More About the Learning Portfolio

I’ve written a fair bit about my process for developing support materials – which is something I’ve become good at over the years. I haven’t really spent any time writing about some of the other, smaller initiatives around the Learning Portfolio. One of which is getting students to set their own learning goals.

It’s ironic that an institution (who have their goals for students) wants students to be self-directed, yet everywhere in their classes have very little choice in the way that they can determine their own goals and achieve them. This self determination is left to their own time, and is in every sense, not a part of school. However, the institution is certainly looking at ways that students can determine, set and track their own goals – and to that end, with a consultation with Desire2Learn, developed a widget that sits on the homepage that students can click on the link, enter their information on a form which creates an artifact in their ePortfolio/Learning  Portfolio. A small portion of the student population use the Learning Portfolio (about 5%-10% of our full time enrollment) but use is picking up. Use of the Learning Goals widget is also a large percent of that group – maybe making up 2% of our total population.

The idea with this widget is to get students thinking about their own goals and trying to tie those goals to their academic learning. I don’t know if there’s enough being done around this – and we’re only in the beginning, but some thinking needs to be done about this for sure. We aren’t tracking whether these goals are ever met, or even the content of these goals – in fact we only can make a guestimate based on how many times the title of the widget shows up in the Learning Portfolio object creation report.

I’d be interested in hearing about whether anyone’s doing major ePortfolio/Capstone project work – trying to encapsulate a student’s experience at University or College in that course/project – and ways that an ePortfolio might help that along. Sure, we know that portfolios are great for procedural/project based learning, especially when guided. I’m more interested in if this can be done institutionally. Really adding a great incentive to building this work.

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