Archive for the 'Eportfolio' Category

Teacher Portfolios- Real Student Success or Faked Success?

Individually, I talked  to two teachers who had to present teacher portfolios and had received back  comments on their portfolio.  One teacher had glowing feedback.  He told me how he had only put student material in the portfolio that demonstrated above proficient work. He explained that usually only one or two students in all of his classes had reached that level for each standard and so he included that  work.

The other teacher had put in student work at all levels of proficiency.  Her feedback focused on how she had to help students to be successful. She had included the percent of  students  at each level of proficiency; she had even included a graph for the proficiency rates on  the four major standards. She indicated some strategies she had tried and whether each strategy succeed or did not succeed with these students.

The administrators were looking for measures of the teachers’ success in helping students to learn. They did not discern the difference between  a staged or fake representation of success for a teacher and a teacher’s  full disclosure about classroom learning.

How can your teacher portfolio show your growing success in reaching more and more students?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students, is available through Eye-on-Education.

Reponding to Your Students


Student Learning or Verbal Gymnastics in a Portfolio

A student handed in her portfolio and she parroted back to me the feedback I gave her. “I realized that I needed to start with a buffer statement.” However, she did not make the changes in her revised letter. Either she did not understand my feedback which was based on a model we used repeatedly in class, she did not know how to make the change once she had the feedback or she understood but did not make the changes. I think that she did not know how to make the changes. I could have had the class identify buffer and other parts of a negative message letter in real letters. I could have scaffolded it more in class with having them write several examples of each part of the letter such as the buffer. She needed more structure than other students. She was not successful. My next semester’s students will have the scaffolding so hopefully all of them can be successful.

How do you scaffold for student success?

EPortfolios as Signs of Student Growth in the Standards

As my college students are focusing on end of the course (a month away), I’m reminding them of their end of the semester portfolio.

The growth portfolio is based on the major goals we have covered in the course. It is based on work that the students have already done. The students will select, for each of the major goals, their own evidence from what they have done in the class.  For example, under the goal of  direct request letters, they have written six different letters; they will select which one best shows their success in writing a direct request letter. They will show me the original assignment, how they improved the letter after receiving feedback (teacher, peer or self), and explain their growth in each major goal through a reflection. They will use the same rubric/checklist that we used in class to assess each of their own evidence (chosen letters) and I will use the same rubric/checklist.

The portfolio is the final in the course.

I look forward to seeing their growth in the portfolio.

Eportfolio Student Ratings With Mutiple Reviewers

So how does your university or school handle multiple reviewers of a student’s eportfolio?

Eportfolio Ratings and Comments

Does the student see all ratings?

Are the ratings automatically averaged and only that average rating is reported to the student?

Does someone have final say over the multiple ratings? For example, does a seminar professor look at all the ratings and then he/she enters the final rating?

How does the student have access to the reviewers’ formative statements as well as a rating?

If the student does not have access or does not access the formative statements, then the eportfolio does not serve a formative assessment.

How does your university use the ratings and comments to better understand the student and his/her progress in the progress?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Eportfolio Public Presentation Tips for Pre-service Students

Eportfolio Presentation OK to Stellar

My tips for pre-service students giving their eportfolio public presentation:

Focus your comments on showing how you have met the proficiencies, not on your “wonderful and happy” times.

Show more than you tell. You say you believe in something but we need to see how you implemented your theory/belief in your classroom.

Use “I” statements such as “I structured the lesson so….” Avoid “You should..” or “When teachers….” Tell what you did.

Back up each general statement with a specific classroom example. “I assessed students” can be supported by “Here’s a pre-test, here’s a during the activity assessment, and here’ a post-test on their ability to write.”

Use reflection words to emphasize what you’ve learned such as “I learned”, “Now I know….”, “I found out ….. “, and “Next time I will….” Show your desire to improve.

Explain the richness of a learning experience instead of saying “My students did a map exercise.” say “I differentiate by having them put together a map, label it, and say the names of the states in the areas.”

Identify your areas for growth in specific terms. “I still need to improve in class management. I’ve tried ….. but I need more techniques.”

Show what your students did as a result of what you taught them. Don’t focus on what you taught but do focus on your students’ learning. Show the results of your teaching.

Be passionate and excited about teaching and learning. Gesture. Be animated.

Describe what you learned from doing an activity rather than dwelling on the details of the activity. ”

Don’t read the screen to the audience. Expand on it. Give more examples.

