ePortfolios: May 31-June 13, 2010

Seminar Summary Questions

Seminar Summary Questions

by Roselynn Verwoord -
Number of replies: 2
Over the past ten days we have come together as a Community of Practice to discuss and share our work, ideas, and thoughts around portfolios. As our time together in this Community of Practice draws to a close, we would like to invite you to share what your next steps are in your work with and interest in portfolios.

Please take a few moments to reflect on any and all of the following questions and to share your responses with others.

1. What have you learned from your participation in this SCOPE seminar on portfolios?
2. What are your next steps in regards to portfolios?
3. What are some of the unanswered questions that you have about portfolios?

We have been so inspired by the sharing and by your thoughts and idea so far, and we hope you will take some time to share your reflections.

Thank you,
In reply to Roselynn Verwoord

Re: Seminar Summary Questions

by Paul Beaufait -
Thanks to Roselyn, Catherine, Deb, et al., I cottoned on quickly to distinctions among course, program, and professional portfolios. Though external, that is, curricular or extra-curricular obligations, for instance, teacher certification requirements, may fuel developments of each sort of portfolio, buy-in may be a chronic problem. Dan Pink's points about motivation, "functional fixedness" and "contingent motivators" in particular (TEDGlobal 2009, Jul/Aug 2009), may shed light on (in-)effective ways of addressing that problem.

Various discussions during the ePortfolios seminar (SCoPE, May 31-June 13, 2010) precipitated personal reflection on course-based portfolio development schemes that I had undertaken with students in English-as-an-Additional-Language classes, and moved online, and on plans for on-going, blog-based writing course portfolios. I rediscovered that profoundly revealing and deeply reflective portfolios require more than virtually overnight development; consequently, portfolio developments are a tall order for students largely unschooled in self-assessment, and uninitiated to personal or peer-to-peer reflection on processes and products of their endeavours. So my next steps are to continue blending in modest peer-review and personal reflection tasks, in order to lay a foundation for course portfolio developments.

The main question I feel remains unanswered is how it may be possible to resolve a perennial dilemma extending beyond portfolios. Online educational portfolio development schemes, as much as any other ed-tech scheme, are rife with opportunities for cart-before-horsing around, more so perhaps when payload (content), destination (audience/purpose), delivery schedule (timing), and pay-off (benefits/outcomes) resist definition, though cartage already is available for free (open-source) or for hire (proprietary). I'm stumped, and this cart metaphor collapses, when I remember that education isn't freighting, and that the folks who need to create portfolios are neither cargo nor passengers, but rather would-be initiates in a wide stream of reflective (proto-) professional practices.

Thanks, again, for sharing the flow in SCoPE!
In reply to Paul Beaufait

Re: Seminar Summary Questions

by Derek Chirnside -
What a remarkable metaphor Paul!!
I originally was just planning to dip in a little here during this 14 days, but some new work that emerged means I may need to get a little more involved in the eportfolio question, and I was a little more interested than I had thought.
I remain indecisive about the eportfolio specific tools. It seems to me the critical factor where things are going well in the e-portfolio world are to do with the questions and the issues and thought environment and the faciltation provided by 'experts' in a field - rather than tools.
And: is our concept of an eportfolio really the best container to receive and nurture reflection? I don't know yet, the question was asked (which we never really engaged with): what encourages reflection?
Well, thanks everyone for the conversations . . .
I may ponder my perennial question: what now? What happens if I encounter a thought or a question sometime in the future on the eportfolio question? Do I ever come back here and post?