Portfolios, Reflection, and The Unique Features of Electronic Portfolios

Please save the date for the following program this October

The CTL is excited to bring you:

Portfolios, Reflection, and The Unique Features of Electronic Portfolios

With Dr. Kathleen Yancey

Thursday October 2, 2014 from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. West Lecture Hall

For those of you who cannot make this date, there will be another opportunity to talk with Kathleen Yancey on Friday October 3rd at 1:30 in the FPH Lounge.

Portfolio building and reflection can support deep learning. At the same time, more than one faculty member has expressed disappointment in the ways that students have engaged with them. Currently, across the country, electronic portfolios are being touted as the next best thing in education. Certainly, they have promise as a sustainable option for supporting learning. Given this context, we’ll consider four unique features of e-Portfolios and ways that those features can engage students and support student learning. First, we’ll consider the artifacts that students collect, the reasons they collect them, and the activities we can build around them so that they are meaningful. Second, we’ll consider the e-Portfolio arrangement: what is the role of portfolio structure in supporting learning, especially learning located in connections across contexts (e.g., courses, experiences)? Third we’ll turn to reflection, defining it and outlining the various functions it can serve, in the process also considering the distinctive contribution that reflection on artifacts and experiences makes to learning. Fourth and not least, we’ll consider the larger context for the portfolio: who are the people who might participate in a portfolio—as peer reviewers, for example, and as external audiences–and how can that participation contribute to both deep learning and sustainability?

KATHLEEN BLAKE YANCEY is Kellogg W. Hunt Professor of English and Distinguished Research Professor at Florida State University. She has served in several national leadership roles, including as President of the National Council of Teachers of English; as Chair of the Conference on College Composition and Communication; as President of the Council of Writing Program Administrators; and as President of the South Atlantic Modern Language Association. She also co-founded and co-directs the Inter/National Coalition for Electronic Portfolio Research, which has brought together over 60 institutions from around the world to document the learning represented in electronic portfolios. Yancey has authored or co-authored over 90 articles and book chapters and authored, edited, or co-edited twelve scholarly books—including Portfolios in the Writing Classroom; Reflection in the Writing Classroom; ePortfolios 2.0; and Contexts of Writing: Transfer, Composition, and Sites of Writing—and is the winner of several awards, including the Florida State Graduate Mentor Award and the Donald Murray Writing Prize.

Students and Office Hours

Karen Koehler sent me a link to an article from Inside Higher Ed about a faculty member who banned student emails unless they were emailing to schedule an appointment with her. On first glance, it seemed drastic and un-Hampshire-like to Karen (and to me). But the purpose was to get students to use office hours. We do want students to come see us, to discuss their ideas, to get help if they need it, etc.

I am left with these questions:

  • Does email interfere with the face-to-face interactions?
  • When do we want students to come to our office hours and when would we rather a quick email?
  • Do students understand what office hours are for? (someone told me that they had a student who thought “office hours” meant faculty were working in their office and could not be disturbed)
  • Are there other ways that are less drastic to get students to come to talk to us?
  • When do we want them talking to each other rather than coming to us?
  • What should a student try on their own before coming to us?
  • How do we communicate these ideas to students?

Clearly, there is no one rule about office hours and office hour use. In addition to varied needs of students, we as faculty will have different wishes for how we communicate with students.

If you would like your students to use your office hours more effectively, consider the kinds of assignments you might give your students – maybe particularly starting with tutorial students – that help them to understand your role as a mentor and that gets them to work together. For example:

  • Give an early writing assignment and have students sign up for office hours to discuss their paper with you
  • Have students peer edit their papers and then bring the revision to you to discuss in office hours
  • Have a specific type of communication that your require in person (e.g. No excuses for late assignments by email – you must come talk to me to discuss the work and negotiate a new deadline)

What Karen shared is that she has a project in her new NEH “Enduring Questions” course that she is teaching next semester for new Div II students where the students have to pick an object in the library, (book, film, photograph), find a faculty person they think would be interested in it, and interview them (which of course means finding their office hours…)

Be creative and send your ideas to ctl@hampshire.edu

Welcome to the Center for Teaching and Learning at Hampshire College

This Blog is a new feature of the CTL. You should visit often to see tips, resources, and announcements of programs. The blog is meant to be a place to share our teaching stories and strengthen our culture of talking about our teaching. It is also a place to come and find out what is happening in college teaching beyond Hampshire.

Send any stories of your own or ideas of interest to ctl@hampshire.edu!