An exciting month

March will be an exciting month for us with the planned training/dissemination in Portugal, Setúbal, were we will be able to share students perspectives and experiences regarding ePortfolio amongst different partners.

The UCLL-pilot is the educational program ‘Biomedical laboratory  technology’ which is located at two different campuses (Leuven-Diepenbeek) due to a recent merger. At the moment we are working on a common curriculum for both campuses which takes into account the recent and future evolutions in the working field and tackles some existing problems. A lot of ideas concerning ePortfolio are circulating. We want to use ePortfolio to solve some of the existing obstacles like visualization of generic competences and optimalisation of internship assessment. During the project contacts with project partners make those ideas change, extend,…

At this stage we don’t use an ePortfolio yet and that’s why the questioning of  our students might  have a slightly different outcome compared to the other partners. For us –and hopefully also for you- it was very interesting to ask our  senior year students whether they think an ePortfolio would be useful during their internship, for example to communicate between different stakeholders.  Besides that, the questionnaire also focused on more general aspects like students motivation to work with ePortfolio and the supports they need. For us, the results of the questionnaire reflect students ideas and perspectives on ePortfolio. Due to the fact that students are the educational clients of our curriculum, these ideas and expectations will be taken into account while  implementing ePortfolio into the new curriculum.

Besides our meeting in Setúbal we will have a lot of international contacts at our campus in Leuven this month, since we are organizing an international week. This annual event was organized for the first time in 2008

The objectives of this week are:

  • make an offer to students who do not participate in international exchanges to develop their international competences;
  • pooling visits of international partners and offer them an interesting, inspiring and vibrant week;
  • strengthening our partnernetwork (national and international);
  • initiate international education and/or research projects.

Over the years this event has grown bigger and bigger. At this moment we welcome over 50 national and international partners and ± 60 incoming international students.

We are looking forward to meet all our international partners this month!

Ellen – Karolien UC Leuven


Improve your digital competences

February, still the beginning of a new year with all its opportunities ahead. While we made our plans about our professional and personal goals, reports are published: what can, could or should the new year bring? For instance the NMC Horizon Report that describes annual findings from the NMC Horizon Project. It is “an ongoing research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in education”. It states out six different significant challenges in the context of higher education.

Within our EEP-project we align our work to these challenges. One of them is to improve digital literacy.

You cannot educate and make students ready for the world out there without learning them relevant digital skills. You cannot just drop them in front of a computer and expect that they will be competent enough to reach whatever learning goal you had in mind (the same is true for teachers, of course). Students not always seem to be sure about how to use available tools to optimalise learning (Ellis et al.,2005).

What does it mean, digital literacy? It is true that most of our students go online every day. But being digitally competent is more than just knowing how to use a computer. “Digital literacy transcends gaining isolated technological skills to generate a deeper understanding of the digital environment, enabling intuitive adaptation to new contexts and co-creation of content with others. Becoming a digital literate is about developing skills to select the right tools for a particular context to deepen learning outcomes and engage in creative problem-solving.” The correct use of available digital tools by students cannot be taken for granted (Lust et al.,2011).

Using a portfolio as an online tool that gives ownership to the student, makes him responsible for his own learning process towards digital competency. It is the role of the teacher to guide students to use it and to give the tools and support they need to make it their own. At the KU Leuven we not only use portfolio as showcaseportfolio but also to visualize non-formal and/or prior learning. Students engage in using portfolio as a tool for guiding them through their learning process within curricular programs as well as extra-curricular activities. With our vision on education that education is about creating your own ‘future self’, personal development and academic development go hand in hand alongside our social responsabilities. Often the portfolio is chosen to be the best digital tool to demonstrate the students’ learning process, skills and competences.

In this phase of the project we focus on what students need to engage in using a portfolio, to use it as a learning tool and to ask them about the competences they think they will develop by using a portfolio.  Want to know all about it? Read it in our next blog!

Want to know more about the NMC Horizon Report? An eight minute video will guide you through the main areas.


Ilse Op de Beeck and Karen Van Eylen, Educational Development Unit – KU Leuven


Ellis, R. A., Marcus, G., & Taylor, R. (2005). Learning through inquiry: student difficulties with online course‐based Material. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning21(4), 239-252.

