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eStrategies for Empowering Learners

The Call for Contributions for the Conference to be held on 12 and 13 October has now closed. The revised programme is now available. Contributions for the Plugfest, on 11 October, are still welcome.

eStrategies for empowering learners

This year's conference aims at exploring how the ePortfolio can contribute to the development of eStrategies for learning that result in empowered learners, providing them with greater control over their lifelong and lifewide learning journey. eStrategies can be local to a single or a group of institutions, to a region or a state, to an economic or industrial sector.

Some of the issues linked to eStrategies that authors were invited to address were:

  • How can the ePortfolio contribute to employability and how should it be integrated in more general eStrategies for employability?
  • How should the ePortfolio be related to other eStrategies such as eAdministration and eCitizenship and in particular to digital identity?
  • How could such eStrategies positively influence the agenda for the transparency of qualifications and mobility?
  • How should we link eStrategies for learning with the promotion of informal learning and recognition of work or social experience?
  • How will the ePortfolio affect the future infrastructure of information systems? For example, could we imagine that current top-down centralised directories will be replaced/extended by 'aggregators' of information contained in personal ePortfolios?
  • How does interoperability affect the success of ePortfolio initiatives? How can we ensure a continuing digital space for lifelong and lifewide learners owning an ePortfolio?

eStrategies are particularly important for employability-centered ePortfolio management systems which are the prime case for multiple-stakeholders platforms. Such ePortfolio platforms can interact with many different educational information systems as well as ERP (enterprise resource planning), human resources management systems and employment services, public and private. This will require a high degree of interoperability, across distributed architectures.

General themes of the conference

Presenters and authors of papers are invited to submit an abstract by 15th June 2006 addressing one of the following 5 themes and at least 1 issue per theme:

Theme #1: Policies

    1. ePortfolio Policies - what policies are there, or should there be, for supporting ePortfolio use at local, regional, national, European and international level?
    2. Regional Policies - how can the ePortfolio contribute to achieving regional policies (European, Asian, North American, etc.) - e.g. the Lisbon, Bologna, Copenhagen and Maastricht agenda for Europe?
    3. Celebrating cultural identity - how can ePortfolios support and celebrate the cultural diversity of individuals and territories? Is the format of an ePortfolio tied to cultural identity?
    4. Accessibility - what evidence do we have that ePortfolios provide better access to learning and recognition for people with particular needs? Can ePortfolios break communication barriers? Can ePortfolios nurture and value culture emerging from distinctive social grouping?
    5. Social inclusion - what evidence do we have that ePortfolios are making a contribution to broadening opportunities and social inclusion?
    6. Digital divide - how can ePortfolios help reduce the digital divide?


Theme #2: Employability

    1. Seeking employment - how do employment agencies, public and private currently use ePortfolios? How can ePortfolios provide the information required to match the provision of competencies with the demand?
    2. Recruitment - how do employers currently use ePortfolios to recruit employees? How does this change the recruitment process? What are the benefits? Are human resources managers ready to use ePortfolios in the recruitment process?
    3. Managing competencies - how do employers use ePortfolios to manage competencies - individual and collective? 
    4. Managing learning and development - How does the ePortfolio contribute to the self-management of development by employees? How can the ePortfolio contribute to an effective annual review?
    5. Adoption - what are the key adoption factors? Human resource department? Training department? Operations? Knowledge management? How to get acceptance by employers and recruiters.


Theme #3: Learning and learners

    1. Learning models - how can ePortfolios contribute to formal, non-formal and informal learning? Do different learning models lead to different types of ePortfolios?
    2. Community and organisational ePortfolios - what are the methods for building community and organisational ePortfolios? How do they differ from/resemble individual ePortfolios?
    3. Competencies - what competencies do ePortfolio owners, supporters and readers need?
    4. Ownership - how can we ensure that owners take responsibility for their lifelong ePortfolios?
    5. Assessment - how do we ensure authentic assessment? How do ePortfolios improve the quality of accreditation of prior learning and certification?
    6. Lifelong learning: how do ePortfolios transform the current approach to continuing education and professional development? Can ePortfolios contribute to the emergence and sustainability of lifelong learning communities?


Theme #4: Implementation

    1. Benefits - what evidence do we now have that ePortfolios are effective and profitable for individuals and institutions?
    2. Implementation - what have we learned / what are we learning about the most effective way of implementing ePortfolio initiatives?
    3. Scale - how to implement, manage and combine initiatives at class, course, institution, district, local, regional, national levels
    4. Stakeholders - how to mobilise the different stakeholders to make an ePortfolio project successful
    5. ePortfolio models - what different ePortfolios models are emerging? Are they linked to local or global cultures? Learning episodes? Learning and social styles?
    6. Initial education (schools, higher education, and further education) - what are the key adoption factors? How can we start? How do we involve all stakeholders?