By using this presentation hints, you’ll shine in your eportfolio for the great teacher you have become!

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Eportfolio Creation – Through out the Semester or At the End?

Eportfolio During or End of the Semester

There is a tension in deciding when to have students create their eportfolios.

When students select what materials go in their eportfolios, there is a continuum of students doing an assignment that demonstrates the proficiency and putting it immediately in their eportfolios and, at the other end, of waiting until the end of the semester for the students to see all of the assignments that meet that proficiency and then selecting a particular assignment before they puts it in the eportfolios.

The immediate end of the continuum creates less panic and less end of the semester frustration; however, very likely the students may not be including their best evidence of achievement of the proficiency if they put in their first assignment for that proficiency. Often students grow in their understanding of the proficiency during a semester; they come to better comprehend the breadth and depth of the proficiency. On the other hand, when the students wait until the end of the semester, the students may feel overwhelmed by the task of selecting from all their possible assignments and may or may not select their best evidence. Usually their end of semester reflections are better since they have had more time to think over how an assignment demonstrates the proficiency.

When do your students create their eportfolios?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Eportfolio Panic and Technology Training

Eportfolio process improvement

Our pre-service teachers are preparing their eportfolio public presentations. The graduate assistants (GAs) have worked hard all year in preparing written documentation and showing each class how to use the eportfolio system. However, as the students enter the final days before their eportfolio presentations and they are still putting the eportfolio together, numerous students have forgotten the basics of the system.

Do the pre-service teachers forget because

They were not trained well?
Their training early in the semester did not match their need at that time?
The students did not see the importance of learning the eportfolio system?
The training was not embedded throughout the semester?
The program is not intuitive?
The students are now exhausted in rushing to finishing off other finals, papers, etc.?

Without interviewing students and finding out the causes, next semester will be no better. There will no improvement in the eportfolio process. There will be panic and students will not do their best in demonstrating the progress in the university’s proficiencies.

How do you build in evaluation and improvement of your educational technology practices?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Flower Metaphor for Student Assessment and Accountability

Flower Metaphor

I like to take flower pictures. Depending on where I position myself in relation to the flower, it can be in the shadows or in the bright sunlight. Depending on my viewpoint of straight down, from the side or from the ground up, the flower looks very different. I may take a picture of a bunch of flowers or of one single flower. As I change a backdrop, the color of the flower may change and a light area becomes dark. At no time has the flower changed but each picture of it can be very different.

A flower is a good metaphor for assessment. An 80/100 on a test may be a horrible score, an average score or a very high one. An essay rated on the state writing rubric may score a 3/6 although the ideas in it are brilliant. A single state test does not show the many dimensions of student learning overtime.

Flowers are constantly changing just as our students, hopefully, are in their learning.

Let’s create flower albums of many different views of student learning for a single standard. Let’s look at the student’s progress from many different positions, angles, and backdrops. If we only concentrate on a few flowers (standards), then we can show the student in all his/her glory!

So how many different views of student learning do you have at present ? Use a spreadsheet or database to collect your various flower pictures of learning. Think of having your students create an eportfolio to highlight their many blooms.

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Blog as Eportfolio: Using Tags

Eportfolio Blog Tagging
I have mentioned in previous blogs, students can use blogs for eportfolios. The use of tags will allow students to indicate the critical standards-based elements of each blog.

As educators, we want to assess the students’ growth in our subject area standards. However, the students may include various learning experiences that incorporate more than one standard in a blog entry. They may organize their eportfolio around their bigger authentic learning experiences. However, they need to carefully tag each entry and to clue us as to their awareness of each standard.

If students in English class create a blog that demonstrates their labeling a nature trail, they can tag that blog with the appropriate standard key components such as 1.1, 1.3, and 1.5. In the blog, they will insert the appropriate standard component and explain how this aspect of the blog demonstrate the component. (We listened to a nature guide who explained to us the various flowers and trees on the nature path. From her talk, I listed the trees and four facts about each one (1.1-getting information from oral sources). I then researched these trees on the Internet to find two additional facts and to get more details for each of the facts (1.3-getting information from text sources). Then I created a label for each tree in which I included a picture of the tree, its name, and six detailed facts about each tree. (1.5-creating information for others). Here is a sample…… The student then includes a reflection on her growth in each of these key components.

Due to the tags, the teachers can find the standards easily in the students’ blogs and then with the students’ annotations, the educators can see the specific evidence within a larger context. If their blogs are private (them and you), then you can rate them and give them formative feedback.

