This fall all freshman students at our high school began creating a digital portfolio in their English classes through Schoology, our learning management system. This academic portfolio will be a collection of some artifacts of their best work in high school. It will include students’ personal reflections on their work and what they learned. This reflection will be reviewed and updated later in the year as well as in future grades.
English teachers are tying in this work to their writing units. The work also fits nicely with personalized learning by giving students voice and choice in what they select as well as what they reflect upon in their writing. Students select three pieces of work related to their English classes (such as essays) and one piece of work from another subject of their choice. In addition to these reflections on their own work, students are also building an Academic Profile and a Personal Profile to include within their portfolio. These profiles include their academic goals, work and volunteer experiences, school activities such as clubs, music and sports, and students’ awards and accomplishments.
During English classes, teachers work to help students think of their audience and other components of writing such as tone and purpose. Criteria identified for student reflection includes:
- Why did I choose this artifact of learning (assignment) to include in my portfolio?
- What process did you use to create this artifact?
- What does this artifact show about you as a learner?
- What is the best thing about this artifact? What is the worst thing about it?
- If you were to change one thing about the process you used to create this artifact, what would it be and why?
- If you were to change one thing about the artifact itself, what would it be and why?
- What did you learn about yourself in the process of completing this assignment?
As students continue their high school education, the content of this portfolio will be revisited, updated, and added to each year. Students will continue to focus on who they are as an individual, how they have grown in their learning, and their future. This portfolio and its reflections will help them develop their professional identity and be easily transferred to college application essays, a resume, and/or employment applications. Students will be able to share their portfolios with the teachers whom they ask to write them letters of recommendation. A little over a year ago the Coalition, a group of 90+ colleges and universities, announced plans for high school students to submit an ePortfolio as part of their application in the near future, so our students will be in great shape for this. Portfolios can be exported from Schoology as needed. Also, as today’s students increasingly opt to represent their personal lives and interests online, it is important to help them understand the need to have a positive digital presence and represent themselves well. These ePortfolios are a nice step towards helping our students do this!
- Six Years with Schoology: Setting Expectations for the Future
- Tip #3 for a Successful 1:1 Implementation: Use Schoology as the Classroom Hub
- Home Sick? Absent Minnetonka Students Caught Up Before They Return
- Free iBook about Minnetonka's 1:1 iPad Apple Distinguished Program: Four+ Years Transforming Learning
See also: Schoology: Making 1:1 Learning a Reality and a Success and more specifics about Schoology ePortfolios.