An e-portfolio for lifelong learning, interview with Marloes Smit
Marloes Smit is working as an educational consultant at Libereaux in the Netherlands. Libereaux wants to empower people to take the next step in their career. Marloes supports higher vocational institutions with the flexibilization of their education and implements VPL at these institutions. Marloes is involved in the design, development and implementation of the e-portfolio system DITKANIK.NU (I Can Do This. Now). She analyses the needs of the users (both the candidates and the staff of organisations) and translates this into a substantive design. With the help of an it-developer, this design leads to the actual system.
The e-portfolio system is used during VPL-procedures but can also be used after the VPL-procedure in the context of Lifelong Learning. The measurements are depending on the goals of the clients. The e-portfolio has been developed over time and improvements have been made.
EPALE asked Marloes a couple of questions regarding the e-portfolio. Marloes told us that the name “I CAN DO THIS NOW” aims to state that it is your system and your portfolio. Users are responsible for their own career. According to Marloes 85% of employees doesn’t feel the urge to develop. They feel comfortable in their positions, but in the future the job market will change. This means that the employers need to develop their skills. You cannot push users to do this, it must come from the users themselves.
What is the benefit of e-portfolio vs. a paper portfolio?
We are living in a digital world. Instead of printing everything and keep track of all the papers the e-portfolio collects the information digitally. In the portfolio the users can add their milestones. When doing this digital you can also create a good structure. It is easier to do this online and it is easy to share the portfolio with others.
What is the difference with the e-portfolio compared to a service like LinkedIn?
In the e-portfolio you can put a complete overview compared to LinkedIn where users only share the absolute best of themselves. The e-portfolio includes more information. You can for example attach resumes and diplomas. You can also attach different working documents like emails and evidence of you work. You can even put movies in the e-portfolio. If you want to share the e-portfolio: you can change the content depending on the receiver.
How do the employers find you?
Libereaux is a commercial organisation. The founder has a big network which is used. Libereaux also informs organisations about how the job market will change in the future and what the employers need to adapt to the future. Libereaux is one of the biggest VPL providers in the Netherlands so it is well known.
Does using the e-portfolio require high technical skills?
No, but if you have below level 3 in EQF (European Qualification Framework) you will possibly need more counselling which is offered. If there is a homogenous group of users with similar skills, they can gather and fill the e-portfolio together.
Is this tool freely available for all to use?
At the moment it is only available for organisations, but it will be developed for individuals. There is a fee for using the e-portfolio.