Pilot Project ePortfolio
THE EPORTFOLIO AS A COMPETENCE-ORIENTED STUDY SERVICE
In the Master's distance learning programme „Management of Culture and Non-Profit Organisations“ (four semesters, part-time) offered by the Distance and Independent Studies Center (DISC), an ePortfolio (Mahara) will be used for the first time starting in the winter semester 2012/13. In this programme, students will be able to complete cross-semester study achievements and create a personal competence profile oriented to their professional field.
The result will be an ePortfolio prototype that can be transferred to thematically related distance learning programmes of the DISC.
The media-didactic concept will be developed in cooperation with theeTeaching Service Center. Monitoring and evaluation in the area of competence orientation is carried out by the OK Westpfalz Project.
In the conception phase (July to December 2012), the project ("Increasing Studying Ability through the Use of ePortfolios") was supported by the "Education Strike Immediate Programme" of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate.
Further information on the ePortfolio concept:
In order to strengthen the competence orientation of the study programme Management of Cultural and Non-Profit Organisations (MKN), a new - creative and interactive - form of providing study services is used with the ePortfolio: Instead of testing the knowledge acquisition through exams or mail-in assignments, students work on the compulsory module "Professional Practice in Cultural and Non-Profit Organisations" by creating content and exchanging professional information in the provided ePortfolio environment (Mahara). Over the period of three semesters, students work on various tasks which include a reference to the module-related study texts and a reflection on their own professional practice and competences. In addition, the students interact with each other (exchange of experience, networking).
The ePortfolio work is accompanied by qualified tutors, who give individual feedback during the entire processing phase and finally evaluate the study performance.
The didactic use of the ePortfolio pursues two main objectives:
- ePortfolio as a study achievement:: The ePortfolio work replaces the traditionally used forms of examination (submissions, exams) and combines selective, topic-related knowledge acquisition processes into a continuous reflection process. The use of the ePortfolio as a study achievement increases the studyability of the extra-occupational Master's programme by referring to practical experience outside the programme. The curriculum ensures that the work on the study achievement can be flexibly adapted to the individual thematic focus and time budget. The content of the required academic achievements moves away from school-based formats by initiating independent processes of knowledge and reflection on the one hand and by establishing clear links between theory and practical application by the students on the other.
- ePortfolio as a labour market-related competence profile::Students create a personal competence profile and presentation pages by examining occupational fields and images presented in the module-related study texts and by comparing them with their own professional experiences and competences. These elements can (if desired) be used after the study programme for job market orientation and for self-presentation.
In addition, the ePortfolio fulfils the following functions for content design of the MKN study programme:
- Practical Social Media Competence: An essential content component - which is relevant in various subject and action fields of the study programme - is the use of social media (e.g. in marketing, fundraising, internal and external communication, art communication). In order to provide managers of cultural/non-profit organisations with practical know-how in addition to the theoretical exploration of the possibilities of using and impacting social media, working with the social software tool Mahara provides students with a "playground" for actively designing multimedia content and experiencing the possibilities and dynamics of communication. This acting and interacting in Mahara is accompanied by (self-) reflection, for which the tutors of the programme are available as qualified communication partners.
- Concrete application scenarios: The practice-oriented study texts of this module ("Project Management", "Self-management and Business Start-Up", "Art Market" and "Job Profiles and Fields of Activity in the Non-Profit Sector") can be worked on most meaningfully by referring to examples from professional practice. The ePortfolio offers students the opportunity to deal with practical application scenarios in the workplace - in exchange with fellow students and tutors.
- Community Building and Networking: Through the ePortfolio Mahara, in which the students of a year's programme can meet in virtual groups and get to know each other professionally, students have the opportunity to form networks for information exchange and cooperation on the basis of the competence profiles and projects presented here - even beyond their studies.