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H808 – Skype session

October 21, 2010

That’s what I really love about this course is the support that students provide each other. I felt quite overwhelmed with the task of producing an essay about the pros and cons of eportfolios and to write a reflective commentary on my own personal and professional development. because I no real experience in both. Fortunately a student I still know from my H800 course invited me to a Skype session tonight to discuss the upcoming TMA. I really miss my informal study group that I had with two other peers throughout the whole  H800 study. We discussed course matters and this helped me to get a better grasp of the whole material, but I also greatly appreciated the moral support and to get to know that I am not the only one who struggles.

This session tonight was similar, we came from different tutor groups and first we introduce ourself and presented our context we work in and how we use eportfolios for our learning and/or teaching and discussed as well the pros and cons. Most of us did not really had much experience with eportfolios and we all agreed how difficult it is to get students to reflect, including us 😉 Making the experience ourself helps us to emphasise more with our students, but it also showed the need to a thorough introduction and to explain the rationale behind. We also discussed the need to give incentives and to grade eportfolios, otherwise students might prefer to skip that activity, though we asked ourselfs how best to grade an eportfolio. One fellow student raised the question when we think that eportfolios will become mainstream technology. Though we agreed that eportfolios definitely have their advantages in terms of shareability, practising reflectivity, using it as repository, for future employers, did we place eportfolios on the midterm or even long-term horizon, meaning that we don’t believe that everybody will soon starting to use it, and one peer even mentioned that some employers are not even aware of eportfolios. Well, I wasn’t really aware of it either and I am a vocational teacher, but I see the potential and considering ways how I could introduce it to my students. But we also agree that changes in curricula and assessment methods are needed to give eportfolios a real chance.

Unfortunately we run out of time discussing what type of evidence we could best use.  I think it requires careful consideration what to present to really show any progress in your personal or professional development. Most parts of our evidence is somehow static, but I think we require some kind of dynamic evidence to show how things developed. Well, I think I will find four pieces of evidence, the questions remains will I find the four most appropriate ones.

One thing is for sure this session definitely lifted my spirits, I finally belonged at least for a moment to to some kind of community, being part of something, the feeling of belonging that I somehow miss so far.

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