CALI, day 3: Stopping to think: reflections on the use of e-portfolios in legal education, Barton & McKellar

by Paul Maharg on 21/06/2008

Karen and Patricia presented on their work in e-portfolios at the professional end of legal education in Scotland, putting the whole approach into a professional educational framework outlined by Lee Shulman and others. Slides here. They described how e-portfolios can be used for summative assessment or formative learning purposes.

They noted that in Scotland the recent consultation encouraged the use of e-portfolios. They described the UKCLE project on e-portfolios, and then focused on the GGSL project in particular. We used PebblePad, and Karen set out in detail how the students were asked to interact with the software, using critical incident analysis amongst other techniques. They then presented some features of the feedback from focus groups on what worked and what wouldn’t work. This is worth looking at in the slides — lots of it, and quite perceptive on how e-portfolios can be used as professional development tools.

They noted that while with care and planning e-portfolios can succeed, it will be more difficult to engage the profession. This is a key point, and really lies in the hands of the profession and its regulatory bodies. It raises the more general point that innovative educational design, precisely because it is often disruptive of the signature pedagogy, is a more political action than traditional designs.

Good session. Interesting question regarding the use of e-portfolios for continuing professional development, and the general situation in Scotland, and possible use of e-ports for specialty accreditation was outlined.

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