Validation of Competencies in E-Portfolios: A Qualitative Analysis

Olaf Zawacki-Richter, Anke Hanft, Eva Maria Bäcker, International Review of Research in Open, Distance Learning, Feb 08, 2011
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The authors write, "Along with the Bologna process in Europe came the paradigm shift from input orientation (what shall be learned?) to outcome orientation (what should students be able to do?)... While the conversion of course organisation has been almost completed, competence-based assessment can be regarded as an 'unsolved assignment' within the European context." That's not though any lack of effort, and this special issue of IRRODL looks at prior learning, especially with respect to competencies and e-portfolios. This paper defines four classes of competence and describes how they inform e-portfolio development. "The prerequisite for competence-based assessment is that the courses of study are themselves based on recognised competence models, which contribute to making a portfolio not merely a collection of artefacts but a systematic presentation of acquired competencies accessible to an assessment by third parties." Other items from this issue include this short note on the emergence of a community of PLAR scholars in Canada, Judith Brown on how connections between different types of learning can be represented in experiential learning e-portfolios, and a step-by step look at a University PLA by Sara M. Leiste and Kathryn Jensen.
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