Clare Brown, Louise Carr, Lauren Harris, Iona Wallace
The course is the Diploma (L5) or Professional Certificate (L6) in Education and Training. This is the standard qualification for anyone teaching in the post-compulsory sector.
Based on an External Examiner report, feedback from trainees and tutors at our institution and with the support of the University team, we transferred the original recording document called a Progress Log into an e-portfolio.
This document records how trainees are developing both as trainers (lecturers), dual professionals and learners.
It had reflective elements but was constrained by both the layout/format and design.
This is a framework put together by 24 campuses in the 'Connect to Learning' project.
It demonstrates the potential of e-portfolios to transform Higher Education in response to the needs of 21C skills.
At its core are the design principles of inquiry, reflection and Integration I-R-I (Enyon and Gambino, 2018)
Catalyst for learning
We are associate tutors, and a trainee/tutor.
We are currently based in two campuses: a specialist land-based college and a general further education college, both in Kent .
Our trainees are in-service so they will be employed to teach a minimum of 40 hrs in yr 1 and 60 hrs in yr 2. In reality many are working as full time lecturers or trainers in one or other of the colleges delivering the course.
We meet them as colleagues within the institutions as well as in our roles as Advanced Learning Practitioners (ALPs) , coaches, trainers and personal tutors during the course.
They are all enrolled into a Mahara e-portfolio group for their cohort.
During the past year these 2 first year cohorts have developed their skills and practice, within their learning sessions, but also as subject specialists and subject specialist (vocational) teachers.
Our presentation will share with you a glimpse of this evolution that turned single communities of practice into 'Landscapes of Practice' (Wenger-Trayner, Fenton-O'Creeedy et al, 2014). We will discuss how trainees' inquiry and reflection have crossed boundaries and integrated within their faculties; how we as trainers have revised our practice in response to using the e-portfolio frameworks and from the perspective of a trainee using the platform for the first time and how this has impacted on reflection and the negotiation of competence (Wenger-Trayner, 2013). And most importantly, how these interactions are bringing about new perspectives on our pedagogy.
"The practice of a community is dynamic and involves learning on the part of everyone" (Wenger -Trayner, 2015)
So what have we learned?
- E-portfolios have helped all members of the initial communities to give more recognition and time to reflection (built into sessions, journaling)
- We have all learned more about the pedagogy for the introduction and sustainability of learning with and through e-portfolios (resilience, determination and some inspiration - shared and sharing experiences)
- The use of e-portfolios within and supporting the learning sessions are developing better social learning spaces and because of this we as trainers look forward to developing into 'social artists'
- recognising and enacting more 'wilful collaboration' (buddies, peer to peer learning, peer and trainer comment, critical friends, sharing experiences)
- maintaining our idealism for learning but working pragmatically
- use professional identities - share our portfolios with learners
- (Wenger-Trayner, 2009)