The PDF Pilot and this eportfolio

I admit it: this project has not featured a lot of reflection from me, and certainly no deep reflection. I got the impression as the project progressed that this was intended by the NF. I’m not apologetic however. I needed to catalogue this activity for myself. And to see what emerged from it myself, and then to see what could be codified. From the beginning when discussing this with colleagues, and I talked with other groups and gave some support also, that it was crucial that what we produced was useful for us.

In my work I am mindful of the tension between a public portfolio and a reflection which is, by nature, revealing and difficult in public. Jenny Moon discussed at this workshop the concept of learners delivering what was required in reflection. I’m often worried about the “performance” of reflection also. And as I perceive the eporfolio as being a tool for the performance of a digital/online identity in a professional context I don’t think it is an appropriate space for the kind of professional reflective practice that the main workshop activity involved.

cropped-moshed_2016-10-23_15-39-371.jpg
This image contains most of the self reflection in this portfolio!

This mirrors the tension in a student’s eportfolio between a portfolio for learning and one for assessment. It is not possible to achieve both aims honestly and this is largely accepted in the field. I was taken by Helen Beetham’s concern that the learner has their working portfolio in a walled garden with a route out. Her work on digital identity in the modern mediated world has been important to me (as has danah boyd’s) and both have influenced how I think about eportfolios for professionals. And as with the statement above about student work I believe that the eportfolio as a professional development tool and as a tool to manage your digital identity is not a suitable place for deep, critical, self-reflection. I think Michael Seery expresses this well. It is however a good place to put your statement of practice, policy, and your ideas based on this self reflection. It is product, rather than process, that a professional CPD focused eportfolio focuses on.

To this end I will be proposing to this group a continuation of the pilot scheme with a real focus on our own ends. I intend to support the group in exporting their portfolio work so far to other domains and possibly systems. Many of us have used domains, as I have here, that echo the aims of the project rather than our identities. And I then intend to collaborate with the group to get a better sense of what the realisable CPD aims of this portfolio can be, taking in not only the teaching world which is the pilot, but also the information professional. This should lead to some publishable work.

 

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Group Moderation

First time I’ve done this and a great opportunity to discuss the assessment in a module in a collegiate manner. We looked at the MLOs and the assessment to see did they align and the group suggested some strengthening. I had felt this myself but I will be amending this for the next iteration now.

It was also good to hear the questions that they asked as they were able to help me see whether the instructions/rubric made sense to outsiders and students. I had a lot of positive feedback from the moderation group on the feedback mode I gave. I used audio feedback (in order to separate the feedback on the work which is the grade and that on the person’s effort and future work. Also I hope that by speaking directly to the person I could be kinder, and not misconstrued).

My grading held up across the moderation which was a relief. I already thought my rubrics and marking were both consistent and workable as a process.

I always say that when looking at the four lenses that Steven Brookfield talks about, the colleague/peer lens is the one most often neglected. Any chance to change this is to be grabbed with both hands.

Obviously I also got the opportunity to be that lens for others in a collaborative collegiate environment. I love group teaching and I think I am able to be relatively ego free in a team. It helps if you actually care about what you are doing that the outcome is important. In that kind of environment there is no such thing as an argument you lose but rather a situation where your opinion survived peer review or one where you learn and grow.

The suggestions are going into the course review form and we will evaluate the output and whether it improved the students’ learning.

Harvard style

One of the lecturers informed us that the citation style language markup of Harvard style that his faculty recommended had disappeared from the Zotero repository. In dealing with this our old grievances about Harvard style came up again. We, and I in particular, find it irksome that there is no actual standard (unlike APA), and different faculties use different guides. I no longer fully trust the library version either. We decided to take on a project to gather together the variant guidelines, compare them in a grid, and come up with a standard that suits all the faculties as far as possible. We are then going to mark this up in citation style language for upload to the repository named as the Griffith College Harvard style to be used in Zotero and Mendeley.

There are several advantages in this:

  • students lives will be made easier we think
  • it allows us to teach without worrying about different faculties and not meeting their standards for the students
  • it is a more professional approach and look for the entire college across campuses
  • lecturers, particularly new ones, will know where they stand
  • we can do more thorough learning materials safe in the knowledge that we won’t have to add ones for new faculties
  • I can get through some of my cranky personal opinions

csl_editor

My own cranky personal opinions that I refer to mostly revolve around not putting in URLs but rather DOIs which I believe makes more sense. Some other of my suggestions aren’t going to happen (getting rid of place of publication and putting in ISBNs).

Two of us independently came up with the idea of saving APA 6th CSL out, renaming it as Griffith Harvard, and seeing if any of the lecturers noticed.

Using the CSL editor is new learning in my professional digital capacity and this relates to teaching in that we work with students on this topic throughout their time here.

 

Peer feedback in workshops (and student and lecturer feedback using moodle)

 

Communicating with colleagues on new service and using Moodle surveys to get a sense of the effectiveness.

New feedback mechanisms on Moodle, using the course review process from the previous iteration of a module to inform the new assessment of it. Also the group moderation mentioned above.

Both of these activities are tied by a feedback process, they relate to previous plans (in the first case improved use of video resources, and in the second more authentic assessment) and implementations of them. The refinement of the workshop also included: more stress on peer reviews, giving the learner more control by asking them what the assessement should look like/focus on, allowing the learners to give summative as well as formative assessment, and responds not only to the previous learners’ experience and the course review but comments and plans made in the peer moderation process. In doing this I am leading the group, often people more experienced than I am, which is fun.

Internal review panel

Sat on internal review panel for course proposal / accreditation, second time doing this, got a bit better at it (more open ended questions rather than offering answers first) but lacked time to get it done right.

As a team I think we are learning to work at these collaborative/review processes and the entire thing is a learning process in becoming more professionally capable. While not relating to teaching as such curriculum design, development, and support is crucial to the teaching role. In this I am consolidating my own learning and becoming a more capable mentor. The more I work on projects like this the less of an imposter I feel.

 

PDF Pilot, workshop in Griffith Library

The HECA librarians were chosen as one of the pilot groups in the national forum professional development framework pilot scheme. We are blogging our PD activities during the course of the pilot in WordPress blogs/eportfolios. Being librarians we decided to use WordPress “categories” to clasify each post/activity to  the typology of professional development for each post.

typology pd

And we decided to use tags to mark each post to the domains

domains

We chose to do this in a group collaboration meeting as we thought that each type of activity would have a discreet typology, but that it may map onto several domains. In this, our second meeting that I attended, I mentored as I am familiar with WordPress. But primarily it was a collaboration and we worked as a group to make decisions. As we always say at these things it’s so inspiring to meet each other and any occasion that allows us to do it is great.

As an aside the food in the students’ training restaurant was sublime.