EPOS supports self-directed and task-based learning at school, in higher education and lifelong further training. It focus on subject-specific competencies, interdisciplinary qualifications, and key competencies, like language learning or project work. EPOS supports the whole ‘learning chain’, from self-evaluation of existing competencies via the determination of one’s own learning objectives and project-oriented learning tasks to the documentation of one’s learning outcomes. EPOS helps students to develop their own learning strategies and methods, and assists teachers in the consultation process.
EPOS has been developed since 2011 at the University of Bremen. Today, the system is used by many universities and other educational institutions in Germany as well as in other European countries. One typical learning scenario is the acquisition of foreign language compeencies in a tutorial framework with self-directed learning in combination with periodic advice by tutors. EPOS is also used in accompanying face to face courses, supporting tandem groups, preparing for exchange studies in foreign countries, or for gathering Open Badges in informal learning environments.
Implementing EPOS is useful wherever competencies (in addition to knowledge) are at the heart of learning objectives - which is true for almost all subjects these days. EPOS meets the individual needs of students in an increasingly diversified qualification landscape. Therefore, it is used for exemple in the orientation phase for undergraduate students in order to compensate deficits for studying special subjects. Currently EPOS incorporates approx. 15 categories of competencies which are continuously expanded in response to the particular requirements of different subjects and institutions.
EPOS supports the whole learning process. It is focusing on the following areas:
- Self-evaluation: What can I do already, what is my current competency?
- Learning Objectives: What do I want to achieve?
- Dossier: My learning outcomes – from seminar papers to pronunciation exercises
- Journal: The meta level - Reflecting on my learning process
- Biography: My learning history – my course of studies
- Presentations: Showing my competencies to others: students, teachers, employers
- Groups: Learning in cooperation with other students
All institutional EPOS users are members of the EPOS Association, a Community of Practice which supports exchange of experience, evaluation of pedagogical scenarios for the use of ePortfolios, and further development of the technical system.
The EPOS system is based on the ePortfolio software Mahara.