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Case Study: How E-qual Electronic Portfolio helped Angus College deliver better assessment practices

Who are they?

Angus College has become one of Scotland’s most highly respected Colleges with an enviable reputation for high quality learning and teaching. They have 10,000 student enrolments across a range of educational and employment opportunities.

How did they find out about E-qual?

The Engineering department of Angus College were introduced to E-qual by the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB). ECITB adopted E-qual Electronic Portfolio as the official e-portfolio for their approved centres. As one of these centres, the college took the decision to use E-qual with their vocational Design and Draughting students.

What was their requirement?

The College has many SVQ Design and Draughting candidates operating in a global workplace including Russia, the Middle East, the Far East, as well as offshore in the North Sea. They had a requirement for their candidates to be able to complete their studies with Angus College at a distance.

How did E-qual Electronic Portfolio help?

During the course candidates produce hundreds, sometimes thousands, of large scale CAD drawings. Within a paper-based portfolio these A0 and A1 drawings were printed out at full size for assessment. This had huge implications in terms of practicality, cost, time and use of resources, and the work can only ever be available in one place at a time. Uploading these drawings as electronic files into E-qual enabled the drawings to be viewed on-screen from any location.

The flexibility of E-qual was demonstrated when one of their candidates moved to Sakhalin Island, off the coast of Japan, to work. A Professional Discussion needed to be carried out between the candidate and their assessor before they left, however this did not take place.

Previously, the assessment team would have to wait months until the candidate returned to Scotland. This delay would render the other evidence that had been gathered out-of-date. The whole qualification would have to be reassessed. However, the discussion was able to take place online using Skype. This recorded conversation was then uploaded into E-qual as valid evidence which could be assessed by the portfolio team.

What was the feedback from their users?

Most of the students are very comfortable using a computer which made it easy for them to quickly feel involved and motivated to complete their portfolio. One of the assessors pointed out “To young people, using a computer is second nature” and commented that “Nobody young uses paper”.

By their own admission, Angus College assessors were initially resistant to the introduction of an e-portfolio. However once they had been introduced to E-qual Electronic Portfolio, learned how to use it and adapted their assessment practices, they haven’t looked back.

The positive response to using E-qual by the candidates and the assessment staff at Angus College together with the increased number of qualifications that have been taken in the application has proven beyond doubt that it has been a successful implementation of e-portfolio technology. From an initial pilot of 15 students they now have Design and Draughting candidates numbering into the 100’s using E-qual exclusively for evidence gathering and competency based assessment.


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