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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Reflective FriendFolios

Friendfolio I'm developing the concept of FriendFolios for use as lightweight reflective e-portfolios for our first year students next term. The next stage is to develop the assessment criteria we will use. I don't intend to go into the long discussions we held here in the past about the wisdom / desirability / necessity of assessing reflection, if you want to, you can read them yourself.

There are two factors I want to consider in developing these assessment criteria:
  • Encouragement for students to engage in reflective practice.
  • Feasibility of providing feedback - staff workload.
The previous assessment criteria we used for wiki-based e-portfolios were:

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
These worked reasonably well and weren't too difficult to use, although they were necessarily somewhat subjective, but I don't think they transfer well to the FriendFolio concept. I feel we need something more lightweight which measures engagement. How do we measure engagement on FriendFeed? Comments and Likes, but I also need a practical framework to assess the content of status updates. Functionality and Appearance goes by the wayside because FriendFeed takes care of that, and we're not really into collecting Evidence any more since this isn't going to be a document of record. Thinking ahead to next year when we plan to replace Google Reader and delicious with FriendFeed, I'm inclined to use the type of assessment criteria we use for sharing on BS1010, i.e. n items shared per week with suitable reflective commentary = n marks. (We will give the students examples of what we consider "good" reflective updates via our FriendFeed teaching accounts):

Over the course of the whole term:
  • An average of three or more updates each week with suitable reflective comments: 100%
  • An average of two updates each week with suitable reflective comments: 50%
  • An average of one update each week with suitable reflective comments: 20%
  • An average of less than one update each week and/or no suitable reflective comments: 0%
Is this enough? Is more guidance (beyond what will emerge from feedback) necessary?

The next issue is, how do I introduce this to students, bearing in mind the problem of skimming?