Tuesday, December 06, 2005

ePortfolio Webinar

I got a chance to attend another one of these AI webinars today and the presenter, Diane J. Goldsmith of eportfolio.org fame (not Helen Barrett of electronicportfolios.org fame) brought up a few good points on the topic. First, quoting vaguely from Postman, ePortfolios get rid of student immunity from knowledge transfer. It is no longer the case that what is learned in a class can be left in that class. I think this is one of the big sells for instructors to get in on the action. Especially those that teach junior and senior versions of a course. From there programs that cover a range of courses can use ePortfolios as knowledge transfer vehicles. The second was that (again) you need to use the tools that will work for your individual situation. That includes (hack) PowerPoint. It's a start if nothing else. It's not online in any useful manner as other ePortfolios are, but then again for those people and places using it, they may not need to be. The final point was regarding culture. In order for any new idea to take off, there needs to be a cultural or to be more vulgar, a workflow shift to allow for it. In the case of 'folios, that means there needs to be a reflective culture established on the part of the student and instructor. Both need to use it as more than just a hoop to jump through. This is the great trick, and it's difficult for many institutions to even think about this. One of the questions in the session was with regard to an attempt that was made to use reflective practice in Sciences. The individual trying to swim upstream was told essentially "we don't play that game in Science". BS! I don't think there is any human enterprise that can't stand to be improved by using the past as a jumping point to the future. Every great mind, in Science, Arts, you name it has had some manner of journal or notebook where they have stored ideas, commented on failures and reflected on what needs to be done. The key to this is to remind people and walk the walk... if you are going to talk the talk. Technorati Tags: