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Events Newsflash June 2009

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Launch of ePortfolio Challenges - Last news about the Learning Forum London: ePortfolio 2009, Key Competencies, Skills for life, Learning Networks and Communities. - New conference: MISC, November 2009, call open.


 Events Newsflash June 2009

ePortfolio 2009 — Learning Forum London

ePortfolio 2009 — Learning Forum London

ePortfolio Challenges!

Learning Forum London Update

New conference: MISC 2009

Workshop: Make content standards work for you, Nice 29 September 2009

Partner Events

The International Conference on the potential of ePortfolios in Higher Education, July 2, Vienna, Austria.

The World of Learning Conference & Exhibition, September 30 & October 1, Birmingham, UK.


ePortfolio Challenges










ePortfolio Challenges

  1. Universal ePortfolio Repository —a unified view of all my assets
  2. Universal Competency Identifiers —share competency definitions across systems
  3. ePortfolio social —share assets, knowledge and processes across communities
  4. ePortfolio semantic editor —make sense of what I write, connect, etc.
  5. ePortfolio readers — adapt ePortfolio views to readers
  6. Open & Trusted Service Architecture —choose the services to exploit/value my assets
  7. ePortfolio based performance support system —make the ePortfolio part of my work
  8. ePortfolio discovery mechanism —find people, competencies, resource
  9. Add your own challenge!

For the 7  ePortfolio conference, and in order to give directions to our work towards our 2010 goal (ePortfolio for all), EIfEL has decided to address a number of challenges to the ePortfolio community and beyond —many of the problems the ePortfolio community faces today will not be resolved if they are not addressed beyond the ePortfolio silo. The goal of these challenges is to move beyond the current state of ePortfolio development, in particular in the field of interoperability as interoperability is not just a technical issue, but a means to enable new practices and the emergence of truly lifelong and life wide ePortfolios.

Our main objective is to create the conditions for the emergence of MultiPortfolio organisations (one organisation can interact with many different ePortfolio platforms) and MultiOrganisation ePortfolios (have one ePortfolio to interact with many different institutions using their own platform).

In the next part of the text, we have identified a number of potential directions for future work.

1.    Universal ePortfolio Repository  —a unified view of all my assets

Context: Today, the digital assets used to create an ePortfolio can be hosted in many different systems managed by many different organisations.

Issue: How can we provide a unified view of all the assets belonging to one person, so she/he can seamlessly create ePortfolios without having to navigate through multiple sites? How can I reunite my digital identity?

Direction: Identity and access management (IAM) technologies, such as federation of identities and services need to be fully explored by the ePortfolio community.

NB: a universal repository is not equivalent to a unique repository; it can be universal while being distributed over a number of loosely connected and heterogeneous systems.

2.    Universal Competency Identifiers —share competency definitions across systems

Context: A number of ePortfolio platforms, and other applications in the field of education, employment, accreditation and human resource use competency frameworks. Today, the dominant delivery format of competency frameworks is a PDF file, forcing each system to import or recreate them from scratch.

Issue: How can we share competency definitions across systems and applications? How can we elicit emerging competencies through interactive technologies?

Direction: The creation of a competency wiki providing shared, distributed, multilingual URIs (Unique Resource Identifiers) to competency definitions. The solution to unique resource identifiers for competency definition has already been discussed by Simon Grant (Representing frameworks of skill and competence for interoperability). We have the technology required, what is missing is the political impetus and commitment.

3.    ePortfolio social —share assets, knowledge and processes across communities

Context: The idea of using social computing for ePortfolios is growing and a number of platforms have integrated such features. Nevertheless, the current implementation of social networking technology is mainly limited to connecting individuals as silos of information.

Issue: Let’s imagine a group of 100 people belonging to the same community (company, school, etc.) among which 10 are writing their own CV. Can we design a technology that will make it possible that at the end of the process, each of the 100 people will have (part of) their own CV written? How can we automatically generate and updated ePortfolios and CVs through social interaction?

Direction: Imagine that each time a person writes an elementary entry into their CV describing a professional experience, they have to name the people that shared the same experience; then for each person named, the entry is added to their ‘CV’,   with the ability to edit it and share it back with the original author or create their own edited version of the entry. This way, each CV would be thread weaving a collective story. For the reader, being able to judge how an individual CV is connected to other stories could even be an indicator of trustworthiness. The same reasoning could of course apply to ePortfolios.

4.    ePortfolio semantic editors —make sense of what I write, connect, etc.