Do your students tag their blog work for your standards-based assessment?


Eportfolio as Formative: Do We Help Students Improve?

Eportfolio At End or a Cycle

As I have been looking at some students’ eportfolios, I have been hit by a driving concern. If we find that over 50% of the students are deficient in a certain skill such as the ability to identify an area for improvement, how do we build the remediation into our course? If we notice this deficiency early in the year, we could rectify it by spending class time on it. If we only notice this deficiency at the last summative eportfolio, then, at best, we can pass on the information to their next year’s teachers.

How do we build in frequent eportfolio checks and how do we thoroughly examine the eportfolios each time so that we can catch such deficiencies early in the semester or year and therefore build in time and activities to help the students improve? How do we do a class wide analysis of our eportfolio examinations to see what patterns are emerging? If the students’ demonstrations of the standards/proficiencies through an eportfolio are important to us, then we will build class time in for student improvement. If we only do a superficial check in on the eportfolio during the semester and if we only evaluate an eportfolio at the end of the semester, then the eportfolio is more of a “buzz word” or busy work than a meaningful formative educational tool.

So how do you use eportfolios?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Rating Eportfolios Over Time: The Big Question

Copy or new reflection in newest eportfolio

What does it mean if a pre-service teacher directly copies his/her reflection from a previous semester in his/her most recent eportfolio and does not add anything?

Does it mean that

The previous semester’s reflection was the best that it could be and it cannot be better this semester?

The student ran out of time to think about the proficiency so he/she just copied it?

If it is the second, then how do we build time in the semester for the students to reflect on their growth?

If it is the first, then our program needs to be examined so that each semester provides deeper and richer experiences for the students.

What do you do in your program so that students have more in-depth and more comprehensive proficiency reflections each semester?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Rating Eportfolios Over Time: High Ratings or Real Growth?

3 eportfolios and ratings

Virtually every eportfolio article talks about how eportflios can be used to measure student progress over time. Yet, I wonder how often do we measure student growth in eportfolios over time? A university may have a pre-service education students do three eportfolios. A student gets rated each time. If each of the student’s eportfolios is rated independently, then the student may get a high rating each time when assessed according to a specific rubric.

However, if I examine all of the eportfolios for that student, I may find that the student has copied the same reflection from the 2nd to the 3rd eportfolio. If I look at each eportfolio individually, I would not know this information and I would probably give the student a high rating each time. If I look at each eportfolio compared to the previous ones, then the subsequent rating would not be as high because I would be aware of the student copying from him/herself. Do you rate each student’s eportfolios individually or in comparison with that student’s other eportfolios? How do you really look for student growth over time?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Student Personal Learning Goals and Self-Assessment in a Blog

Personal Goals in a Blog

We all want students to be life long learners. Students have to be able to self-assess and improve. One technique is for students to create a personal subject area or school goal blog.

They identify what their own major goals are for the course and how they might go about achieving those goals or what help they might need. Frequently during the semester they revisit their goals and write about their progress. They may revise their goals or revise the activities to help them get there.They add evidence of their activities that support their growth in their goals.

These blogs become their goal and learning online journals. The blog serves as a personal celebration of the students’ successes. They may choose to put some of this in their eportfolio.

How do you have students’ use blogs for their own self assessment of their learning goals?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Eportfolio as Digital-Age Assessment of Student Learning

Reflection leads to better eportfolio

I written about 18 blogs about electronic portfolios (eportfolios); here is an article, Digital-Age Assessment, in which I summarized much of that information for TechLearning (Feb. 15, 2007). You might want to compare the ideas I’ve presented to your ideas. How else can an eportfolio be used for assessment? Let me know your ideas.

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Course Management System As Assessment for Student Learning

Ideal Course Management System

What would my ideal “course management” system be? The system would be used primarily for recording, analyzing, and reporting formative assessment results and suggestions for improvement. This would include teacher, peer and self-assessments. A secondary use would be for summative assessments such as assignments and tests which would be proficiency based. Also in the summative section would be results from the previous years, last state test or from practice state tests recorded by proficiency. This section would also include past year’s proficiency-based grades, attendance, and other personal data. A tercerary use would be for an eportfolio (both formative and summative use). If the eportfolio was developed over a series of Eportfolio planning days, then both students and teachers could use it as a formative assessment for student improvement.

