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Using an E_Portfolio to Support Coaching

A primary aim of the PLC module was to support students through the process of identifying their current strengths and weaknesses in leadership and then to facilitate their plans to address any noticeable short comings. The project team found the use of an e-portfolio (we chose to use PebblePad) invaluable here as it provided a platform in which we could present leadership competences as categorised by the Carnegie Leaders in Learning School. These competences were presented in the form of BARS and the e-portfolio allowed students to provide, store and collate evidence demonstrating their ability to meet each competence at different levels.An example of this is shown below.


The icons at the side of each competence allow students to offer a value range (1 - 5) indicating their belief in their ability for that competence, to add evidence supporting that belief, to see evidence listed against that belief, and to add comments. The traffic lights also reflect the strength of their belief and the final icon is used for validation of their belief and evidence.


Given the expectation that most of the students would be unfamiliar with PebblePad the team provided online information and support on the use of the various elements of PebblePad utilised by the module. Examples of these can be here -reflecting-in-pebblepad.pdfadding-evidence-to-your-profile.pdf creating-a-blog.pdf . There was also an early baselining exercise in which students had the opportunity to review their IT literacy levels against a set of criteria in a style similar to that of the leadership competences, the aim being to ensure that all students had some practice in using the key elements of PebblePad that the module was designed around.


This approach then allowed the students to focus on competences where weak levels of evidence and experience were evident and devise plans to improve these. In terms of the module the formation of these plans were supported by a coaching session and the expected outputs were students' reflections on this process and their learning together with a review of their progress so far. PebblePad provides facilities for students to record plans, reflections and reviews and offers users control over the visibility of this information. There was an expectation that students would share some of this information with other students (as well as the project team) and that this would promote discussion among the students on the module.


Here PebblePad allowed the team to create a highly structured and supportive environment for their learning experience. Through the baselining activity students could determine what further knowledge and experience they needed for their aspirations and hence for them to choose the curriculum necessary to fill this gap.

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