some thoughts and reflections linked to our eAssessment webinar #eass12

eAssessment Scotland webinar

this is my PC which I couldn’t use because of my silly headsets that didn’t want to work…

Yesterday, we, Dr. Chris Smith a former colleague at the University of Salford, Craig Despard, a current student on the PGCAP programme and I shared our social media eportfolio assessment approach at the eAssessment Scotland 12 Conference as part of the online programme.

Further clips about our e-portfolio are available here
It was a real privilige to be involved in such an exciting and innovative conference and we had a rich conversation about using social media to build portfolios with colleagues who asked us loads of interesting and challenging questions that made us think. Which is a great! We had the opportunity to reflect on the finer details of our intervention and identify further opportunities to make it even more effective for future cohorts.

Our webinar was well received and we were 40 participants in total (later we were invited to participate in a RadioEduTalk show in the evening, the recording is available at (our conversation starts 45min into this recording), including us and our conference facilitator. The webinar has been recorded (and I dread the moment when I will watch it…  still feeling very strange when listening to myself and seeing myself and hearing my own voice). I think though that the recording will be a useful resource for our programme and provide some details to future students why we are doing what we are doing and how it is working. We are of course, in constact conversation with our students and have taken their ideas and suggestions on board so far and will continue to do so.

During the webinar we shared some sample e-portfolios and I am including the links here as well for your information.

portfolios from current students on the programme

Craig Despard at

Rebecca Jackson at

Dr. Gemma Lace-Costigan

a complete portfolio from an alumni

Neil Currie (Neil kindly made all his feedback, including summative feedback available to the public. So that you can get a rich flavour of all the feedback and conversations we had throughout the module.

Yes, we are very transparent. Feedback is not locked away. All formative feedback is openly shared and accessible to everybody who has access to the e-portfolio. Actually we never said to anybody that the formative feedback should be private or public. It seemed to be normal that they would keep it public, which is really encouraging for us tutors and of real value for all our students since all students would be able to access tutor and peer feedback provided. So learning through feedback provided to others is also enabled and there is evidence that students do read the feedback tutors and peers provide to their peers. Ok, here is Neil’s e-portfolio

During the webinar questions were asked about

  • why we picked the specific platform
  • privacy
  • how assessment and marking works
  • impact on students’ own practices
  • if the style, organisation and creativity are included in the assessment criteria
  • how feedback works

As soon as the recording is available, it will be added here.

We didn’t really focus very much on the details of our feedback approach but disussed more generally the assessment approach and I am therefore including a link to a clip about the feedback we provide and what I feel is important and why. This can also be found within the list of clips linked to our e-portfolios.

eAssessment Scotland Conference

in full flow, using Cristina’s double screen PC, yeh, the headset worked!!!

Book chapter linked to this work
Smith, C and Nerantzi, C (in print) ePortfolios: Assessment as learning using social media, Waxmann publishers, series ”Gesellschaft for Medien in der Wissenschaft” (Association for Media in Science,

conversations… @pgcap #corejan12

… open our eyes, our minds, our worlds

we can think, un-think and re-think – and take actions too

through sharing stories, experiences, listening and telling

through exchanging, giving, receiving and mixing

we grow as individuals, as a collective

we no longer feel alone

we are no longer alone!

Sheffield Hallam University with PGCAPers

Neil, Udayangani, Frances, Craig and Becci (19 April 12)

A recent visit to Sheffield Hallam University with the above colleagues who are currently studying towards the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice on cohort 3 and 4, enabled us all to share some of our experiences using social media eporfolios with colleagues at Sheffield Hallam.

The conversations were rich and I gained a deeper insight into how our portfolios are working at the moment for our students and which aspects of the approach need to be refined further. It does help a lot when people ask you questions! Socrates knew that the right questions are super powerful thinking tools!

As a result of this visit and what we discussed there, I decided for example to introduce feedback buddies for our current cohort (I mentioned it briefly during the conversation there that I could do this with the next cohort! But then thought: WHY wait?) which will make peer feedback more manageable, I hope. I had seen that over the past weeks only a few students were commenting on each other’s portfolios. I am sure that many were visiting and reading posts by others, however, without commenting. I had sent reminders to the cohort which made already active peers even more active. There was only very limited increase in peer feedback engagement by the ones who hadn’t done it on a regular basis or only in a very limited capacity. This was problematic and I was unsure how to deal with it.

Now, the submission date is coming closer. We have about a month, so there is still time for this to happen! The in-module assessment, which is the reflective journal captured in the portfolio is tutor and peer assessed. We can’t just say, oh, well students didn’t provide feedback to their peers! It doesn’t matter. No, It has to happen!

Many students have now made good progress with their own portfolios and would benefit from accessing and engaging in the work done by some of their peers, but also commenting and providing feedback to enable ongoing learning conversations to emerge that will not only help their peer but also help them refine their own learning on this module and finalise their portfolio in preparation for submission.

Everybody has a feedback buddy now! Find yours!

Everybody has a feedback buddy now! Find yours!

I am looking forward to some lively peer feedback conversations over the next few weeks;)