Context: In 2003, during the first international ePortfolio conference in Poitiers, Christopher Tan presented Knowledge Community, a platform scaffolding learners reflection through semantic annotation, i.e. identifying key words and labelling them with semantic value, e.g. evidence, theory, example, etc. Since then, not a single editor of ePortfolio tools has included any form of semantic annotation.

Issue: We need ePortfolio editors that scaffold reflective thinking, not just enrich text with bolds, italics and ‘pink on purple’ effects. We need proper, simple semantic editors, as semantic annotation is a way to structure reflection, connect ideas, facts and people.

Direction: RDFa editors provide the blueprint for ePortfolio editors that fully support the components of a reflective process.

5.    ePortfolio Readers —read any ePortfolio through consistent and multiple views

Context: There are a number of ePortfolio platforms, each one with their own user interfaces and some people create ePortfolios without using any dedicated ePortfolio platform (e.g. content management system). And people want to be free to express their identity without being kept in the straightjacket of predefined templates.

Issue: How can we leave total freedom to ePortfolio authors' creativity, while providing readers with their own view through a consistent navigational interface, e.g. evidence on the left, competency framework on the right,  etc.?

Direction: We might have to define different readers, depending on the process being involved, so the same ePortfolio could have different views generated by different tools. Such tools could be used by ePortfolio authors as tools to verify that their ePortfolio is properly structured and contains all the relevant semantic information.

6.    Open & Trusted Service Architecture

Context: Today each ePortfolio platform provides a limited number of services and adding new services require the development of idiosyncratic plug-ins, when this possibility is offered.

Issue: How can we provide ePortfolio owners with an unlimited number of services without forcing service providers to develop multiple plug-ins for multiple applications? How can we trust the usage made by services of our personal data?

Direction: This is connected to the idea of Universal Repository, exploited and enriched by service providers. Schools, universities, employers, professional bodies etc. need to provide conversational systems through trusted web services —a technology currently under development by different initiatives, such as TAS3 European Project (Trusted Architecture for Securely Shared Services).

7.    ePortfolio based performance support system —make the ePortfolio part of my work

Context: One of the current problems with ePortfolio adoption at the workplace is the fact that ePortfolios can be seen as something either nice to have or adding to the regular work. Moreover, the current level of integration of ePortfolios with other information systems is still low.

Issue: How can we make ePortfolio construction part of everyday activities? How can we demonstrate ePortfolio benefits through business benefits?

Direction: Use ePortfolio technology and methods to develop next generation electronic performance support systems, integrate reflection as part of routine work processes, so the ePortfolio is built through naturally occurring business activities.

8.    ePortfolio discovery mechanism —find people, competencies, resources

Context: While there are a number of methods for learning resources discovery (c.f. the learning resources exchange (LRE) repository of European Schoolnet) there are not yet universal mechanism to discover ePortfolios on the Internet, each individual relying on ad-hoc services.

Issue: How can we easily find an ePortfolio or a resource contained in an ePortfolio?

Direction: OAI-PMH (Open Archives Initiative's Protocol for Metadata Harvesting) is a possible method to create large indexes of ePortfolios per organisation, sector or even territory. Other methods could be the publication of ePortfolios in trusted parties' indexes.

9.    Add your own challenge!

You are invited to submit your own challenge to the ePortfolio community during Learning Forum London


ePortfolio 2009 - Learning Forum London


Conference programme

The programme of the conference is now finalised and we are pleased to report that we now have participants from 21 countries, from Australia to Canada. Bring your colleagues to join us in this unique event to discuss the hottest topics in the field of education, lifelong learning and employment.


ePortfolio Plugfest on Monday 22nd June

In the morning, meeting of JISC/CETIS that will showcase interoperability based on Leap2a specifications.
In the afternoon, presentations of other relevant interoperability works with discussion around the ePortfolio Challenges.



Learning Forum London Sponsors

 Sponsor and Exhibitor News




Giunti Labs S.r.l





Institute for Learning
My Knowledge Map
Giunti Labs S.r.l
Centre for International ePortfolio Development
JISC infoNet
Learning and Skills Improvement Service



MISC 2009 —November, City University, London


Next November (dates to be published soon) EIfEL is organising the first  International conference on 
Mobility, Individualisation, Socialisation and

We are witnessing the transformation of a world where individuals are taking an increasing responsibility for their own learning, work, employability, healthcare and life. This transformation is reflected in the shifting of the centre of gravity of information systems, from organisations to individuals, i.e. the emergence of personal devices and services through which people are empowered to take greater control over their own life, the way they interact, learn, work and do business together. The growth of social networking, mobile technology, digital identity, trust technologies and the place of prosumers (consumers as producers, i.e. learners as producers of knowledge, not just consumers) are some of the indicators of this transformation.

