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International Conference on Researching and Evaluating PDP and e-Portfolios

Rob Ward
Last modified 12 Sep, 2006
Published 19 Jun, 2006
In partnership with the Higher Education Academy, JISC, EPAC and SURF, the Centre for Recording Achievement is now pulling together an international seminar on the theme of researching and evaluating personal development planning (PDP) and e-portfolios for October 2006

The seminar will be held at The Oxford Belfry, Oxfordshire, UK, on the 9th - 11th October 2006, and it both responds to the identification within the PDP and e-portfolio communities of the key importance of an effective evidence base and provides the start of opportunities for collaboration at international level on key research and evaluation questions.


The implementation of the UK Higher Education Progress File represents a unique teaching and learning project and – as a sector wide initiative aimed at implementing a particular framework for capturing and enhancing student learning - a world ‘first’. When implemented it is intended to provide each student with a Transcript and a means of Personal Development Planning (PDP) by which the student can reflect upon their own learning, performance and/or achievement andplan for their personal, educational, and career development (Quality Assurance Agency 2001). Recent consultation work within the UK has served to confirm the importance of developing an enhanced evidence base to inform the effective implementation of PDP practice through robust evaluation and research.

The development of electronic portfolios, whilst a global and rapidly developing phenomena for which similarly broad claims are made, is also limited in terms of a research-informed evidential base. In addition to the focus upon the personalisation of learning and their value at transition points, such portfolios are increasingly thought of in respect of assessment and accountability agendas, particularly aligned to the impact of assessment on learning, whether directly or indirectly. In both areas 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, intentionality and life-skills;
  • assessment and attainment;
  • self identity;
  • inclusion and
  • presentation for transition.

This key international seminar will bring together leading practitioners and researchers to develop a community of practice that will:

  • Establish a forum for the sharing of evaluated practice amongst e-Portfolio and PDP practitioners.
  • Showcase work being undertaken by the National Coalition for Electronic Portfolio Research.
  • Facilitate discussion and critique of appropriate research and evaluation methods.
  • Help build a more robust evidence-base to underpin the effective implementation and use of e-Portfolios and PDP.
  • Build research capacity by inaugurating a European Coalition for e-portfolio research.

It will be of particular interest to:

  • Educational researchers.
  • e-Portfolio and PDP project leaders.
  • e-Portfolio and PDP practitioners.
  • Educational developers.
  • Teaching fellows.
  • HE learning and teaching managers.

Rob Ward, Director, The Centre for Recording Achievement

More information

More information, call for proposals and booking form


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