Lust, G., Vandewaetere, M., Ceulemans, E., Elen, J., & Clarebout, G. (2011). Tool-use in a blended undergraduate course: In Search of user profiles. Computers & Education57(3), 2135-2144.


Happy and Empowering New Year wishes to everyone in 2017!

Happy and Empowering New Year wishes to everyone in 2017!

It’s the beginning of an exciting year in VIA and with our work in the EEP-project.

Here in VIA our university college is already sizzling with students of all ages preparing for their exams here in January, but also of course discussing how New Year’s Eve was spent, which menu and which bubbly drinks were served :-).

And we as teachers and researchers are preparing for the next semester and our EEP pilot project.

Our pilot project will have a focus on adult students in continuing education, who have been admitted to their respective diploma programmes through a validation of prior learning (VPL).

Teachers in our diploma programmes are usually not informed about which students are admitted through VPL, because after their admittance they are considered equally with the same status as other students. But sometimes these students do experience some difficulties in their studies, maybe with reading academic texts or with writing academically, and sometimes also with relating their former praxis to the present teaching.

So by being a part of EEP, we can now try to do something EMPOWERING for these students with this immense potential :-).

A central part of the admittance process on validating prior learning is through a digital portfolio, (in english My Competence Portfolio), where the aspiring student gathers information on different competences which is then being evaluated by the accepting education institution.

There is a lot of work put in by the applying student gathering all this information on her competences – but this portfolio is never used in a teaching or career guidance setting after admittance, even though this could be relevant as a means of reflection.

We see a lot of potential in using this digital portfolio in a reflection process for students engaged in new studies that challenge them on a personal level. Entering an education programme as an adult and maybe with a different background from other students can challenge your views on yourself, your integrity and your career perspectives – “Who am I, and where am I going?”

In our pilot project we therefore want to gather together students admitted through VPL and use their individual digital portfolios for different kinds of reflection activities relating to their present studies and to their personal career perspectives. The output will hopefully be good practices that can be incorporated in an empowering “E-portfolio-praxis”.

Right now two things are happening:

  • We are drafting and developing the concrete design for the pilot project with the focus on empowering a group of students with a great potential, but who sometimes experience difficulties with their studies
  • We have started a collaboration with the career guidance practitioners and the professionals who know the students or who has knowledge of students admitted through VPL at VIA, so we can start selecting a group of participants in the project.

The career guidance practitioners here at VIA are very excited about helping us out in the EEP- project, and particularly our local pilot project since, as they say, ‘it hits the nerve’ of what is often discussed in their professional circles as an issue where ‘more could be done’ to support the VPL students.

So we feel just as sizzling as our students right now coming back from holidays, with the anticipation of much to be done in the new year, but also an anticipation of being part of an empowering process and collaboration ourselves.

Once again, a Happy New Year to all of you!


Bo and Miriam,

VIA University College in Denmark


How to use EEP WordPress?


Our web pages are up and running. Let me clarify the idea of the web pages for new readers:

The project partners will keep a blog. This means that followers will have an article to read concerning eportfolio process from different points of view. You may follow the blog by writing to your email address in ”Follow blog via email”.


Under page ”Events” you will find already the results of the first event. There is the first page: 1 Current best practices in engaging ePortfolio process. You will find partners conclusions of their own country practices at the moment. There is already all of our events mentioned and you may follow up coming information during the project. In page ”Meetings” you will find materials related to our project meetings. At the moment it’s possible to read materials of our kick off meeting in Finland.

All of our partners’ contact information will be found in page ”Partners”. How ever page ”For Partners” is our works space that is not public. Nor is our Facebook group that is meant for our internal work flow. Glossary will be published later. It is important to agree meanings of terms.

I hope you will enjoy this journey with us in Empowering ePortfolio Process!



Welcome to develop Empowering ePortfolio Processes!

Welcome everyone to this website which we hope will help you to develop empowering ePortfolio processes!

Every word in our project name is equally important – Empowering means that we need to inspire and engage all the parties in the process, Eportfolio refers to the use of digital tools and environments in a meaningful way and Process refers to the dynamic approach to guidance and competence assessment. I think we cannot yet imagine all the outcomes we can achieve. We have a lot of expertise and inspiration in this group of partners – so let us be open, creative and collaborative. We are really looking forward to our forthcoming work together!

Irma, project manager