A well-developed student reflection must answer questions such as:
- What was the setting in which the ePortfolio was taught?
- What were the intended learning outcomes?
- What were the essential strengths and weaknesses?
- What specifically might have been changed to improve the learning outcomes?
- What were the unintended and unanticipated learning outcomes?
- What factors negatively or positively affected the success?
- What specifically was learned as a result of developing, planning and teaching?
Increased importance of Internet
- The Web is used to convey information alone to the learner, for example, a course syllabus, a calendar, assignment descriptions, lecture notes, workshop descriptions, etc;
- The Web is used to involve instructional elements that engage the learner, encourage reflection and decision making and provide feedback in response to learner actions;
- The Web is used to provide a means for the organization, communication and exchange of ideas and information among learners and teachers and other parties in the learning process;
- The Web is used as a means for learners to create and publish materials and as a tool for gathering and collecting information and presenting that information in a published form.
Web logs (‘blogs’)
Another technology that has potential to make electronic portfolios more engaging is the web log or "blogs" as it is known to those who participate in them. A weblog is defined as any web page with content organised according to date.
In the context of an ePortfolio, course tutors, could all have their own weblogs which users could view on their “friends” page. Students can share information they’ve found or ideas they have on a particular subject, as well as the more social messages which may form a compelling reason for them to use the technology to begin with.
Since one of the main goals of a portfolio is reflection on learning, perhaps a blog is a good option, since it can be used as an online reflective journal and an environment that invites collaboration.
Definition of Reflective journals
A reflective journal is a personal record of student’s learning experiences. It is a space where a learner can record and reflect upon their observations and responses to situations, which can then be used to explore and analyse ways of thinking. Journals, although generally written, can also contain images, drawings and other types of reference materials.
Purpose of Reflective journals
A reflective journal is a means for learners to reflect on their learning and learning experiences in different ways. They are used to:
- record the development of learners’ ideas and insights and / or those of a group in a given context and can include concepts, ideas and main points from experience and theory;
- reflect upon the subject content and personal experiences as a means to increase learners’ understanding;
- analyse learning process for self development.
Usage of Reflective journals
Reflective journals are used to explore situations from a personal perspective, but generally within the context of learning from students’ own experiences. They are used to reflect on, in and for action. Common questions arising from 'reflection' are:
- What happened? (Reflecting on actions)
- Why did it happen? (Reflecting in actions)
- What can be learnt from this for future actions? (Reflecting for actions)
Electronic discussion can be defined as any learners’ collaborative activity organized to explore an issue, using an electronic medium such as e-mail or Web-based discussion lists.
Electronic discussion provides teachers with a natural framework for teaching critical thinking because it captures the best of both traditional writing assignments and in-room discussions.
Digital storytelling combines the art of telling stories with any of a variety of available multimedia tools, including graphics, audio, video animation, and Web publishing. Digital Storytelling is a way to engage learners and teachers into the creation of different stories.
- Library of resources
- Learning activities
Educational Goals and Objectives
Teachers can use Digital Storytelling in many ways, from introducing new material to helping students learn to conduct research, synthesize large amounts of content and gain expertise in the use of digital communication and authoring tools. It also can help students organize these ideas as they learn to create stories for an audience, and present their ideas and knowledge in an individual and meaningful way.
Educational Goals of Digital Storytelling for Teachers:
- Appeal to the diverse learning styles of the students by using Digital Storytelling as a presentation media;
- Generate interest, attention and motivation for the "digital generation" kids in our classrooms;
- Capitalize on the creative talents of your own students as they begin to research and tell stories of their own;
- Publish student work on the Internet, where their peers can view it and criticize it.Educational Goals of Digital Storytelling for Learners:
- Learn to use the Internet to research rich, deep content while analyzing and synthesizing a wide range of content;
- Develop communications skills by learning to ask questions, express opinions, construct narratives and write for an audience;
- Increase computer skills using software that combines a variety of multimedia including text, still images, audio, video and web publishing.
Individual reflection practices
If we interpret reflection practice as something that illuminates what the self and others have experienced, is this an individual or collective activity?
Individual reflection need not be sequestered from collective reflection. In fact, they can be mutually supportive of each other inside of the same learning process. For example, in a reflection group focused on individual practice, each person takes a turn recounting a key event and getting feedback on analyzing it, naming assumptions, making connections, and formulating critical questions that emerge.
In one version of an organizational learning process, each student identifies significant events from the perspective of their role, allowing the group to craft collective learning through exploring the connections across those multiple perspectives. Each of these reflection processes is oriented differently according to the aim of the specific learning needs, yet each relies on retaining the complexity of the differences in the group. And although both processes are oriented around inquiry into experience in order to learn, each will yield different types of questions.
The kinds of questions that emerge from reflection aimed at individual experience tend to relate to the development of practitioner thinking, whereas reflection oriented around collective work often yields questions connected to aligning actions with organizational values and goals (more information about evaluation is available in Module 4).
MOSEP Project - http://wiki.mosep.org/Mosep/
The project is managed by the Salzburg Research Forschungsgesellschaft , if you have any questions or contributions, please contact the project co-ordinator Wolf Hilzensauer