In mid-June we will be upgrading QMplus Hub, our e-portfolio and group working system. This upgrade will introduce a number of improvements and new features, this article provides information on a few of the highlights.
- Use SmartEvidence to link portfolio evidence to frameworks of competencies
- Easily embed external content
- Use the Mobile app to collect evidence on the go
- Display achievement through Open Badges
The most significant new feature coming in the update is SmartEvidence. This feature allows portfolio users to organise their portfolio pages to demonstrate achievement against competency frameworks. While the notion of evidence is central to e-portfolio systems, up until now this has not been formalised in QMplus Hub. After the upgrade, it will be possible for staff to set up specific competency frameworks which students can then use to structure their e-portfolio pages to demonstrate their progress within that framework. These competency frameworks can be anything from graduate attributes to lab skills. Both staff and students will be able to view their progress through a visual tool called a competency map.
The screen shot above shows an example of a competency map (adapted from the Mahara User Guide)
The glue between portfolio pages and compentencies is the annotation block which is used to allow the student to indicate why specific evidence displayed on a portfolio page addresses a competency. The same annotation block is used by staff to provide feedback to the student and to “sign off” when competencies have been met.
In the screenshot, the important features are:
- A list of portfolio pages which make up a collection
- The list of competencies in the framework associated with the collection, organised into categories
- The competency map. This is where the student uses the annotation block to indicate the link between the evidence on their portfolio pages and competencies. The various icons mean:
- “Ring” – evidence available but not yet assessed
- Yellow half moon – competency partially met
- Green tick – competency met
- Red cross – competency not met
Note that it is also possible to set up competency frameworks which are self-assessed as opposed to requiring staff intervention. You can view a video overview of how SmartEvidence works.
If this sounds like it could be of interest in your domain, get in touch with the E-Learning Unit to discuss setting up your own competency framework on QMplus Hub to use with your own students.
Easier embedding of external content
After the upgrade it will be easier to embed content from external sources into QMplus Hub pages. Using the External Media block on a QMplus Hub page, you will be able to embed content from sources such as Flickr, SlideShare, Vimeo, YouTube, Instagram, SoundCloud, Spotify, Prezi and many many more.
Image: Jason Howie on Flickr
The QMplus Hub mobile app allows easy uploading of content from mobile devices to QMplus Hub making it much easier to collect digital evidence on the go. Android users will be able to upload files of all different types. iOS users will be able to upload videos and images. It will also be possible to compose basic journal posts and upload them either to be published ot as drafts for editing online later. All content can be created while offline and the app will upload when an internet connection is available. This provides a great way for evidence and reflections to be collected out “in the field”.
Due to technical contraints, the mobile app will not be launched in June but will be enabled before the start of the next academic year.
Display Open Badges
Open Badges will be fully supported in the upgraded QMplus Hub. This makes it easy to display credentials gained through the Open Badge system in QMplus Hub portfolio pages. See the Open Badges website for more information.