, education, employment, culture, technologies and politics. The centralised, top-down, mass media model on which most of our institutions are based is facing assaults from the emerging decentralised, bottom-up, networked, agile social knowledge media. While old power centres are being challenged, new ones are appearing: they are based on the systematic collection, analysis and exploitation of the mass of data produced in our daily life. And we are busily coding our actions and thoughts for Google and Facebook to monetise them. In this context, how can we create the conditions for the emancipation of individuals towards a truly open society?
Authors are invited to address ePortfolio and identity issues in relation to:
- open ePortfolio and open badges
- open identity and open data
- open learning and open educational resources
- open assessment and open accreditation
- open employment and open business
- open architecture and open infrastructure
Key conference questions, in relation to ePortfolio and identity, may include (but are not limited to):
- How to support individual and community learning?
- How to contribute to the identity construction process?
- How to facilitate the recognition and accreditation learning?
- How to support lifelong learning, orientation and employability?
- How to support the acquisition of 21st century skills?
- How to create an ePortfolio architecture and infrastructure?
Deadline for abstracts submission: 11 March
- Initial Education —ePortfolio from kindergarten to further and higher education
- Employability, Organisational and Lifelong Learning —ePortfolio from employees to self-employed and entrepreneurs
- Healthcare Education and Practice —ePortfolio from patients to healthcare professionals (special track)
- Assessment, Accreditation and Recognition —knowledge, skills and attitudes
- Policies —ePortfolio and identity initiatives from a single institution to a whole country
- Identity Construction — ePortfolio, social networks, web 2.0
- Technologies —ePortfolio platforms, system architectures and standards
The article reflects the role of stakeholders and experts as well as their composition in review teams, based on the example of epprobate, the international quality label for eLearning courseware.
Some aspects of what we mean by eLearning quality can be captured in a reasonably objective manner (e.g. are learning objectives stated) but most of what we mean by quality (e.g. student engagement) can only be captured through more subjective measures. However, once we start to use subjective measures then the results begin to depend on who is doing the measuring, and, crucially, the results vary depending on the positioning of the reviewers with respect to the courseware.
So an eLearning producer may have one view (and within the company, the coders may have different views from the graphic designers), but the learners and teachers who will use the courseware, the employers who will employ those who have used the course, maybe the company that has commissioned the courseware for its employees, national government agencies and other social agencies may all have different perspectives on what is important in judging the quality of the courseware.
None of these perspectives have a monopoly on truth, and so the new international quality initiative ‘epprobate’ is using an approach that calls on views from a range of perspectives and stakeholders in order to develop its quality reviews.
Mere popularity is no guarantee of quality – one only has to look at the most popular TV programs, newspapers and YouTube videos to be convinced that popularity is not necessarily the same as quality!
On the other hand the traditional approach to quality assurance also has its problems. In education, the traditional approach has been for a small team of educational experts to come to a consensus view as to whether a journal article, a course, a programme of courses or an educational organization meets an established set of criteria. Such experts typically have knowledge of education and the quality evaluation processes and call on content experts if this is appropriate.
Such quality assurance systems have been criticised for being overly controlling, dominated by one particular perspective, and stifling initiative. So these approaches to quality assurance are giving way to quality enhancement approaches, and at the same time much more emphasis has begun to be put on student involvement in the quality process.
However these general quality schemes even in their most recent formulations are not ideally suited to the demands of an educational system subject to rapid change and growth and in particular those demands that arise from the use of eLearning. Many quality schemes for eLearning have been developed but most are somewhat tied to the limiting aspects of traditional quality approaches.
The solution that epprobate is proposing is to carry out reviews from a range of perspectives, in terms of a published set of quality criteria (http://epprobate.com/index.php/en/epprobate-quality-grid), and to involve the courseware producer with a learning community based around this review process. The production by the eLearning courseware producer of a self assessment is a vital part in encouraging the development of eLearning quality through self evaluation. A typical review panel would consist of representatives of the target group for the course, a pedagogical and quality expert, another eLearning courseware producer, a content expert and the eLearning courseware producer. This panel would produce a report examining the courseware in terms of the published criteria, and would award the epprobate label where the courseware was found to be of high quality.
Rather than simply a process of providing a label, the core of the epprobate process is the promotion of a community of peers working together to improve eLearning quality. We will achieve our goal of supporting the development of high quality eLearning courseware through a combination of consulting with a range of perspectives and multiple stakeholders, reviewing against a published set of criteria, producing detailed evaluative reports, and involving eLearning producers within our learning community.
Addressing Cyber Security in schools should foster critical digital literacy, such that children can become empowered to make informed decisions about how they choose to use and share information online. eLearning Papers Nº 28 gives answers to questions such as: What constitutes risk when working with digital media? Or where does the potential reside to engage young people in safe Internet use?
The rapidity with which children and young people are gaining access to online, convergent, mobile and networked media is unprecedented in the history of technological innovation. There are two main foci for e–security research that associated with protecting information both strategic and economic and that protecting people particularly the young. While these are overlapping concerns it is the latter that this special issue addresses.
eLearning Papers 28 presents 8 articles arranged in the two sections, In-depth and From the field. The four In-depth articles give a view of the present discussions surrounding how students can be encouraged to engage in safe Internet use. The fourth From the field articles present examples of best practice scenarios.
Click here to read the whole editorial and the 8 articles.
Security in Learning Management Systems: Designing Collaborative Learning Activities in Secure Information Systems
The field of research on information technology applications in the design of computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL) activities generates very complex scenarios which must be studied from different approaches. One approach is to consider information security, but not only from a technological point of view.
In this paper we argue that current e-learning systems supporting on-line collaborative learning do not sufficiently meet essential security requirements, and this limitation can have a strong influence in the collaborative learning processes. In order to alleviate these problems we have proposed an approach based on Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) models that offer essential security properties and services in on-line collaborative learning, such as availability, integrity, identification and authentication, access control, confidentiality, non repudiation, time stamping, audit service and failure control.
Media education is an intercurricular subject in Austrian schools, however, it is not a part of teacher’s formal education. Teachers with good digital competencies are much more willing to discuss online safety issues with their students in classes. Therefore, enhancing these skills among teachers will ultimately help to bring these topics into mainstream education. A handful of powerful e-learning tools have been introduced to help teachers familiarise with online safety basics and integrate this topic into their classes.
We have found that reaching out to educators with quality e-learning content on online safety works best in collaboration with reputable providers of teacher training or sites that teachers go to. This ensures that the resources will match their needs as well as guarantee the sustainability of the knowledge base. These conclusions were formulated by Saferinternet.at, the Austrian EU-funded initiative of the Safer Internet Programme for online safety that, among other activities, provides teacher trainings on this topic.
Within the framework of the Safer Internet Program, Latvia organized a Safer Internet Day to bring parents, teachers and young people together to discover the digital world safely. According to current findings, safely means critically, because digital literacy skills are strongly linked to the ability to perform a critical evaluation of online content, which is automatically related to personal safety online.
Research conducted by EU Kids Online in 2010 showed that only 54% of children and young people say they are able and do compare information from different online sources before accepting it as true and trustful. To check this assumption, the Latvian Safer Internet Centre, together with Latvian social networking site Draugiem.lv, set up an experiment to test young people's caution when providing personal information. The findings point to a need for greater measures that address and enhance young people's critical digital literacy.