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Memorandum of Understanding: ePortfolio for all

— Mots-clés associés :

Preamble

The worldwide emergence of the ePortfolio is transforming our current views on learning technologies. For the first time in the relatively short history of learning technologies we see the rise of a technology dedicated to valuing and celebrating the achievements of the individual, from nursery school to lifelong and life wide learning, a technology providing a key link for individual learning, organisational learning and territorial learning (learning regions and cities). While some countries and regions are already providing the infrastructure required to offer ePortfolio access to all citizens, other regions and countries are considering it, and others have yet to discover its possibilities.

In order to provide the means for the ePortfolio to achieve its highest potential, Europortfolio will promote innovative practice and technology, and encourage the adoption of technical standards that will enable interoperability, between various ePortfolio systems and with other information systems. Interoperability will be the key to maximising the number and quality of services offered to ePortfolio owners.

The Partners hereby agree as follows

General Principles

The following principles are adopted:

  • The scope of Europortfolio is to achieve the goal "ePortfolio for all", to make Europe the most competitive knowledge economy by 2010.
  • To achieve its goal, Europortfolio will establish a European network of ePortfolio practitioners and will work in close cooperation with national and international organisations beyond Europe.
  • Europortfolio will contribute to the development of open specifications and standards and will promote certification and compliance programmes.
  • Europortfolio will encourage research into, and take-up of the ePortfolio in all dimensions of lifelong and lifewide learning.
  • Europortfolio is open to all organisations committed to ePortfolio research, practice and technological development.

Mission

The mission of Europortfolio is to:

  • Promote innovative practice and technology; use of the ePortfolio as one of the foundations of a learning economy and society. The link between the different dimensions of learning: individual, organisational, and community learning, based upon a lifelong and life wide repository and celebration of achievements.
  • Contribute to the definition of technical standards; ensuring interoperability between ePortfolio and ePortfolio-related technologies and services. 
  • Establish a reference platform implementing state of the art standards in order to provide a benchmark and a test facility. 
  • Update current occupational standards of competence to promote the use of ePortfolios as a foundation for forward-looking practice in the fields of education, training, human resource management and development.
  • Provide support to, and co-ordinate, European initiatives with other national and international initiatives, sector-specific or cross-sector; facilitate the exchange of information among all the stakeholders involved in ePortfolio and ePortfolio-related initiatives; encourage European and international co-operation 
  • Mobilise the human, financial, operational and technical resources required to achieve its mission and create the conditions for a self-sustainable consortium

Contributing Members and Signatories

Organisations can join as Signatory or as a Contributing Member (Member)

Europortfolio Contributing Members and Signatories are organisations, public, private and voluntary. Although only organisations can join Europortfolio, individuals who are interested in contributing to Europortfolio may do so by joining one of the Europortfolio Member organisations.

A Member or a Signatory may resign from membership of Europortfolio at any time. No refunds of prior investments will be made in such cases. Only members in good standing will be able to use the services provided by the consortium.

Benefits for Contributing Members and Signatories

Europortfolio provides the environment and support services to create and develop communities of practitioners organised per sector, theme or research domain. Europortfolio organises conferences (international and national), seminars, leads and contributes to European and international projects.

Europortfolio Contributing Members benefits

Europortfolio Signatories benefits

    • full access to the Europortfolio knowledge base (standards and draft specifications, working papers, conference proceedings, tools, products, etc.)
    • support in using and implementing the outcomes of Europortfolio activities, products and services in their own organisation and communities
    • register their staff on the Europortfolio developers network and special interest groups (privacy, competencies, etc.)
    • contribute to and orientate the activities and work in progress on standards and standards-related issues in collaboration with standard (CEN-ISSS, ISO, etc.) and specification bodies (European IMS, HR XML, etc.)
    • contribute to the strategic direction of Europortfolio and influence future developments, elect representatives to the Europortfolio Steering Committee and Technical Board
    • receive full recognition for their involvement in all Europortfolio publications, activities, and presentations related to the public release and dissemination of Europortfolio activities and documents
    • use the Europortfolio logo to demonstrate their support of the goals of Europortfolio and for their own marketing
  • privileged access to ePortfolio information:  newsletter, portal, partner search
  • privileged access to pilot programmes and events

Membership fees and resources

Europortfolio and EIfEL organisational membership is offered at 750 €.

 

Sponsor Membership ranges from 3,000 € to 15,000 €, depending on the level of additional services required, such as training and consultancy, study subscriptions and access to events.

 

In addition to Membership fees, the Consortium will contribute to the generation of additional resources to support projects for its Members that will result in a valuable and tangible contribution to the Europortfolio objectives through:

  • response to call for tenders
  • organisation of conferences or seminars.
  • facilitation of the provision of services or products linked to ePortfolio

Management

Europortfolio operates as a consortium of partners linked by a consortium agreement.

The Steering Committee will control and monitor the management of Europortfolio and define the orientation of its policies. Before the first General Assembly, which will be held by the end of 2005, it has the power to nominate new Steering Committee delegates among the Members.

Europortfolio will also eventually include:

  • An Advisory Committee to identify the needs of, and disseminate the results to, regional, national, European and international networks, other national or international ePortfolio consortia (several consortia already exist outside of Europe).
  • A Technical Board to coordinate all technical activities, profile existing specifications and standards, and set up and monitor operations of the Europortfolio workgroups and pilot programmes.
  • Working Groups, Special Interest Groups and National Committees to facilitate the identification of needs and dissemination of Europortfolio outcomes at a national, regional or sectoral level.

The task of the Secretariat is initially delegated to EIfEL, the co-ordinator of the Consortium, who will provide the support services to the Consortium, during the initial period of the Consortium. CETIS will chair the Technical Board.

The steering committee may decide to transform Europortfolio into a legal entity.

Founding Members

The Founding Members of Europortfolio are:

EIfEL, the European Institute for E-Learning, which is at the forefront of the ePortfolio movement in Europe, has as mission to support the continuing professional development of individuals and the transformation of organisations in order to enter the knowledge economy and society.

European Schoolnet: its mission is to help develop learning opportunities for young people across Europe through communication and information exchange at all levels. Its constituent members are 26 ministries of education, the European Commission, and ICT industry partners.

CETIS, the Centre for Technical Interoperability Standards, has already carried out a considerable amount of work on ePortfolios and represents UK Higher and Further Education on international educational standards initiatives such as IMS Global Learning Consortium, CEN/ISSS, IEEE, and ISO.

European IMS, a non-profit Dutch foundation established by IMS Global to promote standards and specification-based eLearning in Europe.

Obligations

The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding does not constitute any legal rights or obligations other than the obligation by both parties to negotiate in good faith on the objectives of this Memorandum.

Agreements to that effect shall be negotiated separately and accepted by the legal representatives of the parties to this Memorandum.

The MoU should be signed on behalf of an organisation or company by an authorised representative empowered to sign such documents and morally bind the signatory organisation.

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