Ooooh. How meta. A post about ePortfolios in my portfolio! Full disclosure? I'm leaving this post until last....
Fast Forward a Few Weeks... It is the last weekend of the course. I'm a bit suprised to learn that the ePortofolio was my favourite assignment. So, what is an ePortfolio. Lorenzo and Ittelson (2005) define an ePortfolio as "a digitized collection of artifacts, including demonstrations, resources, and accomplishments that represent an individual, group, community, organization or institutions" (p. 2). But, this definition doesn't really tell us much. In fact, some have written about the difficulties associated with trying to provide definition to ePortfolio, due largely to the diversity of contexts, goals, and platforms that are represented across ePortfolio initiatives.
From a pedagogical perspecitve, ePortfolios seeks to establish integrative, social and reflective processes to faciliate student learning (Pedagogy, n.d.). When used as a means to showcase learning (as opposed to outcomes assessment, for example), there are three guiding principles that should inform students' work -
Inquiry ePortfolio pedagogy engages students in a recursive inquiry into their own learning and their evolving identities as learners. Through sustained collective inquiry in ePortfolio-related professional development and outcomes assessment, faculty, staff, and the broader institution construct new knowledge and understandings about the teaching and learning process. Reflection Reflection is pivotal to meaningful student ePortfolios, which function as sites for prompting, documenting, and sharing students’ reflection on their learning. And reflection helps to move outcomes assessment beyond accountability as individuals and programs reflect on assessment findings and their implications for curricular and pedagogical change. Integration Students use ePortfolios to bring together work from multiple contexts, to consider the relation between their classrooms and their lives outside of class, and to construct new identities as learners. In ePortfolio-related professional development, an integrative approach prompts faculty to develop and test strategies that help students integrate their learning; and also helps faculty and staff to transfer knowledge and insight from specific instances to broader contexts and applications. (Framework, n.d.)
So what is this ePortfolio?
This ePortfolio was created as a course assignment for MDDE 610, Survey of Current Educational Technology Applications, as part of Athabasca University's Master of Education program. It is intended to capture my learning throughout the course, week-by-week. I have thought about creating a space for myself to write, and reflect, and dare I say, blog, for some time - and so I was encouraged by this assignment as it finally forced me to start. We had a number of options for platforms in the course, including Mahara, or AU's Landing site, but I felt it was important to have a very "public" site where I would have to be thoughtful and accountable for what I write here. I chose Weebly largely as I never have used it before, and I wanted to make the most of the experience by learning a plateform alongside creating this space. I have also created a space for a (future) blog - and I hope once this course is over, I will continue to come here to jot down some notes...
So what did I learn?
I learned that an ePortfolio, through the acts of inquiry, reflection and integration, as noted above, provide new opportunities for learning beyond the content of the course. By working through the process of consolidating my efforts and putting them into words, I probably gained more from the course than had this not been an assessment. I also learned that I am pretty picky about design, and thus far, I am happy with how this site *looks* as well as how it functions and how it represents me. I learned that the fuss about ePortfolio is warranted, and I can't wait to add more.
Chris (2012). 36/365 Add it to the pile [photograph]. CC BY-NC 2.0 Retrieved from https://flic.kr/p/bpituM
Framework (n.d.). Retrieved from http://c2l.mcnrc.org/framework/
Pedagogy (n.d.). Retrieved from http://c2l.mcnrc.org/pedagogy/
Lorenzo, G. & Ittleson, J. (2005). An overview of ePortfolios. Educause Learning Initiative. Retrieved from https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/eli3001.pdf