The e-scape project has progressed through phases one and two and this is the report
at the conclusion of phase 3. The e-scape concept is built on a series of innovations in
the world of performance portfolios and their assessment. Phase 1 (2004-5) was a
‘proof the concept’ in which we explored a range of hand-held tools and systems to
establish that it was possible to link them directly to web-portfolios to capture live
‘performance’. In phase 2 (2005-7) we built a prototype system for portfolio
assessment in design & technology based on learners’ performance in a 6 hour design
task. The prototype worked very effectively and in phase 3 (2007-9) we were presented
with two additional challenges:
• to establish the transferability of the system for assessments in a range of subjects other
than design & technology
• to establish the scalability of the system and its applicability to coping with and managing
There are two principal innovations in the e-scape system.First, we have created a system in which school le arners use hand-held digital tools in the classroom to create real-time web-portfolios. The hand-held tools are linked dynamically to their teachers’ laptop – operating as a local server. This sends a series of tasks to the learners and ‘hoovers-up’ anything that they produce in response to them. The local server is enabled to upload – dynamically (in real time) – all the data from a class/group into a website where learners’ web-portfolios emerge. In the phase3 trials learners from 19 schools have created 350 design & technology, 60 science and 60 geography portfolios.Second, we have created a web-based assessment system founded on a ‘Thurstone pairs’ model of comparative assessment.
The web-based portfolios can readily be distributed anywhere at anytime – enabling multiple judges to scrutinise the portfolios simultaneously. The judging in phase 3 involved 28 design & technology judges, 6 science and 6 geography judges. All the judging was completed on-line in a short time – window and with extraordinarily high reliability (0.95). All these data can be downloaded into existing Awarding Body back-end systems for awarding and certification purposes.
Kimbell R,Wheeler T, Stables K, Shepard T, Pollitt A, Whitehouse G.(2009) E-scape portfolio assessment: Phase 3 report Technology Education Research Unit [TERU], Goldsmiths University of London, London UK. http://www.gold.ac.uk/media/e-scape_phase3_report.pdf