John C. Ittleson gave a webinar today on the use of ePortfolios, specifically Acrobat 9 Pro and the PDF Portfolio tool. As I think about development of new ways to display and demonstrate the understanding for learning outcomes, this method of creating portfolios becomes an integral part of learning for professionals. In the A`o Kumu program, we'd like to see this used more as a method of reflection in addition to progression and understanding of learning outcomes. This may be something we think about as we move forward with Ka hua development.
Ittleson uses the ePortfolio in his online graduate course, Interactive Multimedia for Instruction. With the PDF portfolio functionality, it enables students to aggregate digital artifacts that is evidence of their achievements over time, but it also allows instructors to embed comments and suggestions directly into the PDF porfolio so that students can view their work in the context of the instructor's feedback.
Ittleson sets up his course outside of an LMS by creating ePortfolio templates. These templates get replaced with the student's work. Exchange of the ePortfolio happens four times over the course of the semester. This method can also be viewed as an electronic file cabinet. Students can also continue to add to the portfolio after the class is done.
This method becomes a developmental process, instead of a one time shot. Why use acrobat rather than a website? Annotation capabilities allow the teacher to give feedback. Reflection becomes a big component of learning as we all know. Ittleson says he has to scaffold questions in order for the students to see the process. Some of the questions ask what were some of the challenges, "aha" moments, how did the course materials connect to the Learning Theories course. Formal check points allowed the projects to be viewed at an early stage. Students actually started working on the projects early rather than wait until the end. The portfolio had to be populated with products so they had to start early. It gave the instructor an understanding of the different speeds of progression from students in his class. In addition, students working ahead were able to give him pointers as well.
He also hopes to be able to integrate the form function for students to grade their own work through the use of a rubric. They'd fill out the form justifying how they mastered each of the learning outcomes.
I'm still awaiting the archive of this presentation, but in the mean time, you can read about this story here: Integrative Learning with ePortfolio at CSU, Monterey