ePortfolio’s: Assessment for Learning

My thoughts are on adding to my ePortfolio presentation for this summers small conference series.  What keeps coming to mind in 9-12 learning environments is the leap ePortfolio’s are for most schools.  ePortfolio assessment takes the learning community away from the school as factory mentality, the bell, the one right answer, the turn-it-in-grade it-its over addiction that so many schools have (and many LMS along with them).  Learning with ePortfolio’s isn’t the 9-5 teaching job or the 60 minute class period.  Learning with ePortfolios is a lifestyle and culture; it can be interwoven into every aspect of life.

ePortfolio’s provide us with the opportunity to record learning as it is being constructed.  That learning might be hard to define in its messy, or rather human forms.  The heart of ePortfolio assessment is a definition of learning by the individual learner.  The definitions weave inquiry, failure and reflection for growth.  That growth is measurable through the highly individualized, personal, and vivid learning nexus that ePortfolio’s enable.

Steven Hepple has the amazing reflection in Learn to Change Change to Learn that “children today are living in a new space….nearly now…. its a really interesting space because its not adversarial its not pressured, its a place where people; its all the R words, they can reflect and retract and research and repeat, its a very gentle world, i’ll tell you, its a great world for learning.”

The learning communities I am a part of are living Hepple’s insight with ePortfolio’s. The learning is palpable, enduring understanding is common, learning is everyone’s culture in the community. Young people construct expectations for themselves and seek the help they need to meet them, from teacher, peer, parent and community to create meaningful projects. The process is not without flaw’s for sure, “is that an A”, procrastination, and the exhaustion that go along with the shopping mall high all play into the difficulty with integrating ePortfolio’s into the traditional school. The work is more difficult for students, connected, challenging, peer driven at times.

I love being a part of this process.  I see the possibilities of lasting structural change with ePortfolio driven eLearning.  I am inspired!