At any given moment a teacher would be able to see a multitude of data that clearly shows the number story of a student’s progress in the proficiency. The proficiency data would be visually displayed through graphs and charts. Likewise, a teacher could have an overview of all students’ progress in a certain standard. The system would produce a “report card” which focuses on each student’s progress in the standard with suggestions for improvement in any less than proficient areas. The grading would be on a scale such as Exemplary, Proficient, Nearing Proficiency, and Developing Proficiency that all teachers and students understand.

The system would allow any teacher in a subject area to see summary information from any other teacher in that subject area at that grade level, the lower grade level, and the higher grade level.

Students would have access to this information so that they could monitor their own progress. Likewise, parents/guardians would have access to the information.

The system would have value-added assessment since teachers, students and parents could see the growth of a student over years..

So what does your course management system focus on? Formative? Summative? Eportfolio? Which will most benefit your students? Or which combination?


© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Assessing Student Eportfolios: Focus on Standards Rubrics

Avoid Non-Standards Based items in eportfolio rubric

I’ve been looking at various eportfolio assessment tools such as rubrics and checklists and I’ve been shocked by what I found. Many of these rubrics or scales include evaluating these non-standards items: “creativity”; “visually appealing”; “has variety”; and “links work”. Usually these non-standards items receive the same point value in the rubric as content. So if students have a beautiful, creative, varied, and well-linked eportfolio but has no valuable content about their standards-based learning, they can still score very high(80% or higher).

I believe that educators should assess an eportfolio using the national or state rubrics. For example, I would use the National Council of NCTM’s standards or the state math standards rubric as a basis for evaluating a math eportfolio. I would use the NCTE or the state’s English rubrics to assess an English eportfolio. If a school is measuring something for which there are not standards,then the school will create their own measurable standards. If we believe that an eportfolio show a student’s progress in the standards, then we will want to use state or national standards rubric to evaluate the student’s progress.

If we want to give an assessment “grade” to the non-content items of the eportfolio, then that grade should be independent of the content grade and count much less. Perhaps the content eportflio grade counts 90% and the non-content grade counts 10%.

What rubric do you use to evaluate your student eportfolios? How much does that rubric focus on national or state standards? How much does it focus on non-standards items?


Eportfolio as formative assessment Through the Teacher

Eportfolio as formative assessment by teacher

In a previous blog, Student Eportfolio as Formative Assessment, I emphasized how a student can use his or her eportfolio as formative self-assessment. This time I will focus on the teacher using eportfolios to provide class and individual assistance. Let look at how Mr. Rodriquez uses eportfolios to provide summative feedback.

As Mr. Rodriquez looks at individual student’s eportfolios during Eportfolio Review Days, he uses a checklist which has student names going down and the standard skills going across. When he notices that a student is lacking a skill, he writes a number one (“1”) under that student’s skill area. He interviews the student to determine why he or she has not demonstrated that skill yet. After he has had a mini-conference with each student and offered different degrees of mini-help to those students, he looks at the skill sheet. He quickly analyzes if certain skills pose a problem for numerous skills. If his checklist is really a computer spreadsheet on his tablet computer, he can have the computer quickly calculate the scores for each skill and for each student. He can decide based on this data whether he needs to have a whole class reteaching of a concept, a grouping of students who need help in the same area, or whether he will do one on one with students who have unique learning problems.

If his students are doing their eportfolio in an eportfolio system, he can have the system produce reports as to the progress of the students. He can find out how many students have completed each standard and which standards each student has done to date. If he notices that many students have not completed a specific standard, he will interview some students to discover the reason. Depending on his eportfolio system, he may be able to see which artifacts (assignments or evidence), the students have selected. Again, he can use this eportfolio data to decide on whole class, small group or individual assistance so that each student can be successful.

How do you use your eportfolio system to help you in being a formative assessment for the success of all students?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Student Eportfolios as Formative Assessment

Eportfolio as formative assessment

Students’ eportfolios can become formative if your students work on the eportfolios throughout the semester or year. If students just put the eportfolio together the last week of class, then the eportfolio cannot serve as formative assessment.

During the first Eportfolio Review Day which may be at the end of five weeks or ten weeks of school, students select which assignment (evidence, artifact) they will use in their eportfolio. As they share their choice with you, you can assess how well they understand the standard and how well their select assignments demonstrate the standard. You can offer assistance if they demonstrate a need.

During the subsequent Eportfolio Review Days, the students compare the most recent assignments that they have done to the ones they have already selected for the eportfolio. They self-assess their own work in terms of the standard. They begin to think of how they can do better future work to be more completely or more in depth demonstrations of their progress in the standard. As they share their decisions with you, you can assess how their understanding of the standard has increased and how much more discriminating they are in selecting good evidence for their eportfolio.

