Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's your ePortfolio, now get reflecting

eportfolio As our students ponder the PLEs they have "created" (more of that later, hopefully), we're getting close to the last act for this term, construction of a reflective ePortfolio.

Students will choose the software they use to create their portfolios, although we are recommending they use WetPaint or Wikispaces, as in these (rather minimal) exemplars. Next term, they will to continue to add to their ePortfolio each week and we will assess the way they develop. Which is where the fun starts.

What assessment criteria should we use?
We need to promote ownership of their portfolio (which is why they choose the software to use rather than having it imposed on them), and we need to recognize that the process of reflection will vary from person to person, so any criteria need to be rather minimalistic and competence-based rather than too restrictive. At the same time, the criteria need to guide the student in terms of what is expected of them (beyond the structure of the exemplars).

I'm not going to debate again the wisdom of assessing reflection, but I will repeat that we already know that if we did not assess the exercise most students would not participate, so the assessment period is aimed at getting students into the habit of reflection, after which it is hoped they will carry on then we stop giving them the reinforcement of assessment. It's also worth restating that our objective is educational rather than technical. We are more interested in the benefits students will gain from the experience than about compliance with IMS standards - to emphasize the process rather than the product.

The following criteria are based loosely on the reported E-Portfolio Assessment Criteria from Penn State University:

Functionality & Appearance: 30%
  • Appearance and navigation is clear and consistent
  • All links work
  • Multimedia elements display correctly
  • Text is clear and readable, spelling and grammar are correct
  • Previously published materials respect copyright laws
Evidence: 30%
  • Organization connects all evidence into an integrated whole
  • Features or showcases evidence
  • Shows depth of knowledge and experience
  • Shows breadth of knowledge and experience
  • Includes a current curriculum vitae
Reflection: 40%
  • Addresses both career and personal development
  • Includes reflective comments about evidence as well as reflective comments about what this evidence says about you
  • Includes short-term goals (skills to add/improve)
  • Includes long-term goals (professional and/or personal aims)
  • Interpretation of your achievements is expressed

Are these criteria adequate? Workable? Achievable?