Monday, August 17, 2009

E-Portfolios

Hello everyone,

E-portfolios are a completely new and exciting concept for me. I had never heard about them until I created my 'Mahara' account. As I was searching through the website, I was a little bit confused about it. I was able to explore the site and create a basic account, as well as adding friends, but I just didn't understand what e-portfolios are designed to achieve, and why we need them. I therefore decided to try and discover some information explaining e-portfolios from other sources. I found this great youtube clip which gives a great explanation for the use of e-portfolios, what they are and why they were created.



The video outlines that e-portfolios can be used as a blog, a space to organise and share information, files, notes,
CV, documents, links to websites, and colleagues can comment and give feedback. The creator or user of the
e-portfolio assembles and manages text, files, images, multimedia, blogs and hyperlinks dynamically over time. Also, 
the creator or user is able to choose who can access different files. There are also many other aspects to an 
e-portfolio.

E-portfolios could be utilised effectively in the classroom. Learners would be able to complete activities online which
they could save and work on at home. The learner could maintain their very own personal blog which no one need
read except for themselves. Through using this technology, it would enable learners to showcase their efforts and 
achievements. Learners would also be able to comment and discuss each others work. Active Learning (2009) explains that within the Learning Pyramid Framework, 'discussion groups' provide learners with an average retention rate of 50%. 'Lecture', 'reading', 'audio-visual', and 'demonstration' all have a lower success rate. Therefore the 
E-portfolios are definitely an effective tool for classroom instruction. They could only be improved, in regard to retention rates, through the use of 'teach others/immediate use' and 'practice by doing'. The learning manager could find a way to incorporate these, it would just depend upon the specific subject. 

The learners would each have their own learning record for their parents and for themselves. Parents would therefore have the opportunity to be proud of their children and the learners could be proud of their own work. Also, Moon (2005) explains that; "E-portfolios, like traditional portfolios, can facilitate students' reflection on their own learning, leading to more awareness of learning strategies and needs" (Moon, 2005). According to John Dewey (1916), when learners reflect on their learning, they are thinking deeply about a subject and giving it careful and serious consideration. Bloom, Mesia and Krathwohl (1964) outline that higher order thinking skills are used; "to better understand a situation, event, or phenomenon." Therefore, learners are able to use their higher order thinking skills through the process of reflection.

In regard to creative thinking, the learning manager could pose the problem to the learners that after they create their documents and files, they need to innovate the way in which it is set out onto their e-portfolio. Rather than just simply writing a word document, learners could have the opportunity to create a picture to go with the text, or a video, or anything they can think of that will enhance their use of creativity.

I am very excited to be aware of this wonderful resource. There are so many new and exciting technologies available. They really reflect the technology-based society in which we live. Information and technology are growing at an exponential rate. It is fantastic to be able to explore and learn through reflection of these valuable resources. 



Thank-you,

Kira.



References

Active Learning Online Team. (2009). What is Active Learning? Retrieved August 14, 2009, from http://www.acu.edu/cte/activelearning/whatisal.htm

Bloom, B., Mesia, B. & Krathwohl, D. (1964). Taxonomy of educational objectives (two vols: The Affective Domain & The Cognitive Domain). New York . David McKay.

Dewey, John. (1916). Democracy and Education. An introduction to the philosophy of education (1966 edn.), New York : Free Press.

Moon, Jenny. (2005). Guide for Busy Academics No 4: Learning through Reflection. Devon, UK: The Higher Education Academy.





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