Assessment and Learning in Practice Settings (ALPS), a collaborative programme between five Yorkshire Universities, has won the international 'Innovation Award' in the Tertiary, FE & HE category at the 2009 Handheld Learning Awards. The award was given for ALPS’ work on a mobile assessment and e-portfolio system to support Health and Social Care students on work-based practice.
The theme for this year’s awards was ‘Creativity, Innovation, Inclusion & Transformation’, recognising that 2009 is the European year of creativity and innovation. Now in its fifth year the Handheld Learning Awards has become the largest event of its kind. It brings together thought leaders, innovators, practitioners, developers, policy and decision-makers from the education, technology and entertainment sectors.
ALPS is a Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning based at the University of Leeds. The ALPS project has also recently been nominated for the 'Best use of mobile learning' award at the e-Learning Awards 2009 which takes place 12th November, 2009.
York-based learning technology company MyKnowledgeMap worked with T-Mobile and mobile software specialist ecommnet to create the mobile assessment and e-portfolio system for ALPS. The system supports the creation, distribution and storing of assessment tools on mobile devices. It allows tutors to create assessments based around core health and social care competences and send them to the devices of students on work-based practice.
Students use their devices to gather feedback from practice assessors, peers, service users and carers. When an assessment is uploaded to a student’s e-portfolio, the competency frameworks within the ALPS Assessment Suite allow the tutor to map the skills the student has demonstrated against specific performance criteria.
The project has already been of benefit to hundreds of students, and there is huge scope to improve work-based learning and assessment for much greater numbers if ALPS processes and outputs are embedded when the programme comes to an end in September 2010.
Founded in 2000 by Rob Arntsen, who had previously held a range of senior management roles in IBM, MyKnowledgeMap (MyKnowledgeMap.com) is one of the UK’s leading learning technology providers. They produce a comprehensive range of systems, services and courseware that allow organisations to improve the way they manage learning and development.
Their leading edge developments in innovative learning products continue to excite the industry. It is this innovation combined with a reputation for high quality design and reliable delivery that has resulted in MyKnowledgeMap leading on many large scale national projects in both the public and private sectors.
MyKnowledgeMap’s primary area of activity centres around skill and knowledge assessment, advanced learning content tools and web based portfolio systems. Clients range from public sector agencies, leading professional institutes, NHS, universities, national skill academies and multinational companies. Their technical capabilities encompass the latest web 2.0 and mobile technologies in addition to highly secure large scale systems.
Their mission is to help companies to manage learning and course materials in a way that makes them personal to the needs of different learners, and flexible enough to meet the challenges of the future. They also have a range of off-the-shelf systems that can be “plugged in” to each other to create an end-to-end skills management and development platform:
• Talent management: MyKnowledgeMap’s skills gap analysis platform, Capability Matrix, allows people to analyse what learning they need;
• Custom-friendly e-learning: MyKnowledgeMap produce libraries of e-learning materials and bespoke learning courseware that can easily be customised to suit the needs of particular learners;
• Custom learning tools: MyKnowledgeMap create a range of tools that make it easy to package up e-learning courses that conform to widely used technical standards (SCORM and IMS) while allowing non-technical teachers and trainers to be very creative. Tools include rapid authoring software, and Compendle, a web-based tool for customising, sequencing and rebranding your courses;
• Personal learning spaces: MyKnowledgeMap’s personal learning environment, Multi-Port, offers social-networking—style support for teachers and learners on the web. It allows tutors to create courses and assessments that are supported by chatrooms and blogs which students can keep up-to-date, as well as offering facilities for more formal assessment. More recently, the Multi-Port Mobile plug-in has brought personal learning to students’ mobile phones.