Monday, January 27, 2014

Keeping Parents Informed - Electronic Portfolios in Technology Classes.

For the third year I tried electronic Portfolios in my classroom, and as with anything you do a number of times, there is improvement.  I believed this to be so but I wanted to make sure the students thought so as well.  There were 2 students that have been doing electronic portfolios for two years with me.  The growth was extremely evident but both students were not happy with their first year of Information Technology so they deleted the old work, and tried to make a portfolio that is more professional.  Although I was sorry to hear this and I explained to them that showing growth was good, pride trumped it.  Take a look at this sample and this one. Both students are in Grade 10.  I only do electronic portfolios with the Grade 9 though 12.  Please remember, these are students that have done electronic portfolios for two years.

After the completion of the course I asked my student (29 in total) to fill out a survey, and the results. are below. Some of the results are a surprise.
I did student lead conferencing this year with parent conferences (see student's self-assessment for student lead conferencing) .  Many of the parents stated they already knew exactly where their child was so they did not have to come to the conference.  In a month's time I asked parents to email me comments in regards to their child's work.  All parents had to sign a note or email me saying they saw their child's work.  Between the portfolios and emails, parents were kept in the educational learning loop.  There were no surprises for them or for their child.  Both formal and informal feedback was constant.

This was a nice surprise.  The students reviewing their own learning (see photoshop final entries for self-evaluation and critical thinking) increased the need to do better.  As you can see below, students liked to learn on their own and self-reflection of your own work over a period of time helps the students to see (with evidence right in front of them) their own growth and their accomplishments.

The question below was in direct relationship to the photoshop unit I taught.  See the evidence of what Grade 9 and 10's can do and how creative they can be when they show me evidence in specific skills taught:

But of all the evidence gathered by this survey, what made me feel that electronic portfolios made a difference is the results below.  It's wonderful to see that this manner of assessing has had a positive effect on my students.

Portfolios online for  assessment that has become very popular with blogging of student learning and self reflection of learning.  How is this change in environment (learning though critical thinking) going in our school?  Do the student like this manner of assessment?  Take a look at what the students want.

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