Transition is about supporting the learner through the lifelong learning process – facilitating progression between different environments (e.g. school to HE; HE to employment) by developing the necessary skills (e.g. personal planning, reflection, presentation, independent learning) to prepare for transition and facilitating interoperability between different organisational systems. In so doing, widening participation and lifelong learning can be better achieved.
'E-portfolios support lifelong learning when institutions across all phases work together in a regional approach to make the learner’s pathway relatively straightforward and share the knowledge they are gaining from current implementation'
From a 2007 Becta report ‘Impact of e-portfolios on learning' (Hartnall-Young et al 2007)
The ELP project explored transition in a range of contexts: Access to HE for schools/FE, HE in workplace settings and transferring between HEIs. By piloting e-portfolio use in these different contexts with a range of learners, the project has identified a number of key benefits of transition for learners such as increased motivation, being able to better plan for the future and make more realistic career choices. Based on project outcomes, the ePISTLE project has also produced guidance on e-portfolios for transition and progression [ePISTLE Guidelines 3: Transition].
The Kent Personal Learning Portal Pilot (Kent PLPP) project aimed to support non-traditional learners by providing web-based access to HE resources and e-portfolio tools to help orientation and skills development for transition to HE. The partnership between the University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University demonstrated the potential for sharing resources and expertise to support non-traditional learners entering HE from an FE or other access route.
JOSEPH has built a tool which supports decision-making by learners to prepare for transition points, using e-learning processes developed with Information Advice and Guidance (IAG) professionals. The focus of the project was IAG for pathways in Engineering, especially those piloting the new specialised diploma in Engineering, but the tool also has generic application.
Facilitating data transfer
A key issue in supporting transition is the transferability of data between different environments. A number of JISC projects have demonstrated that working in partnership and collaboration at a regional level are critical to enabling interoperability. Building on an earlier project which trialled interoperability between PDP systems in 14-19 education and HE, the RIPPLL project studied the requirements of a wide range of users in different learning environments (e.g. work-based learning, vocational pathways).
Through a partnership of higher education institutions, further education colleges, local authorities and employers in the Nottinghamshire area, the project aimed to improve interoperability between PDP systems in the region. It demonstrated that data could be exchanged successfully between different administrative and e-portfolio systems so as to support the continuity of individual career journeys across transitions between episodes of lifelong learning, specifically episodes of study or work provided by schools, colleges, universities and an employer.