This month Martin interviewed Susi Peacock from the Centre for Academic Practice at Queen Margaret University (QMU) about their use of the PebblePad e-portfolio system. QMU have been using PebblePad since 2004/05, providing all their students and staff with the opportunity to maintain their own portfolio of work. In the interview we discuss how the University has gone from adoption at modular level to integration into entire degree programmes, and beyond with alumni and professional body access.
Interview with Susi Peacock
Duration: 13 minutes
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- 0:50 – Background of e-portfolios at QMU?
- 4/5 years ago looking for a way to support personal and professional development planning.
- criteria for selection included linked to VLE, easy of use, accessible and available technical support.
- 2:00 How was integration of a campus wide solution achieved?
- Using earlier adopters already using paper-based portfolios targeted. Looking for the quick wins. Building on this as a foundation to promote use in other areas like Drama.
- Important to remember that you need team and external examiner support.
- 5:37 Is there an assessment strategy which supports the use of e-portfolios for across the institution?
- Number of guides have been produced to help staff decide a workflow to maintain consistency, combined with central support from CAP.
- 7:15 Are there any examples of programme level adoption of e-portfolios?
- Several programmes including nursing have a staggered level of introduction from year 1 (continuing use as part of professional development).
- Crucial to explain to staff and students that they have alumni access to portfolios after they graduate.
- Important to liaise with professional bodies who maybe using other portfolio systems.
- 8:15 Has there been much take-up of alumni access?
- Physiotherapy students can transfer straight into the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) system (also PebblePad) or continue alumni access.
- Other main take-up is from radiography, nursing and drama.
- It is an opt-in service
- 8:40 What feedback are you getting from students on the use of e-portfolios?
- Don’t introduce in last year, start from the beginning.
- Value feedback particualarly when it is linked to what they are doing.
- Need to know why they are using it and embedded in the curriculum
- 10:00 Are there many staff that use PebblePad for their own professional development?
- Starting to grow, particularly for professional doctorate.
- It is noticeable that tutors who use an e-portfolio for themselves are the best tutors when it comes to supporting student use.
- 10:40 Has there been much change in use since the beginning of the project like mobile access?
- Not interest in mobile (they do have guides on how to do it)
- Change has been from module to programme adoption.
- Using it as a tool for dialogue around assessment
QMU – Centre for Academic Practice
QMU resources on e-portfolio’s
Intro/Outro music: 1-2-3-4 from stream of unconsciousness by Jeremy B. Northup