7 Tips for Student Engagement with E-portfolios

Yesterday, I posted the #Edchat summary. The topic: What makes a digital portfolio effective? I received a comment from Ray Tolley, who let me repost this for you! I found the information really useful and I hope you do, too!

Ray’s Advice

I was recently asked, “can anyone shed any light on the “theory” of successful student engagement using ePortfolios in the vocational area of learning?”

And this was my reply:

This is not an uncommon problem, particularly with purpose-designed systems.
The issue, in my opinion is one of ‘ownership’.

1: If the system you are using is just a tool for subject delivery/assessment there is little motivation for the student to do yet more form-filling.

2: In some institutions the e-Portfolio is just used as a content delivery system as a substitution for a VLE which might not be capable of managing the tutor/mentor feedback and peer-review that an e-Portfolio should be capable of managing. And this is where, I suspect, that the popularity of Web2.0 has intruded itself.

3: It is an educationally recognised fact that the e-Portfolio needs to ‘belong’ to the learner. If there is no self-identity, no self-representation that shouts out “This is ME”, there is little chance that any but the most studious will invest time and effort in doing something that is obviously not ‘mine’ but the College’s.

4: The e-Portfolio should contain personal information that helps the tutor/mentor to better understand the learner and thus develops a better student-teacher relationship. The more information that the learner is allowed to include, including rich media, the better the relationship can become.

5: Of course, the organisation, layout and choice of pages and sub-pages, the templates chosen and colour-schemes, of avatars etc are all part of the psychology of ‘ownership’. It is quite often these very obvious presentation choices that immediately tell the experienced teacher much about their students than might be intended.

6: However, perhaps the most important aspect of the e-Portfolio is what tools are embedded to provide formative feedback, peer review, polls, surveys and comments that really begin to support the type of student activity we should be seeing in the classroom, with or without walls.

7: An obvious requirement of e-Portfolio functionality is that the learner needs to be able to control who-sees-what. A good e-Portfolio will allow the control of audiences so that concurrently different readers will see different ‘views’ of the one e-Portfolio.

I could go on for ages, but hope this is a start. Please check out my links below:

Best Wishes,

Ray Tolley FEIDCT, NAACE Fellow, MBILD
ICT Education Consultant
P: http://raytolley.v2efolioworld.mnscu.edu/
B: http://www.efoliointheuk.blogspot.com/
W: http://www.maximise-ict.co.uk/eFolio-01.htm
Winner of the IMS ‘Leadership Regional Award 2009′


Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell), Facebook.com/ShellyTerrell, and on her blog, TeacherRebootCamp.com, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at https://www.slideshare.net/ShellTerrell/presentations

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