We’ve been working on a portfolio framework here at Marylhurst, particularly in the context of our “Liberal Arts Core.” We just spent the last year on a series of conversations (accompanied by pie) on the ePortfolios&Pie Project. Our interest is in exactly what Sara is imagining – a process and practice that goes across courses (even outside the “garden wall” of the university) for students to connect and reflect on their learning. We’ve learned that, for a portfolio to support learning, we need to provide multiple opportunities for students to construct views in different contexts, for different audiences. We’ve also learned that we need to be ready to meet the student at their “points of reflection” – whether they are an entering student, a student entering a program/major, a student stopping midpoint to evaluate their progress toward their goals, the student ready to graduate, or the student at any point in their learning that they choose. And, we faculty need to engage students directly around reflection, in order for the portfolio framework to have value. I wonder if we could do a couple of working sessions, toward a project we might complete? For example, we might create several personas (different, fully imagined people, with names and everything), and walk through what a portfolio framework might mean to them.
Questions that I’m interested in exploring:
What is the purpose of reflection? When does reflection occur (e.g. every class?) and on what (e.g. individual artifact such as a paper and/or or on a “whole” that is emerging for the student)? How can we make continuous engagement (reflection and connection) meaningful for students?
How does the “magic” happen? How do we turn what is otherwise just a collection of artifacts (papers, etc.) into a meaningful, rich & deep learning experience for students? What does that mean about reflective practice (our own as learners, the university as a community of learners)?
How can we use ePortfolios to give students both the private, safe space to try & fail, to be authentic selves and the public showcase space that summarizes their learning at a particular moment in time? Is it necessary for the safe space to be private? Will a public space curb students’ willingness to take risks and be authentic?