As students develop their reflection on the standard using the what “I learned previously, what I learned in the course, and what I still want to learn” about the standard model, they share it with you. You can help them develop in-depth reflections that truly illustrates their higher-level thinking about the standard.

When students do peer-evaluations of each other’s eportfolio based on the rubric, their formative assessments allows each student to grow

So how else do you use eportfolios as formative assessment?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Blog as Eportfolio: Part 3-Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantage Disadvantage of Blog as Eportfolio

The advantage of a blog eportfolio is that it is easy to put up a blog. Most students have their own email so they can set up a blog quickly. They can individualize the appearance by selecting from many existing templates. A blog is a good tool for an eportfolio with much text.

There ae some disadvantages. The eportfolio can contain images. However, often those images are limited. Many blog programs do not allow video. Some allow audio with special programming. The student has to be shown how to set up the blog to limit access to it if it is a school eportfolio.

The student has to be more creative in showing improvements in their work such as their growth in their comparison writing. One way is for the student to write notes in parentheses such as ( ) to show the changes. For example,

Don Quixote’s love for Dulcinea is a fantasy love. He devotes all of his actions to her even though there is no real woman with the name of Dulcinea. (I added the “even though…” part to prove the fantasy concept). When he tells people he has saved to go to her town and praise her, he gives them the name of a town. El Toboso, that does exist. He describes her great beauty to others although the woman on whom he bases Dulcinea is not beautiful. (I decide to use the same pattern in each sentence to help the reader see the difference between the fantasy and reality.)

Most blogs do not allow for double column entries with one column being the original document and the other column being the students’ comments on their growth.

If the eportfolio blog is a private blog with limited access to invited people, the teachers can make comments on the students eportfolio.

What other advantages or disadvantages do you see in using blogs for academic eportfolios?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Blog as Eportfolio: Part 2- Blogging Logistics

ELA Eportfolio Links

I would suggest having one blog entry per standard. Within that blog entry for the standard, the students has the paraphrase of the standard, the numerous artifacts or evidence and how each shows the standard, and the reflection on growth.

The students enter the blog eportfolio in reverse so the end of the eportfolio goes in first. The title of the eportfolio goes in as the most recent entry.

The student has an index on the initial page where each part of the eportfolio is listed. The students will go in their blog, find the URL for the blog of the first standard, copy that URL, highlight the first standard in the listing of the standards on the initial page, and hyperlink it. They will repeat this process for each part of the eportfolio. The students will save their changes. Therefore, this initial index page serves as a quick jumping off point to any part of the eportfolio.

If the student has less than ten blog entries which is very probably, then they can simply have the blog list the most recent blogs entries. A reviewer can click from the side listings to navigate through the eportfolio. Another more complex technique is for the students to edit the previous blog entries. They copy the URL of this initial index page, write “index page” at the bottom of each eportfolio part, and link that page to the index. They will re-save each blog entry. Then the reviewer can go from any eportfolio page back to the index page.

If you’ve used a blog as an educational eportfolio based on standards, please share your experiences.

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Blog as Eportfolio: Part 1- Basic Eportfolio Structure

ELA Eportfolio Cover

I talked to someone who is interested in having her students put up their academic eportfolio using a blog. I think blogging is an easy technology that can be private and limited to who views it.

I think these eportfolio parts are critical (the structure of the eportfolio):

Title page with basic information

Standard overview to see which standard subparts are addressed in the the eportfolio and the student’s self -rating on these standards.
First Standard
– How the student understands the standard
– Multiple artifacts or evidence to demonstrate the standard and how each artifact demonstrates the standard
– Reflection on each standard (What the student knew, learned, and needs to learn)

Second Standard
– How the student understands the standard
– Multiple artifacts or evidence to demonstrate the standard and how each artifact demonstrates the standard
– Reflection on each standard (What the student knew, learned, and needs to learn)

Continue for each additional state, national or 21s century skill standard

An overall statement that shows how the student sees all the standards combined to produce a good English (Math, Social Studies, Math, etc) student.

Are their other parts of an eportfolio that you feel should be included?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Educational Eportfolios(OSP): Students Successfully Structure Their Own Learning


The School of Education pre-service students presented their eportfolios. Overall, their presentations seemed very professional and certainly showed the students’ progress in the school’s proficiencies. We used Open Source Portfolio (OSP with some modifications thanks to two great programmers (Sean and Huan). The students saw the proficiencies on the left, their text & artifacts in the center, and thumbnails of their artifacts on the right. They could click to get a bigger image and more information on the artifacts. Their presentation flowed from proficiency to proficiency.

