Grifﬁth College is Ireland’s largest independent third level institution with locations in Dublin, Cork and Limerick. Established over 40 years ago, Grifﬁth College enjoys national and a growing international reputation for student success. The College has gained an enviable, award winning reputation for providing students with ﬁrst class programmes and excellent learning facilities.
Ireland’s recently appointed Minister for Higher Education and Innovation, Simon Harris, intends to expand the apprenticeship model of award delivery into a wider variety of sectors within the Irish economy as it recovers from COVID-19. The Action Plan for Apprenticeship 2021-2025 was recently launched. There are currently 18,000+ people under the apprenticeship scheme, which is oriented towards a wide range of occupations
Griffith College is the coordinating provider for the Advanced Healthcare Assistant Practitioner apprenticeship programme. The consortium steering Group includes representatives from Nursing Homes Ireland, Home and Community Care Ireland, the Private Hospitals Association and the Alliance of Healthcare Assistants in Ireland.
Griffith College is also the coordinating provider for the Bar Manager Degree apprenticeship programme in Ireland and it intends to expand into other disciplines in the future.
During the development process of the Advanced Healthcare Assistant Practitioner apprenticeship programme, Grifﬁth College was challenged with how students could evidence the achievement of learning outcomes in the workplace, when they are off campus. Grifﬁth needed a digital platform where students could evidence their workplace learning and assessment and their achievement of the workplace learning outcomes, to take the place of a paper book system used previously.
After some research, Grifﬁth College decided to utilise the SmartEvidence feature in Mahara to create a structured ePortfolio where apprentices could easily evidence their achievement of the workplace learning outcomes.
Through an iterative process Griffith College was able to build draft structured ePortfolio templates using pages and collections attached to SmartEvidence frameworks; however, there were a number of unresolved issues with the structure and workflow. Griffith College quickly realised that they needed some specialised support to complete the implementation project. Staff from Grifﬁth College had seen Catalyst Europe’s eLearning Consultants at a recent MoodleMunch event, presenting work on Moodle and Mahara. They were impressed and got in touch.
Grifﬁth required guidance on site set-up and structure, user journeys for each stakeholder, onboarding, course design, landing pages, and pushing of SmartEvidence collections to apprentices accounts. They also wanted help with Groups and submissions of assignments and the process of transitioning between Moodle and Mahara.
Catalyst advised on how to set up the site into institutions. Learners were issued with portfolio templates that matched the competencies they needed to evidence. This constituted a SmartEvidence framework for each portfolio. Catalyst advised on:
- How to set up module groups, for apprentices to submit their portfolios to for marking, and;
- How to manage users and roles.