I had a meeting today discussing Patchwork Text as a method of assessing the overall process of learning using an e-portfolio. But before I go into that topic (a future blog post) I thought we should begin with assessing the product of an e-portfolio.
During our initial e-portfolio interest group (ae-pig) meetings here at Aston I have been asked on many occasions “what methods exist to assess e-portfolios effectively?” This issue is so important to lecturers here that we’ve made it one of our top priorities for the group. With this in mind I’ve been researching various methods to assess both the process and product of an e-portfolio. Of course we could pick the above question apart and analyse it from both a student and (busy) academic perspective. Yes, we want to ensure whatever methods we instigate does promote deeper and more critically reflective learning, BUT does not also place a higher marking burden upon time poor academic staff! Attaining this balance is critical. I have some ideas to share which may help the learning together with time-poor staff.
First off, I am going to concentrate upon the product. That is the end product of a series of assessed activities which could be presented in a number of ways (action plan, CV, web folio, blog, etc). In my naivety I tackled this one first as I believed it to be the easiest to assess. Using templates to scaffold the reflective process is recognised as effective practice. Sed templates are given to the students as a framework to begin recording and collating reflective evidence. Sometimes reflective frameworks are also included to help move prose from purely descriptive to much deeper reflective statements. Reflective frameworks by Kolb, Driscoll, and Gibbs are recognised as most suitable to cover a wide range of disciplines.
Our careers advisor Steve Thompson recommended that we try and utilise assessment criteria from traditional poster presentations to assess the product. This is sound advice, and I’ve included the two most appropriate below. This should help us to move away from the more complicated method of over assessing an e-Portfolio as if it were a website
• Organisation and Structure; Positive indicators; clear, coherent, easy to follow (Score : 1-5)
• Visual Impact; Positive indicators; effective and attractive layout, accuracy, attention to detail (Score : 1-5)
This set of rubrics by RCampus also provides a light touch when assessing layout and design.