Thursday, August 27, 2009

Save the Date: Seminar on Researching and Evaluating Personal Development Planning and e-Portfolio

The Centre for Recording Achievement, An Associate Partner of the Higher Education Academy (UK)

in association with:
The Inter/National Coalition for Electronic Portfolio Research
The National Action Research Network (NARN)
The Scottish PDP Forum

The third international residential seminar

‘Researching and Evaluating Personal Development Planning and e-Portfolio.’
Nottingham[1], UK, 26-8th April 2010

The Context:
In the UK the implementation of Personal Development Planning (PDP)[2], reinforced in the revised QAA Guidelines (2009), represents a unique teaching and learning project and a ‘world first’; the introduction of a particular means of supporting student learning by cross-sectoral agreement. Many UK Higher Education Institutions have chosen to support PDP through an e-Portfolio system.

This approach is highly congruent with other initiatives across the world; rapid development in the use of e-Portfolios in global Higher Education has given rise to exploration of how such tools work to support learning and progression.

Consultation work has served to confirm the importance of developing an enhanced evidence base, through robust evaluation and research, to inform the effective implementation of PDP and e-Portfolio practice. For both we need greater attention to more systematic evaluation material that enables decisions to be made about the contribution of such approaches to:
  • student learning (and particularly to moves to support more personalised learning);
  • student autonomy, self-efficacy, self identity, intentionality and life-skills;
  • employability;
  • attainment;
  • inclusion
  • support for off-campus/work-based learners, and
  • self presentation for transition.
Following on from the successful second international seminar held in Oxford in 2006, this event will bring together leading practitioners and researchers to further develop a community of practice that will:
  • share critically evaluated practice amongst e-Portfolio and PDP practitioners
  • Showcase work undertaken by the National Action Research Network for PDP and e-Portfolio and the Inter/National Coalition for Electronic Portfolio Research
  • Build research capacity by supporting emergent research and researchers
  • Encourage a critique of current research, monitoring and evaluation practices
  • Facilitate further discussion of appropriate research and evaluation methods
  • Contribute a robust evidence-base to underpin the effective implementation and use of e-Portfolios and PDP
The event is purposefully intended to be of interest to:
  • educational researchers
  • e-Portfolio and PDP project leaders and practitioners
  • e-Portfolio and PDP practitioner-researchers
  • educational developers
  • teaching fellows
  • HE learning and teaching managers
It will be intentionally inclusive, in that submissions and participation are invited from established and emergent researchers. Studies employing various methodologies are welcome, from case studies of individual students and cohorts of staff to larger, cross-institutional studies linked to retention and graduation data.

A call for contributions can shortly be issues. Proposals can take the following forms:
  1. Trigger Papers – these half hour sessions will briefly synthesis current research, raise a key research and evaluation question, propose a novel research methodology or present research in progress for discussion.
  2. Research reports – these half hour sessions will report [20 mins report plus questions] on completed PDP and e-Portfolio research and evaluation projects addressing one or a number of the themes listed above. Where possible we will seek to combine such reports into longer symposia.
  3. Keynote contributions – synthesising and overarching plenary elements.

[1] A modern conference facility easily accessible by train, car and air.. See
[2] Defined as ‘a means by which students can monitor, build and reflect upon their personal, academic and career development’ (Quality Assurance Agency 2009).

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