Archive for July, 2009

Blog as ePortfolio

July 29, 2009

I’ve been thinking about blogs as ePortfolios for quite awhile, in a WSU blog system (now defunct) and here, here and here on the Educause blog site in posts going back as far as Feb 15, 2005.

In the earliest of those I reported on Washington State University blogging experiment:

We (CTLT) began hosting a university blogging tool last August. Because we had an [OSPI] ePortfolio initiative underway at the same time, I tried to keep our smaller blogging project out of the ePortfolio space, but I came to understand that was not possible. A blog is, at minimum, a presentation of a repository of journal entries. But since those entries can be selectively reflect on other posts, the blog can occupy the entire eportfolio space.

Yesterday I was reminded of how nice it is to have a blog of the work I’m doing at WSU. We were giving a webinar on our Harvesting Gradebook ideas and I could answer questions in the chat by pasting URLs of past blog posts.

In a conversation with colleagues after the webinar we were recognizing that the blog is our ePortfolio and when combined with the Harvesting ideas we are exploring, it may well be a totally adequate and perfectly simple solution to the ePortfolio problem.

My, how it takes time to fully recognize the obvious.

[Addendum Sept 28, 2009]
I just wrote some feedback to a writer working on a story about ePortfolios. It got me thinking that for me my several blogs are a portfolio, (several blogs concurrently and several blogs over time), but I’m not advocating blogs as everyone’s portfolio. What is valuable for me is the ability to find many of my pieces of work (which may actually be stored in other places) and to be able to quickly direct a person to my latest thinking. When my thinking updates, or I get asked a question for which there is not already a blog posted answer, then its time to write a new post. None of this is to say that, from a practical standpoint, my comments in the link above about Google being my portfolio are invalid. Google is the de facto tool that would be used by someone looking for me, so its representation of me is my (most public) portfolio. Managing that (and to the extent possible, being in control of key resources so that I can manage it) are my ongoing challenge.

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Different conversations about what is important

July 16, 2009

In IJ-SoTL – A Method for Collaboratively Developing and Validating a Rubric Allen and Knight discuss their experience validating a rubric with two groups: faculty and industry professionals. They report:

Faculty weights differed markedly from the professionals’ results [see table 4 in the article]. Faculty considered category 2 (In the headline/lead combination, Is the message clear and compelling?) and category 4 (Does the news release use a convincing journalistic style?) the most important. Categories 1 and 5 received the lowest weighting.

We have seen similar results in a course where we asked a group of faculty and a group of industry professionals to rate student work and also to rate the assignment used to assess the student work.

In both examples, the faculty seem more focused on formalisms and the professionals on the aspects of the task that lead to practical success.