Implementing ePortfolios: From Pilot Project to Full Scale Implementation

Implementing ePortfolios: From Pilot Project to Full Scale Implementation

Igor Balaban (University of Zagreb, Croatia), Blazenka Divjak (University of Zagreb, Croatia), Darko Grabar (University of Zagreb, Croatia) and Bojan Zugec (University of Zagreb, Croatia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0143-7.ch004

Abstract

The E-learning Strategy of the University of Zagreb was adopted in 2007 and covers the period 2007-2010. According to the report of the Centre for E-Learning at the University of Zagreb, 11 of its faculties have announced a plan for conducting other activities defined by the E-learning strategy, among which is ePortfolio. To date, several researches within the Centre for E-Learning have dealt with certain professional aspects of ePortfolio; however, comprehensive research has neither been conducted by the Centre nor any university in Croatia. This chapter presents the most important steps in the process of ePortfolio implementation at the Faculty of Organization and Informatics (FOI).
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E-Learning Strategy On The Faculty

The E-learning Strategy of the University of Zagreb was adopted in 2007 and covers the period 2007-2010. According to the strategy, technology should be used to improve the quality of teaching and learning to ensure the achievement of learning outcomes, with pedagogical needs always kept in mind rather than the application of modern technologies for their own sake. To support realization of planned activities, a new e-learning support center was established at the central university level. The main tasks of this center are: to provide a standard LMS and e-portfolio platform; to provide support to teachers and students through a help desk and training; to promote and encourage the application of information and communication technologies in university education; and to monitor and analyze e-learning implementation at the university. Since faculties are independent entities in Croatia, it was left to the faculty management to decide whether to use resources provided by this center or to base e-learning on their own resources. A few months later, then, the university-wide strategy, an e-learning strategy developed by the Faculty of Organization and Informatics (FOI), was approved. It acknowledged the goals that were given in the university strategy but also refined them to make them operational and introduced a few new goals that were specific to the Faculty mission.

By implementing e-learning, FOI plans to achieve following strategic goals: to enhance quality of educational process and learning outcomes; to prepare students for lifelong learning; to ensure that potential students have better and wider access to education; and to provide exposure to the international market. The Faculty believes a blended (hybrid) learning approach is the most suitable one in teaching and learning. Such an approach is based on the combination of classic teaching methods and those employed in virtual learning and teaching environments. Choice of the form and intensity of e-learning is left to the teachers of the Faculty. Since it is acknowledged that systematic implementation of e-learning contributes to enhancement of teaching and research processes, the business position of FOI, personnel development and lifelong learning and the fact that FOI is mainly a faculty of information sciences, the faculty decided that entire e-learning infrastructure will be based on internal faculty human and technical resources.

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