From Dublin to Ho Chi Minh City…

Our NIDL team is delighted to be involved in the “Empowering Vietnamese VET Teachers for Transformation towards Education 4.0” (EMVITET) project. This is an Erasmus+ project, led by HAMK University in Finland, with the Teaching Enhancement Unit at Dublin City University (DCU) and Leuven University partnering to provide project technology and pedagogy solutions for six Vietnamese higher education and vocational institutions.

20190227_081214.jpgEMVITET aims to create new learning ecosystems for Education 4.0 in Vietnam, based on student-centered learning, competence-based education, collaboration/networking in digital environments, and sharing knowledge through a community of practice. Participants of this project will be able to:

  • Effectively use technology to enhance and transform teaching and learning practices
  • Design and implement competence-based and student-centred learning
  • Engage with communities within education and industry to create connections and support collaboration

20190226_181755.jpgThe project commenced in January 2019 and the visit to Vietnam in February was the first opportunity for the European and Vietnamese partners to meet. Dr Mark Glynn and Lisa Donaldson travelled to Vietnam for the three day kickoff meeting. It was truly a collaborative experience with all partners contributing to the vision of the new pedagogical processes the project would enable. DCU will be supporting the partners to achieve a new understanding of Education 4.0 through delivering the Learning Management System portal and the eportfolio platform that will be used by participants to reflect on their learning during the three years of the project.


Reflecting on the first face-to-face meeting, a word has to be said about the incredible hospitality of our Vietnamese partners. 20190301_131205 (1).jpgThe kickoff meeting was such a well planned event with valuable learning for all around culture as well as pedagogical practices. The learning was interspersed with a very festive kickoff dinner and sociable lunches. According to Lisa and Mark the Vietnamese food deserves a blog post to itself but suffice it to say they report it was delicious and plentiful!

Feedback from the first three days together was very positive and the DCU team looks forward to our next meeting in Finland in September, as we move from the preparation phase to a new vision of education for all.


Brief Reflections on our Reflect Learning Portfolio Awards and International Symposium

Launched in 2016, Reflect is DCU’s learning portfolio platform. Available to all DCU students and faculty, the portfolio makes learning visible through the creation of a personalised and reflective living showcase of academic, professional, and personal achievements.

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While it has taken a lot of work to embed Reflect in DCU’s digital learning ecology there are now over 10,000 regular users of our Learning Portfolio.

slide.pngBack in April students from all programmes using Reflect were invited to enter the Learning Portfolio Showcase and Awards. Eportfolio showcase competitions have been used across the globe from New Zealand and Hong Kong, to the U.S. and Ireland to promote eportfolio practice, recognise and reward student attainments, and celebrate the hard work that teachers and students have put into making eportfolios a success.

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In April, the second annual DCU Student Showcase Awards took place. A large number of student entries were received and evaluated by a panel of judges using the eportfolio rubric, collaboratively developed by the Eportfolio Ireland community of practice.

F51488D5-9292-4A26-B210-96EADEBA3FEE.JPGLisa Donaldson, our Reflect champion, reported that “the standard of entries was exceptionally high, with first year students in particular, proving to be very creative with their learning portfolios”.
Eight students were shortlisted for the top prizes of Beats headphones and gift vouchers.

Billy Kelly, Dean of Teaching & Learning, was present to recognise students in front of faculty and their peers and to present the awards.


Building on this highly successful experience, which validated some of the excellent work taking place using Reflect, we were then delighted at the end of May 2018 for DCU to host an international symposium on the use of eportfolios in education. Jointly hosted by the Association for Authentic, Experiential, and Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL), and the Centre for Recording Achievement (CRA), “ePortfolios & More: The Developing Role of ePortfolios within the Digital Landscape” provided a valuable forum for educators from around the world to reflect on the implementation of eportfolios for promoting critical self-reflection, 21st Century skills, life-long learning, and more.

You can access many of the post event documents and slides from the symposium website and still get valuable insights and a strong sense of the rich and productive discussions over several days from reviewing the relevant hashtag: