Using ePortfolio in a course

Desire2Learn ePortfolio is a user-focused online portfolio tool that empowers users to take an active role in their learning. Users upload, organize, reflect on, revise, and present digital learning artifacts that demonstrate their learning and achievements. This enables users to showcase successes in all areas of their lives, rather than restricting them to work from a particular course, institution, area of study, or period of time. It also encourages open assessment practices by allowing users to reflect on their work, update submissions over time, and seek feedback from peers, mentors and members of the community through both comments and rubric evaluations.

At the same time, ePortfolio can be a great way to organize project work for a course and to encourage self and peer evaluation, and ongoing revision and reflection.

The following user scenarios demonstrate how ePortfolio can support formal instruction.

Scenario: graphic design course

You are teaching a graphics design course that contains users at various skill levels. At the end of the first month of classes you have each user plan a major design project suited to their skill level and interest. You have them fill out a form that collects information on the purpose and scope of the project, as well as what design and development skills they hope to acquire.

You also have them create a collection for the course and share it with their peers. The collection should give course mates permissions to view, see, and add comments. Users should share all of their course work through the collection.  

Each week you have users write a reflection and associate any relevant work. You provide comments on their reflections and encourage users to comment on each others' work.

Mid term you have users create a presentation on one design area they have developed significant knowledge in and share it with others in the course, including permissions to see and add assessments. Each user then evaluates their peers' work.

At the end of the course you have users submit their final project to a dropbox folder and you evaluate the projects through the Grades tool in Learning Environment. You encourage users to import their grades and submitted project into their portfolios as a formal record of their achievements.

Scenario: second grade class

You are a second grade teacher that believes in teaching information technology skills at a young age, and in keeping parents and guardians informed of their children's progress.

You create a portfolio for each child that contains collections and presentations for Reading, Writing, Math, and Art. You include a separate page for each weekly assignment in the presentations. You encourage parents to view the presentations and print copies of the assignments to help their kids at home. You actively review and respond to feedback.

At the end of the week you scan and upload each child's assignments and add them to the appropriate collection and presentation. You evaluate and comment on each artifact. You keep a Virtual Stickers folder with different pictures of mammals, fish, birds, and reptiles. When a child does an exemplary job on an assignment you let them choose an image and upload it to the Stickers page at the end of their presentation.

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