I started this ePortfolio as an assignment while pursuing my masters degree in DLL at Lamar University. I didn't think much of it at first. It was just another step towards my degree. As I have continued to develop the site, it has become mine. A tool that I plan on using and developing over time. Something that will help me become what I need to become.
I hope that I own my ePortfolio. Andrew Rikird says that if my audience is "a teacher with a red pen", then my ePortfolio will not empower me. One day I am working on my site and trying to put my vision together; the next, I am checking off required tasks to make sure I am covering all material. The "Domain of One's Own" initiative intends for students to take ownership of a domain, but it really depends on how that domain is used. It is not intended to be used to complete a check list of assignments. It is intended to show a process of learning.
What does a process look like at the beginning? My department is just completing our mandatory Student Learning Outcome Goal (SLO). We gave a pretest to see where our students began. As expected, they did not do well. We took tests throughout the unit to monitor progress. Finally, we gave a post test. We compared all the data to see progress made. Some students did not pass, but showed significant growth. Still, giving the students a test with a failing grade did nothing for their self confidence. I feel like an ePortfolio would give that same complete picture, but allow students more options to show their success. I think many students would surprise us. My portfolio is similar to the SLO. I am in the beginning of 1 1/2 year process. It is not appropriate for me to compare my work to someone who has completed their journey. Even at the end of the all the classes, my portfolio will still be a work in progress and I still should not compare my work with others. We are all at different points in our learning. I can look and get ideas, but this portfolio has to be mine.
As I have made my way through the first couple of weeks of this journey, I have been trying to think how I could apply what I have learned during these courses in my classroom. I have been afraid of giving my students freedom, but they already have it. Most students have the internet in their pocket, plus freedom to create helps us grow. I recently gave my students a Stop Motion assignment in STEM. I gave two requirements. There must be at least 30 slides and there must be at least two moving objects. As my students have created their projects, I have helped them work through problems, a technology specialist has been helping, and we have looked up issues on the web. The products the students have made are phenomenal. I am showing the projects to other teachers and they are amazed. Even students who are low performing in other classes have beautiful products. Some projects are more advanced than others, but some students have more prior knowledge. All of my students are proud of their work and have learned.
At this time, I am nervous about my creation. This class has one major grade. Is my ePortfolio good enough? As I ask this question, I feel like Carol Deweck is shaking her head at me. Yes, Carol, I have learned something.
Dweck, C. (n.d.) Decades of Scientific Research that Started A Growth Mindset Revolution. Retrieved from https://www.mindsetworks.com/science/
ePortfolios Explained: Theory and Practice. Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo Retrieved from: https://uwaterloo.ca/centre-for-teaching-excellence/teaching-resources/teaching-tips/educational-technologies/all/eportfolios
Harpnuik, d. (n.d.). Who Owns the Eportfolio? Retrieved from http://www.harapnuik.org/?page_id=6050
Watters, A.(2015). The Web We Need to Give Students. Retrieved from https://brightthemag.com/the-web-we-need-to-give-students-311d9771371