Friday, October 9, 2009

Students & E-Portfolios

It has been quite a while since my last blog entry, and for good reason. I have taken on the challenge of single handedly creating/editing/implementing the curriculum for my school's Web 2.0 course. I have devoted a lot of hours to developing lessons, assessments, and the like. After thinking about how to best assess student learning in a summative manner, I came up with the idea of student e-portfolios.

I started to dig through the topic by performing a simple Google Search; the most valuable search result came in the form of Dr. Helen Barrett's Electronic Portfolio website at Dr. Barrett is a leading researcher in the e-portfolio domain; her website has a lot of useful information, complete with diagrams, step-by-step instructions, and examples.

Having knowledge about how I could use e-portfolios as a summative assessment in my Web 2.0 course, I turned to my Twitter PLN for direction in how to have students create them. I got a few different ideas:

I liked the idea of the wiki, but thoughts came to mind about having students tip-toe around the public forum. The only answer for this was to utilize our Google Education Site, and keep everything protected and under that domain (as we usually do). I came across a page in Dr. Barrett's site that discussed how to create e-portfolios in a Google Site - I wondered how I had missed it before but was glad to have my answer.

Turns out it was extremely easy to introduce the topic to students, have them each create a Site under our Google Education domain, and begin creating and editing their e-portfolios. We even found a way to have students create a WordPress blog (of course, again on our own servers for privacy) and embed it into their Google Sites (using an iframe gadget). It is a work in progress, and students will contribute artifacts and reflections into their sites on a weekly basis.

If you have questions, feel free to ask. I will not be posting my students' examples as they are "hidden" in our Google Site domain.

Here is a short video about e-portfolios, and a quick how-to for Google Sites: