- 1 Orientation and introductions
- 2 Activity One: Introduce yourself and set up your Learning Portfolio
- 3 Using a digital portfolio (ePortfolio) to document your learning
Orientation and introductions
Orientation to the course. Who are you? Who is the facilitator? What's involved? What are your goals? Who can you get help from?
In the first workshop, you will be asked to contribute your thoughts about flexible learning, introduce yourself and your interest in the topic. There will also be an overview of Flexible Learning. The Course Blog will be used to remind you about the topics and alert you to information of interest. The facilitator would love you to leave comments from time to time on the blog.
The discussion forum will mainly be used for asking questions, sharing information such as web resources, Learning Portfolio links, and alerting the class to updates on your Learning Portfolio. You can also ask for feedback on the work you do on your activities and assessments there, and pose questions about the course. Some discussion activities may also occur.
Using a digital portfolio (ePortfolio) to document your learning
You will need to record your progress using a digital Learning Portfolio since this is a requirement of the assessment. A digital portfolio can also be referred to an electronic portfolio (ePortfolio). The portfolio is to be a record of what you learn about the principles of flexible learning and will include evidence that you compile and reflect on to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding, your critical thinking about the subject, and how you are intending to apply this learning to your practice. It is particularly valuable if you make this portfolio available to others in the class as it gives you the opportunity to communicate, collaborate and share ideas and also receive peer feedback.
You will be guided to develop the content of your portfolio through a series of activities. Instructions for the activities are located on this website. The Course Blog will be used to remind you about the topics and alert you to information of interest. A mix of written material and other media (images, audio, video, diagrams etc) can be used as evidence in your portfolio. You can be as creative as you wish.
Steps in compiling a digital Learning Portfolio (ePortfolio)
- Decide on a design for the Learning Portfolio – colours, metaphor, headings, ‘look and feel’, and media etc.
- Select a platform for the Learning Portfolio, and additional tools to be used to manage information, share evidence and to interact with others in class.
- For each topic, select or create (depends on the activity) at least two items of evidence, and reflect on how and why each illustrates the principles of flexible learning – a mix of media can be used and must include written description and reflection.
- The activities will guide you in this.
- Please use the Three-Step Reflective Framework to structure your reflective writing (a separate template is provided).
A blog is the ideal platform for a Learning Portfolio, although lots of options are possible. For example, a wiki (PBworks, Wikispaces, WikiEducator) could also be used or platforms such as Google documents (now on Google Drive), Google Sites or media sharing sites such as Flickr, Picasa, FaceBook and Youtube. All these sites have options for privacy if you do not wish to have an open portfolio, and you will need to specifically invite the class members and the lecturer to view your portfolio. The choice of platform depends on the type of Learning Portfolio you wish to develop. The Learning Portfolio can include text, video, images, audio recordings and links to information.
Reflective writing in your portfolio
Please use theto guide and structure your reflections and writing in your Learning Portfolio. (This was developed during Bronwyn Hegarty's Doctorate research.)
A good example of how to use the Reflective Framework can be found on Christine's blog post about using smartboards.
Setting up a blog
If choosing to use a blog, please do the following:
- Spend two minutes watching a video demonstration on Youtube.
- Blogger provides a simple template for blogging if this is your first time. Step by step instructions are provided. You will need to set up a Google account and will be prompted to do this.
- Lots of useful information in the Blogging Handbook.
- Share the link to the blog with your facilitator via Moodle who will arrange to distribute it to others in the class.
Using images on your blog
There are a few easy steps you need to take when searching for images for use on your blog. If you are not using your own images, you need to be careful not to breach copyright regulations. Therefore, it is best to search for images with Creative Commons licensing.
- Search Google (image) or Flickr (image) at: http://search.creativecommons.org/
- You can go directly to Creative Commons images on Flickr, the photo sharing site - http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/.
- Check the images you choose have Some Rights Reserved licensing NOT All Rights Reserved.
- You need to give attribution to the photographer and the image. To do this, put the photographer's name and the name of the image beneath your image and add the hyperlink to the image - it can be in a smaller font than the rest of the text.
- Grab the URL for the photographer and embed it in the name - ask if you need help with images.
- Remember to leave a comment for the photographer to inform him or her hw you are using the image (You need to be logged in to do this.)
Examples of blogs
These are some examples of how blogs and the Google sites portfolio platform was used by previous participants. For the full list go to the Flexible Learning course blog.
- Emma - Midwifery - blog.
- Kevin - Automotive engineering - blog.
- Lorraine - Nursing - ePortfolio on Google sites.
- Nathan - English in Engineering - edublog.
- Sarah Stewart's introduction to the Flexible Learning class.
- A blog post by Raewyn Lesa called: Is flexible learning a new concept?
Subscribing to other peoples' blogs
It will save you time and make it faster and more efficient to read others' blog posts when you set up a feed for accessing blogs RSS feeds.
- Google Feedburner is ideal for this.
- To find out how Feedburner works, and how to gather all your feeds onto your very own web page - using iGoogle - check out this video: What is Feedburner and What are RSS Feeds? by Jason Wiser.
- When leaving a comment on someone's blog, makes sure you subscribe to email follow up comments. That way you can more easily join in the 'blog conversations'.