Theme #5: Technology

    1. Interoperability - how can we render ePortfolios portable across applications and systems and ensure compatibility between organisations?
    2. Authentification - how can the content of ePortfolios be authenticated? How do awarding bodies and educational institution maintain digital certificates?
    3. Privacy - how can we assure privacy for ePortfolio owners? How can owners manage different levels of privacy?
    4. Architectures - what ePortfolio architectures are emerging? Client-server, peer-to-peer, social software?
    5. Standards - what ePortfolio standards are emerging? What are the benefits of IMS-ePortfolio standards? What are the current and future developments? What are the benefits of open source?
    6. User interfaces - how do ePortfolios impact the organisation of the learner's desktop: the interface with learning management systems, etc.?
    7. Mobile devices - how do mobile technologies (mobile phone, digital camera, iPod, PDA, etc.) provide support to and potentially transform ePortfolio practice?

Presentation format (call now closed)

Three presentation formats are proposed for the parallel sessions. In line with the overall objectives of ePortfolio 2006 priority will be given to user testimonies some of which will be presented in the plenary session.

1. Good practice case study - a user testimony (10 - 20 minutes)

Here we invite contributions from the end-user community (learners, teachers, and candidates) to present briefly their ePortfolio, reflect on its use and benefits and answer questions from the invited experts and audience. This may take the form of teachers/tutors presenting students ePortfolios but where possible accompanied by the learners themselves.

2. Full research paper (10 -15 pages) - with or without 20 minute presentation (please specify)

Here we invite contributions based on research work carried out in the field of ePortfolios. Previously published papers will not be accepted unless they address directly the ePortfolio issues listed above.

3. Work in progress (4-6 pages) - with or without 15 minute presentation (please specify)

Here we invite contributions outlining achievements and challenges arising from ePortfolio projects and pilots from around the world.

Submission of Abstracts (1500 words max)

On submission of abstract, the preferred mode may be specified, but depending on the topic and input from other contributors, delegates may be invited to submit in another mode. Whatever the mode, all presenters will be invited to contribute a fuller text version on their chosen topic to be edited for publication in print and in shortened form for the ePortfolio 2006 conference website.

All abstracts are to be submitted to the conference secretariat, ePortfolio 2006, by 15th June 2006 (extended to 30th for those who have made a request for an extension).

Authors may choose between three different submission formats:

  1. Good practice Case study- User testimony
  2. Full research/experience report paper and optional presentation
  3. Work-in-progress report and optional presentation

Before preparing your abstract carefully study the instructions given below.

  1. The abstract should not contain charts, graphics, references, or credits
  2. Abstracts will not be edited. Before submitting your abstract, check carefully to make sure it contains no spelling or typographical errors. The abstract must be written in third person (ie, her, she, they).
  3. An untidy abstract will not be included in the programme.  
  4. Authors must state which format they wish their presentation to be considered as. The Conference Committee reserves the right to suggest an alternative choice.
  5. Abstracts must be in a RTF format and use Arial font 10, single line spacing.  
  6. Abstracts must be conform to the instructions below and sent electronically and to the Conference Secretariat

Abstract layout

Abstracts must follow these formats to be eligible for review.

Abstracts should be less than 1500 words (This does not include title and authors) and should contain the following information:

  1. Theme and issues addressed (from list above)
  2. Title of the paper/presentation and preferred mode of presentation
  3. Authors' names and institution (last name preceding first name or initials): omit degrees, titles, and institutional appointments of co-authors. Underline the name of the person(s) presenting the paper.
  4. Abstract suggested structure (1500 words max)
  • Background or context
  • Objectives
  • Summary of results
  • Conclusions and recommendations

5.    Address, e-mail and telephone number

All abstracts must be e-mailed to the Conference Secretariat

Full paper layout

Guidelines for the submission of full Conference papers are available here.

General Rules

  1. Research previously published at international meetings is not acceptable.
  2. All presenters must be registered and pay registration fees.
  3. To accommodate as many presenters as possible, the Conference Committee reserves the right to limit each presenter to only one presentation and to decide the most appropriate presentation format for the abstract.
  4. Abstracts must be in English.

Deadline, notification and registration

  • Extended deadline to 30th June 2006: deadline for receipt of abstracts. All abstracts received will be acknowledged by e-mail. Authors will be notified whether or not their abstracts have been accepted by e-mail, by 7th July 2006
  •  8th September 2006: deadline for receipt of final papers (full and WIP)
  • 30th September 2006 : deadline for receipt of final presentations.

Presenting authors must register with full payment once abstract acceptance received.

IMPORTANT: Should presenters require an invitation letter in order to arrange funding please notify the Conference Secretariat and this will be forwarded immediately either by e-mail or fax. 

Conference Committee

The list of the Conference Committee members will be published shortly.

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