Students seemed to have a better sense of what each proficiency meant than in the past. I’m not sure if it is because we have had the same proficiencies for a while or rather their instructors have emphasized the proficiencies more. Likewise, all students used examples from their K-12 students to demonstrate each proficiency. Their talk was teacher talk with statements like “My students put different M&Ms (blue M&Ms for water; brown for mountains) on the cookie to show the geography of New York State. I assessed them ….” One student talked about her philosophy of education as constructivism and then gave several visual examples in each proficiency to demonstrate it.

The students should be very proud of their progress and achievement of the proficiencies. They used OSP to organize and present the information for each proficiency.

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Eportfolio Reviews: Face to Face vs Online


So what is the difference between an online eportfolio review and a face to face eportfolio review? That depends on the pre-service students. Some students let their enthusiasm for teaching bubble over during an oral presentation. Others rush through their presentation. Some students add more information than what is on the screen. Others simply read the screen. Some students connect the various artifacts and proficiencies to create a big picture of teaching; some do it in their oral presentations and some do it in their eportfolios.

The same information (artifacts and reflection) is in both presentations. I am a reflective person so I like to be able to study the artifacts, review the student’s philosophy of education, and then finally assess the proficiency.

There are times when I want to ask the student questions such as “Tell me more about…” or “What did you really do to assess your students’ literacy?” Sometimes I can ask a question during an oral presentation but usually there is only time for a quick question. I cannot do it during an online review.

Some students label each paragraph with the appropriate subproficiency to make sure that the reviewer can find the evidence. That is a double edged sword. Yes, I can see where the evidence should be but is it really there? Often during an oral presentation they do not identify subproficiencies.

The real question is whether the student, either face to face or online, convincingly presents the evidence to show success in the proficiency. The student can do it successfully in both formats.


Reviewing Students Proficiency-Based Eportfolio Online: Prove it

Eportfolio Reflections Generalities Specifics

I recently finished doing an online review of a student’s electronic portfolio (eportfolio) to demonstrate her progress toward the School of Education’s five proficiencies.

I had heard the same student do a short fifteen minute public presentation of her eportfolio.

My reaction to the online review was the same as to her oral presentation. She gave many generalities but did not “prove” her point. I see proficiency-based eportfolios as “prove it” paragraphs in which the student clearly states what they will prove and then gives very specific evidence.

For the proficiency of “critical reflection” a student may write “I have grown professionally by doing reflections. I reflected after each of my lessons and I reflected at the end of the unit. I have become a better teacher.” She certainly is showing that she reflects but she is missing the critical part of how she has grown by reflecting.

When she adds details, she proves her growth. “I have grown professionally by doing reflections. I reflected after each of my lessons and I reflected at the end of the unit. I now base all my lessons on standards and assess on those standards; previously I did a reading activity and wanted the students to enjoy that activity. I have become a better teacher since I now assess during the lesson with response cards; previously, I only cared about my teaching not about the students’ learning.”

Do your students give specific “prove-it” examples of their learning in eportfolios?

Improving Student Learning Through Reflections in Technology Projects and Electronic Portfolios (Eportfolios)

Students Summarize or Reflect

Students need to develop the life long skill of reflection. They have to be able to determine what they did well and what improvements they can make to improve in the future. Unfortunately, most of school is built on external feedback, usually the teacher’s. Teachers can build in the reflection process: by modeling it; by asking students to do it; and giving feedback on how insightful their reflections are.

Reflections are a critical part of student electronic portfolios or eportfolios. Let’s look at a student eportfolio reflection.

I liked writing the essay about Cervantes’ Don Quixote and Shakespeare’s Midsummer Nights’ Dream. Both works of literature were great. I used the theme of love from the list the teacher gave us. For this essay I was told to tell three similarities or three differences and give examples of each. I followed the comparison/contrast essay format that the teacher gave us; I developed my outline using it. I looked over my notes and the class handouts and got the examples from them. It did not take me very long to do. I wrote five paragraphs. I outlined it and then word processed it. I think I did a good job.”

Nothing in the previous paragraph is a reflection. The student has summarized what he/she had to do. The only statement that comes close to a reflection is “I think I did a good job.” but even then, the student does not explain why he/she thinks he/she did a good job.