In the field of learning, the emergence of ePortfolios as personal learning management systems, the recognition of learners as knowledge producers through their contribution of user generated contents is transforming the relationship between learners and educational institutions and publishers of learning resources. In the field of employment, portfolio career require more personalised and permanent connection to career advice and guidance as well mandatory continuing professional development (CPD) supported and recognised by communities of practice. New forms of informal recognition of competencies are emerging as complement or alternative to existing formal recognition processes such as Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL). In business, the dawn of vendor relationship management systems (VRM) is transforming the relationship between good and service providers with consumers. Finally, in healthcare, personal health records (PHR) that are owned by individuals, not an insurance company nor a doctor, are also transforming the relationship between patients and doctors as well as among the different actors of the healthcare system.

The conference themes are:

  1. Personal vs. community learning spaces
  2. Individual vs. organisational learning and knowledge management
  3. User generated contents vs user generated contexts
  4. Individual vs. collective recognition of competencies
  5. Individual vs. collective identity construction
  6. Personal Health Records vs Medical records
  7. Vendor Relationship Management Systems vs Customer Relationship Management System
  8. Person vs organisation centric architectures
  9. Mobile devices and social networks

Join us at MISC 2009!

Over the course of two days we will have the opportunity to explore how technology is making learning, knowledge, work, employment, business and healthcare more mobile, personal and social.

The call for contribution is published:


  • 20 September 2009 – submissions of abstracts for presentation.
  • 10 October 2009 – Notification of acceptance to authors (30 April for extended deadline)
  • 30 October 2009 – Author registration deadline—to be included in the programme
  • 10 November 2009 – Deadline for receipt of revised abstracts and papers.

Make content standards work for you!













This workshop is organised by the ASPECT partnership during the EC-TEL conference, Nice 28-Septembre-1 October.

Objectives of the workshop:
  • Understand how existing and emerging standards and specifications can best be applied to content aimed at schools
  • Learn and test how your own content complies with a range of standards
  • Discover how standards can be combined in order to improve content interoperability
Public: publishers of learning resources and learning management systems, managers of learning infrastructures and learning resource repositories, authors, researchers

* Introduction:

The LRE as a state of the art infrastructure, its limitations and how ASPECT will provide the framework to overcome these limitations by advancing the state of the art

* Session 1: Interoperable Content
- IMS Common Cartridge
- Quality control and validation

* Session 2: Metadata
- LRE Metadata Application Profile v4.0
- Controlled Vocabularies Management
- LRE Thesaurus
- Vocabulary Bank for Education
- Metadata Translation
- Metadata Binding and Validation
- Profiling: Profile Conformance and Application Profile Registry
- Learning Object Identity

* Session 3: Content discovery and exchange
- Content discovery and exchange architecture
- Harvesting
- Publishing and the Simple Publishing Interface
- Searching
- Learning Object Repository Registries
- Access Control

This workshop is organised by the partners of the ASPECT project


Partner Events

The International Conference on the Potential of ePortfolios in Higher Education, July 2, Vienna, Austria

July 2nd, 2009, the University of Economics and Business, Vienna, Austria welcomes the International Conference on the Potential of ePortfolios in Higher Education. Its focus is on strategies for E-Portfolio implementations at Universities and its implications for Lifelong Learning.

On occasion of the results of two national research projects on E-Portfolio implementations at Universities funded by the Austrian Ministry of Science and Research, the conference puts the following issues into the center of discussion:

- implementation models and case studies;

- international experiences;

- data security and protection;

- the acknowledgement of prior learning;

- didactic implications and;

- interoperability of software systems.
The conference is directed towards decision and policy makers at university and governmental levels, academic teachers, trainers and tutors as well as the scientific community.

World of learning

The World of Learning Conference & Exhibition, September 30 & October 1, Birmingham, UK

Visit the World of Learning Conference & Exhibition
30 September & 1 October 2009, NEC Birmingham

The UK’s premier event for learning & development

The World of Learning Conference is an essential two-day event for all L&D professionals. You will come away with genuine and inspiring solutions for your day-to-day and long-term business learning objectives.

The conference programme features high profile learning experts and case studies, including Rolls-Royce, Sony Electronics Europe and the BBC. Plus every two-day delegate will receive a FREE Toshiba portable DVD player.*

Book by 29 June and SAVE up to 40% on your delegate place - visit or call +44 (0)20 8394 5171 for more information or to book.*

*Terms & conditions apply. See website for details.


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