My Showcase: the next generation of e-portfolio technologies.
E-portfolios have been in use for a number of years but beyond the narrow remit of education they have not broken into the mainstream of learning and development.
As with SCORM, the standards of e-portfolios are becoming too restrictive because the technology is not portable and not learner centric.
My Showcase changes the landscape of how learners collect, organise and share their learning and achievements, firmly putting them in charge.
Putting the Learner in control
My Showcase is a new generation of platforms designed to Collect, Organise and Share learning achievements in an environment that is managed and controlled by the learner, not the institution or employer.
This change of emphasis to letting the learner manage the access to their learning achievements and records is hugely significant and addresses the perceived failings of e-portfolio, which was always felt to belong to the institution not the individual.
Ease of Use
The ease of using My Showcase is impressive indeed and it is designed to make the recording of activities exceptionally easy. Users can set up automated feeds to ensure activities such as blogging are automatically recorded, and what better way to reflect on your learning than writing a blog?
Widgets are used to allow for other activity feeds to be captured in to My Showcase as well.
It is at the ‘organise’ stage that the real utility of My Showcase comes alive as a dynamic environment that can work for both individuals and teams, which is quite unique.
Individual users can tag activities (and assign the activity to teams for joint assignments or collaborations), but they can also link the activities to competence frameworks.
A strong principle is learner control and this extends to where the learner can choose to store their learning achievements. While My Showcase is available as a storage platform it is not a closed environment and learning activities can be exported to Drop Box or Google Drive.
Activities can be chosen to be “frozen”. For instance, a team project or a piece of assigned learning that has been assessed by a tutor or team peer can be recorded, thereby easily creating those micro-credentials with credibility.
Sharing is made much easier by a range of features that allow users to select “themes” that are available in My Showcase. In effect this allows users to create multiple showcases of their activities, such as CVs and lists of credentials. This is an excellent feature of My Showcase as it makes creating CVs quick and easy for students.
Users of My Showcase can then decide on the access privileges to their showcases, granted to employers, recruiters tutors, team colleagues or alumni programmes.
In addition My Showcase can integrate with Competency Frameworks available through a sister solution developed by My Knowledge Map, and progress reporting is offered as an individual progresses.
Great attention has been paid to design of the interface to ensure the user experience is one of immediate engagement, with a simple clean interface and use of thumbnails to support that engagement.
Increasingly we believe that the next generation of digital badges will come to replace e-portfolios. But while open badges provide excellent compliable records of achievement, a collection of badges is not going to be enough.
My Showcase has in our view hit an interesting and exciting sweet spot in the e-portfolio market. By paying attention to the needs of the learner and handing them control of the e-portfolio, they have transformed the e-portfolio from being outdated and clunky, to an easy to use and practical learning-recording tool.
The addition of clever features such as one-click CV production make this a time-saver for learners who want to be able to collate their learning achievements and then present those achievements in a neat format, and so by renovating the e-portfolio concept and adding intuitive features, My Showcase has successfully resurrected the e-portfolio.
You can view the My Showcase website here.