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Enterprise and e-Portfolio SIG meeting Report

Christina Smart
Last modified 25 Sep, 2006
Published 25 Sep, 2006
A brief report from the Joint meeting of the JISC-CETIS Enterprise and Portfolio Special Interest Groups where the LIPID, SUNIWE and XCRI projects reported on the highs and lows of using web services.

The University of Manchester was the venue for last week’s meeting focussing on the overlap between the Enterprise and e-Portfolios domains. There were reports from the LIPID, SUNIWE and XCRI projects which all fall under the e-learning programme umbrella and teams reported the successes and challenges of using service oriented approaches.

Colin Dalziel gave an overview of the LIPID (Linking Institutional and Personal Learning Domains) project which is a toolkit demonstrator project based at Wolverhampton University [1]. The LIPID project distinguishes two types of learner data: institutional data (e.g. names, course memberships, grades, etc), and personal data (e.g. personal learning information held in ePortfolios). The project has used the Sweet.net toolkit to transfer institutional learner data from the student management system (SITS) to the ePortfolio system (PebblePad), enabling learners to “access institutionally held (and approved) data to their personal learning systems for onward use in online CVs; applicational presentations; and career portfolios.” Colin demonstrated the PebblePad eportfolio system and demonstrated how individuals could control how the information in their e-portfolio could be made available to others as a gateway [2].

An interesting discussion followed Colin’s presentation covering fundamental issues for e-portfolio systems such as how do you ensure that any e-portfolio system is future proofed – technology changes so rapidly yet individuals will want a system that lasts a lifetime. The group discussed the various benefits of the available standards and issues around identity, privacy and authentication.

After lunch Mark Stiles and Sam Rowley talked about the SUNIWE project, a DeL regional pilot based at Staffordshire University [3]. The project is further developing the work of the NIIMLE project, which developed an MLE linking all the universities and FE colleges in Northern Ireland. The SUNIWE project is linking together colleges and universities in the West Midlands and Wales into a single portal, enabling single point access to learner and course data, eResources, VLEs and ePortfolios. Sam Rowley discussed the issues and challenges that the project team had encountered in developing web service applications for the first time. Despite the steep learning curve the team are positive about using web service technology and are about to start a new JISC project (SURF WBL-WAY) which will develop more services in the area of employer engagement. An import outcome of the project has been to “convince the University about service oriented approaches.”

The day rounded off with a presentation by Mark Stubbs of Manchester Metropolitan University about the XCRI (eXchanging Course Related Information) project [4]. The project, one of the reference model projects, has been developing a standardised way of representing and exchanging information about courses. Mark presented a map of the territory that the project has explored in the areas of curriculum management and course advertising. The XCRI specification for courses is now available and is being piloted in several institutions [5]. A smaller version of the spec is available for course advertising. Simon Grant from JISC- CETIS presented his findings from the area of acquired and required competence which led to a wide ranging discussion of how competence and potential could be measured.

A map of the territory covered by the XCRI project

A map of the territory covered by the XCRI project.

Thanks to Vashti Zarach and Helen Richardson for organising a great meeting and to Vashti for the project descriptions used in this article.

References

[1] Colin Dalziel’s Linking Institutional and Personal Learning Domains project presentation.

[2] LIPID project web site.

[3] Mark Stiles and Sam Rowley’s presentation on the SUNIWE project.

[4] Mark Stubbs, Simon Grant and Scott Wilson’s presentation on the XCRI project.

[5] XCRI project web site.

 

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