Another students writes.

I had trouble deciding whether I wanted to compare or contrast the two works of literature. I did a quick concept map of both and found that I had more complete examples to show their similarities. I could more easily prove the similarities after I changed the theme of ”love” to “crazy love”. I realized that both authors used humor to show how love can be crazy. I had trouble not including real life examples that are so similar to the literature examples. This time I listed examples of “crazy love” from each. Next time, I will match up the examples from the literature and show precisely how similar they are, instead of how generally similar they are.”

Notice how the second student clearly reflects his/her thinking and contains a specific suggestion for future improvements.

When your students do technology projects or eportfolios, do your students summarize or reflect?




Eportfolios: Lessons Learned – Your ideas

When you think of an electronic portfolio, what do you think of?

Electronic Portfolios (Eportfolios):Assessing Student Learning

Eportfolio Planning:

The following questions will help you to think through the many critical issues involved in electronic portfolios.

Type of eportfolio: Story telling or standards-based?

Type of academic eportfolio: Collection? Course? Program? Standard?

Which standard(s) will you include?

Which part of this standard? (performance indicator?)

How will you assess that standard?
(Are there any state rubrics? Criteria?
If you are not using a state rubric, does your own rubric/assessment specifically measure the standard in very observable ways?)

How comprehensive will the eportfolio be?
(How many parts will students do for any one standard?
How many different standards will the students do?

How will you explain the eportfolio to the students?

How will you model an eportfolio for the students?
How will you model selecting artifacts?

How will you model doing reflections?

How will you embed in the usual classroom learning experiences standards-based activities that help students demonstrate their growth in the standard?
1) Standards-Assessment Mapping
2) one learning activity = one standard, not many!
3) Modify old assignments or create new standards based ones

4) Label each assignment with the standard and any subpart

How will you have students do assignments and activities in digital format?

How will you provide activities in other than text only format (emovies, PowerPoint, digital images, etc.)

Where will students store their standards material that they might use in their eportfolio?

How will you give feedback on regular assignments so that students can show growth in the standard?
Will the students revise their work after your feedback? If so, how do they show their changes/improvements?

How often will you schedule student work on the eportfolio such as collecting all their possible assignments for a standard?

How do students select only the part of the assignment that directly demonstrates the standard?

How often will students update their eportfolio? (Monthly? Quarterly? Semester?

What type of reflection will show their growth?

Will you have them show you a sample reflection before they do more reflections?

How often will the students have their eportfolio reviewed? Semester? Year? Senior Year?

Who will assess the eportfolio? You? The department? Other teachers?

Will students present their eportfolios at a public or a virtual presentation?

If they present at a public presentation, who will be there?

If students do not present at a public presentation, are their eportfolios self-explanatory?

Some References:

British Columbia’s Graduate Eportfolio

Study monitors students’ work

A portfolio webquest

Helen Barrett’s web resources

Mt Edgecumbe’s Eportfolios

Eportfolios Showcase In-Depth Student Learning

Standard with more in-depth work

Often students do not see evidence of their growth over time toward a standard. Students have a wonderful opportunity to see their growth as they use eportfolios. When teachers build in eportfolio days, students get to collect their most recent evidence for a standard.

More important, they compare what they have recently done with the evidence that they previously have done and have selected for the eportfolio. They begin to judge critically their evidence as they come to better understand the comprehensive nature of the standard. For example, ELA students might select a color poem as their entry for NYS ELA Standard 2: Personal Response; however, as they successfully do more complex poem types, they probably will select one of those as their present choice. Their new poem selection will include more poetic devices and show how the students can incorporate these many devices to create a moving message.

They also think more critically about what they are doing in class. Will this be better than what I presently have in the eportfolio? What can I do to make it better? They strive to do more in-depth work for the standard.

Students constantly see their growth as they compare their new work to their old work. They see how much they have grown.

Eportfolios- Student Growth Through In-Depth Reflections

As I prepare for a presentation on electronic portfolios (eportfolios), I am aware that many educators have a vague concept about eportfolios. My definition is “students’ self-selected purposeful limited collection of and reflection on artifacts toward the progress on a standard(s) done digitally”. I prefer  on standards-based eportfolios.

I have found many examples of eportfolios on the web; most of them are collections of material. What concerns me even more is the lack of in-depth reflection. If we want students to be life-long learners, then they have to develop in-depth reflection. A weak reflection summarizes what was done but does not specifically address the students’ growth. I like a KLW model: what I already Knew about the standard, what I Learned, and What I still want to learn. When a student says, “I learned to write better” then the student either does not know what he/she learned or they have not learned how to be specific. A student can tell how they learned it.

