This week I ran a two-day workshop on ePortfolios in higher education together with Birgitta Kinscher (a colleague from HTW and ePortfolio Initiative Berlin-Brandenburg). The workshop took place at the Berlin Center for Higher Education (BZHL) as part of the programme that BZHL offers to lecturers in higher education in Berlin.
It was the third workshop on ePortfolios that I have given and the largest in scope so far. However I must say even two intensive days are really not enough to cover the important topics. The workshop comprised of a mixture of different methods and tools, including:
- Theory inputs focusing on self-directed learning, enhancing reflection and self-organisation
- Recordings with practitioners from different fields which I have put into a public Mahara page (in German)
- Group work on individual ideas and concepts that participants brought in
- Practical work in Mahara including competence profiles and creating views
- Best practice examples, including ePortfolio work by Klaus Himpsl-Gutermann
- Exploring other tools for ePortfolios like Evernote, WordPress and wikis
- Guest talk on using Evernote for ePortfolios by Marcel Dux
- Spontaneous presentation on using wikis by Prof. Dr. Heike Wiesner
- And some creative workshop techniques to inspire development of new solutions
It was great to watch the initial ePortfolio ideas that participants introduced at the beginning of the first day progress and take on new shapes. It was interesting facilitating this process and the results proved that it was the right decision to create a range of different examples, approaches and tools from which each participant could choose the most suitable to their individual needs.
We received much positive feedback, among others one participant mentioned that it was very valuable that we planned much time for group work and discussions. Yes, I definitely think time is important when it comes to transforming understanding and experience. What a luxury in our fast-paced times!
Also it was great to have 100% female participants for a change. As most of my students at Beuth are male, I have noticed how different it is to teach these two gender groups.
All in all I really enjoyed doing this workshop and I think we have arrived at a very good concept, which matured in the process itself. I am looking forward to the next ePortfolio workshop, which I hope to be able to host soon.
P.S. Thank you to all workshop participants and interviewees for their great contributions on the use of ePortfolios in higher education:
- Dr. Klaus Himpsl-Gutermann (Donau-Universität Krems)
- Gabrielle Hoffmann (Frauencomputerzentrums Berlin (FCZB)
- Marcel Dux (Hochschule fuer Wirtschaft und Technik Berlin)
- Marco Roettger (Beuth Hochschule fuer Technik Berlin)