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The Open University launches MyKnowledgeMap’s ePortfolio

My Knowledge Map news article

MyKnowledgeMap is proud to provide its ePortfolio solution to The Open University (OU); the UK’s largest university.

On 23rd April 1969, Queen Elizabeth II approved the creation of the Royal Charter of the OU. It has since taught more than 2.3 million students from 157 countries. Currently it has over 208,000 students, making it the largest university in the United Kingdom by number of students. The flexible learning provider boasts accessible undergraduate and postgraduate courses and qualifications, with more than 36,000 OU students declaring a disability.

The broad range of courses range from Arts and Humanities to Statistics, certificates, and diplomas to degrees. Over the last five years, the OU has developed a range of higher and degree apprenticeships that are taught across England, with an applied software engineering degree apprenticeship available in Wales. 

To support its students, the OU sought a digital solution that would provide all students studying for an apprenticeship or nursing qualification with an ePortfolio, allowing learners to collect and store evidence of their learning.

Along with other providers from around the world, MyKnowledgeMap submitted a tender for an ePortfolio solution. MyKnowledgeMap is proud to have won the tender, and the ePortfolio solution has now been rolled out at the OU.

The OU ePortfolio uses MyKnowledgeMap’s MyProgress and Myshowcase solutions, and uses features codeveloped with the OU, including:

  • Different access and views depending on the user’s role; an apprentice can monitor their own progress and the OU’s Practice Tutors can monitor their group’s (or an individual’s) progress.
  • Each apprentice’s ePortfolio is structured to reflect the standard or framework they are on. Apprentices record reflections and evidence appropriate to their standard to show their progress towards their end point assessment.
  • Evidence of learning is collected throughout the course and stored to provide demonstratable competencies using a mixture of structured and rich content. 
  • A Training Plan records each apprentice’s agreed study needs and goals.
  • Evidence uploaded is linked to the Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours (KSBs) associated with the relevant Apprenticeship Standard or Framework.
  • Customised dashboard and homepages are used within the portfolio to support the differing needs and focuses of the different faculties and programmes using the ePortfolio.
  • Apprentices, Practice Tutors and Apprenticeship Managers at the OU can easily enter, visualise and track Off-the-job for compliance with funding rules and to support apprentices.
  • The portfolio allows each apprentice’s off--the-job, Training Plan, Progress Reviews, KSB Evidence and Functional Skills in one place enabling effective tripartite discussion.

The OU valued the modern user experience provided by MyShowcase and MyProgress, as it wanted to provide an excellent experience to apprentices when completing tasks. The user experience follows the kind of interactions common in popular user interfaces helping to ease the training and onboarding process for new users. During the adoption process MyKnowledgeMap worked closely with experts at the OU to further refine this experience to align in with the University’s approach to learning and teaching. The system structure and modern interface were felt to offer a step change in the OU’s apprentice and employer experience.

The established use of MyProgess within the delivery of nursing degrees was of significant benefit to the OU. The University has a significant number of nurses across the UK requiring the University to interact with employers and regulators in a wide range of contexts. The established expertise of MyKnowledgeMap helped the OU develop its processes to meet challenging and changing needs in this critical sector.

Practice Tutor’s Progress Review overview

Image of the Practice Tutor’s Progress Review overview page

A Practice Tutor can view the progress and performance of an individual or an entire cohort. In this screenshot, the Practice Tutor can see the record of progress reviews completed in an academic year.

Image of the Practice Tutor’s Progress Review overview page

In this screenshot, the Practice Tutor can see the nursing learners in a specified cohort, how many hours in placement they have completed, and at what point in their placement the learners are at. Progress through assessments can also be seen.

Image of the My Knowledge Map progress page

The summary view shows Practice Tutors the number of apprentices who are deemed ‘exceeding’, ‘on track’, ‘at risk’, and ‘off track’ in the recording of their off-the-job training hours. These overviews give Practice Tutors the ability to keep an eye on apprentices' engagement and to intervene with support in a timely manner if, and when needed.

Image of the My Knowledge Map summary page

Progress Views enable Practice Tutors to quickly see what evidence apprentices have recorded, enabling them to give timely feedback about their progress and plan next steps.

MyKnowledgeMap provided significant flexibility in its products to meet the different needs across the OU. Working together we were able to deliver a range of tailored solutions that integrated in to established and new areas of delivery. During the period of employment apprenticeship regulations changed and we worked together to overcome the challenges that emerged. Significant focus was placed on how to support and retain learners by enhancing their interaction with university staff. This means being able to deliver the right information to the right people at the right time.

Teaching staff across the OU have taken a keen interest in what MyKnowledgeMap has to offer. They have said that the ePortfolio offers learners an opportunity to integrate learning across their modules within a qualification. the OU.

Dr Chris Thomson
MyKnowledgeMap Academic Lead, The Open University

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