EPICA Project Exhibits E-Portfolio System on Open Day.

EPICA is an EU-African strategic partnership which aims to bring together businesses, public sector organisations and universities to co-design an innovative and scalable ePortFolio (developed by MyDocumenta) which will improve the quality, visibility and availability of new skills.

On Wednesday 28th October, 2020 Assoc.Prof. Paul Muyinda Birevu led the EPICA team that comprises Mr.Richard Kajumbula and Mr.Geoffrey Kalange, in show casing the E-Portfolio System.
On speaking about the benefits of the system, Prof. Muyinda said it  integrates a competency-based approach both in the learning methodologies ,and in assessment and evaluation process.
It creates a bridge between the education sector and labor market making skills more visible, comparable and offering a trustable system to employers.
It keeps the student at the centre of the process, fostering a student-centred approach and empowering students for a acquisition of the most demanded skills on the market.

The  relevancy of the system is to alleviate the skills gap that is evidenced among university graduates, i.e most graduates lack practical skills, there is an insufficient connection between students and employers,the focus of the education system is on exams and certification,there is a growing demand for training and internship that is not addressed among many other factors.
A pilot project was carried out where 2 teachers, 30 students, 5 employers were trained on how to use the system and the studedents were later asssesed on how best they could show evidence that they had employability skills.
The piloted skills were; problem solving skills and communication and interpersonal skills and one elective skill which is team work.
The students were then evaluated.

The Process of Evaluation, Acquisition and visibility of student competencies involves the following steps;
Using Competencies Creation Tool of the e-portfolio System.
The teacher creates activities and include competencies.
Using multimedia production  tools the students perform activities.
The teacher evaluates evidences and the competencies.
As the teacher evaluates the student competencies the level of acquistion of these is shown in real time on the Students e-Portfolio Page.
The Employer can access the students eportfolio and validate students’ competences through the evaluation system.

NB:It was also highlighted that the EPICA e-portfolio system can be integrated with the University Learning Management System.
The Epica team got a call from one of the employers when one of the students on the project who goes by the name Samali from Makerere University  impressed at a job interview, Samali showed the employer the EPICA page and secured the job instantly.

Mr. Richard Kajumbula one of the teachers that participated said that the project has greatly improved my pedagogy and my facilitation skills. Prior to my participation in the project, I did not know how to incorporate articulation of employability skills in my facilitation and lecturing activities and advise learners to do the same. I can now incorporate articulation of employability skills in the assignments and tasks.

Nakanwagi Sylvia, Student at Makerere University(MAK) said EPICA pilot study taught me how to attempt activities online and to attempt them within the provided time.This was a great chance according to me because I was able to relate the skills I had to the study provided thus realizing that I can use these skills in the business world.

Aruho Bruce dubbed the most active student on the project said the EPICA website is easy to use, and easy to learn and that he liked it so much because it displays one’s competencies in the shortest queues. He said the narrative essays says alot about onesself and that the system takes less than a month for one to know his abilities.