Jason’s Reading Log for April 20th

Posted by on April 19, 2010 
Filed under Reading logs

This week’s reading about e-portfolios was very interesting.  I plan on designing an e-portfolio for one of my courses this fall, so this week’s class should help me with that.  I had never really taken the time to situate the development of portfolios within historical context.   When this is laid out, as it was in the readings, you begin to notice that this is not a new idea just a new way of using an older idea.  I have constructed a paper teaching portfolio in the past (which I don’t update nearly enough) however, it would make sense to move it online at this point.  Beyond the paper/electronic difference,  e-portfolios have a course focus instead of a teacher focus.

By constructing these course portfolios we can attempt to monitor HOW and IF students are really learning.  Exactly where did they or did they not “get it”.  This design also allows us to step back and view our courses as a whole.  Instead of thinking in terms of specific classes, activities, or exams, we can take a more holistic approach to see if our course “fits” together to meet the most important learning objectives.

The portfolio allows us to asses not just rather or not students are meeting predetermined desired outcomes, but how and why they are meeting them, within the context of our own classroom.  This allows us to measure the more “messy” process of learning which applies to our specific classroom (and may or may not generalize to others).  Portfolios also allow professor to reflect on there course designs weaknesses and strengths, beyond more traditional student outcome assessment techniques.  In other words, course portfolios allow us to move beyond a simple “snapshot” at the end of the semester.

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