Thursday, October 07, 2004

On the Road Again

This week I started traveling again, and will be on the road every week between now and the middle of December. The plans for a side trip to New Zealand have firmed up, so I will get to visit New Zealand before I come back from "down under." The focus of my trip to N.Z. will be storytelling in e-portfolios.

This week I visited another university that was wrestling with the issues of electronic portfolios vs. assessment management systems. I did my current presentation on Balancing “ePortfolio as Test” with “ePortfolio as Story”. They face the same accreditation pressures to use the ePortfolio for accountability, and they are very excited about digital storytelling. They are piloting several commercial programs, and I learned a lot while I was there about the pros and cons of hosting a system in-house vs. buying services, and what to look for in a system's Terms of Service. I am going back and collecting this piece of information from each commercial system that I tried. Reading the fine print on some of these systems is very enlightening. I can see another paper coming! One piece of feedback I got was that I spoke like an evangelist! Obviously my passion about this topic was evident.

I spent some time on the plane reading McDrury & Alterio's book, Learning through Storytelling in Higher Education. It is dense reading, but full of references to the literature on learning, reflection and storytelling. That book and Jennifer Moon's book on Reflection and Zull's book on The Art of Changing the Brain will be the main references that I will use in a presentation that I will be doing at UBC next month on Reflection in ePortfolios.

I decided that I was missing a component in my portfolios, that I will go back and add: my Future Learning Goals, or as it was called in one portfolio plan I saw on this trip, my Personal Mission Statement, based on the FranklinCovey Mission Builder (a very cool website). Adding that component will also give me an opportunity to refresh my memory about how each of these programs work. I am about ready to upload version #16 of my portfolio, and I have four more lined up to try. My goal is to get through all of these systems before I go on my three-week trip to France and the East Coast. But I have trips to New Jersey and Texas in between!

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