Friday, December 01, 2006

Evangelising ePortfolios

I presented a session on ePortfolios @CPIT to the PASM forum yesterday evening. This is a group of principal academic staff members (PASMs) who are promoted to the position through proven academic leadership at a national / international level. This year, staff development at CPIT convened several forums (there are others for Heads of Schools, programme leaders, administrative managers etc. ) to try to move the institution towards a more horizontal way of communicating as many vertical silos of subject and administrative expertise had become entrenched throughout the institution.

My presentation centred on what ePortfolios were about and how they could be useful in capturing the reflective part of learning (both formal & informal). I set up a ePortfolio using Blackboard (took about half an hour). The scenario was to use staff promotion as an example. On the Blackboard site, I included sections for a CV, areas for archiving evidence of expert standing in one’s discipline or subject area and teaching practice. In each of these areas, I put in links to Word documents reflecting on why I had used the various pieces of evidence and included evidence in the form of papers / powerpoint presentations at conferences, links to other blogs / web pages that mention my presentations, photos of white board work and a video taken at FLNW by Stephen Parker.

Apart from the above, I also provided examples of how personal portals could be used to bring together an ePortfolio and discussed examples of how these could be used for other teaching and learning uses. These include:

-using something like Pageflakes to set up RSS feeds pertinent to an evolving area for study
-using Vox to set up a teaching resource to build up scenarios for students to access for critique of analysis. I plan to use this methodology to build up a ‘collection’ of ePortfolios to use with students I teach for a unit on ‘assessing a candidate performance using standards’. I am never sure whether students understand how they get to the stage of making a judgement on whether a performance is competent or not yet competent. I plan to have students view several ePortfolios, make a judgement and then reflect on how they came about their decision. In the past, I have been using role plays but the role plays are ephemeral, subjective one-off arrangements and students unused to observing others working do not have time to make a studied judgement, let alone be able to reflect on their judgement.
-Using Vox and Multiply as ePortfolio collators
I received good feedback. It was especially good to articulate my options for personal portals as I have only started looking into them in greater depth. I will have more time to play with the personal portal sites over the summer and will record other uses I find for using them in my teaching.

No comments: