Wonderful debunking of e-portfolios by @donaldclark

On his blog, Donald Clark has built a strong track record of laying into some cherished ideas and proclaiming that the emperor has no clothes. This post is the perfect antidote to my post here a few months ago http://agilelearning.amplify.com/2011/01/25/the-new-breed-of-tools-for-building-online-portfolios-myshowcase-zesti-others/ I’ve just included the headings of Donald’s seven reasons — click through for full details of his arguments.

E-portfolios – 7 reasons why I don’t want my life in a shoebox

E-portfolios have taken up more conference time and wasted effort than almost any other learning technology topic I can recall. The idea’s been around since the nineties but isn’t it odd that no one seems to have one? Never has so much time been devoted to something with so little real impact. An army of researchers, academics and vendors have been touting the idea that everyone should have a shoebox of ‘stuff’ which they fill up as they go through life as ‘lifelong learners’. Politicians and educators of the ‘control freak variety’ love the idea, but like identity cards, the rest of us seem to be completely indifferent. So why have they not taken off?

1. Uninteroperable

2. Institutionalised

3. Human nature

4. People are not learners

5. Boundary problems

6. Plus ca change

7. Recruitment myth

Lifelong learning in a shoebox? Justifying e-portfolios on the basis of lifelong learning won’t wash. It’s too ambitious. So let’s get real. I can see their use in limited domains, such as courses and apprenticeships, but not in general use, like identity cards.

Read more at donaldclarkplanb.blogspot.com


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