Eportfolios show student growth only when students’ do in-depth reflection.

Increased Student Accountability Through Eportfolio

Students select what they put in their eportfolio. They do not put in teacher prescribed activities but they select from many possible activities the one that best shows their progresses in the standard.

Students can include more learning examples than they would on a state benchmark or exam. For example, on the NYS 11th English Language Arts Regents there are only four different tasks.

Students can include more comprehensive examples. The teachers can have students include two examples for a specific subset of the standard.

Students can frequently review their eportfolio on a quarterly basis. They can examine what they have put in and what they might put in. Do they have a new example that is better than one they previously have put in?

Students can include insightful reflections that show what they have learned and what they still need to learn about the standard.


RSS Education with Technology

  • Tech Integration Teacher, What time is it? August 23, 2016
    When someone asks what time it is, that person wants to know the time, not the history of the clock, not how a clock works, and not what other types of clocks there are. Classroom teachers want to help their students improve their academic learning through technology. Sometimes they need help with technology so they go […]
  • Curriculum Focus, Not Technology Focus July 28, 2016
    In my public school career I have been a classroom teacher, a technology integration specialist and a technology administrator. In my technology role, I served under the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. She had a simple mission: Improve students’ academic learning. My mission was equally simple: Improve students’ academic learning through technology […]
  • Students React to Digital Badges: Pros, Cons and Interesting June 22, 2016
      ISTE 2016 By Harry Grover Tuttle, Ed. D. College World Language Students’ Preferences Digital Badges – 52%        Paper Certificates – 48% World Language: Can-Do Digital Badges Digital Badges Pro- – Breaks down proficiency more – Shows all badges at once – Is more attractive – Is more appropriate since we use […]
  • Digital Badges: Naming the Badge October 29, 2015
    Once teachers have selected what learning and what digital badges (individual or category badges; see previous blog), the teachers encounter another decision. What will they name each badge? Will they use the full name of the Common Core Standard or the national proficiency? For English, under “Speaking and Listening,”will they write out SL.2 “Integrate and […]
  • Digital Badges: Better Than Grades? October 19, 2015
    Teachers understand that the grade in a course consists of many different factors such as homework, participation , projects, tests, etc. Blodget observes that sometimes grades reflect attitude, effort, ability and behavior ( Equally important, a letter […]
  • World Language Students Use of Mobile Devices in the Classroom October 5, 2015
    Do world language students use technology n the classroom? Do their  teachers go beyond having their students use technology simply for the drill and practice in vocabulary and grammar? Students can use laptops and mobile devices to hear authentic language, read authentic texts, read tweets about famous performers, see up-to-the-moment culture,  watch video […]
  • Digital Badges: Individual or Categorized Learning Badges? September 12, 2015
    The idea of digital badges sounds appealing for the digital children in classes. As teachers start thinking about digital badges, they have to figure out what badges will be awarded. The teachers can award social or academic badges. If teachers decide to use academic badges, then the teachers may base their badges on the Common […]
  • English +Common Core +Mobile = Success (ISTE2014 Poster -details) June 30, 2014
    Here are the ten examples I showed at my English + Common Core  + Mobile ISTE 2014 Poster Session: Based on CCSS Anchor Statements: L.2 Take a Conventions Mobile Online Quiz  to pick the  incorrect sentence from four choices (capitalization) SL.2  Evaluate audio recording of a  book chapter on mobile and predict for next chapter. […]
  • Global Cultural Learning Using Mobile Devices (ISTE Mobile MegaShare Presentation) June 28, 2014
    Based on my presentation at ISTE 2014 Mobile Megashare Why teach about other countries? Location: Large view to small on maps. Culture or culture. Find six similarities in a  mobile picture from another culture (“Wars are caused by differences, not similarities.”-Tuttle.) Tell one piece of information from each different Internet visual from a place in that […]
  • English + Common Core + Mobile = Success in Learning Poster Session at ISTE 2014 June 25, 2014
    In my ISTE Sunday 8-10 am poster session, I demonstrate many diverse mobile activities to help students achieve the English Language Arts Common Core Anchor Statements through mobile devices. The mobile activities focus on free common tool apps that are available on both the Android and the iPad. The students use the apps as a seamless […]

Blog Stats

  • 803,069 hits