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32726 maria papaefthimiou_universityofreading

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  • Project DEVELOP aims to extend the functionality of Blackboard Learn by developing widgets to allow student-centred learning: e- portfolio (feedback, and template), tagging/recommender, and video widgets. We have been working with academics and students to develop the widgets using a rapid prototyping approach. This session will demonstrate the following: The e-portfolio widgets provide students with templates that are easy to use, enabling tutor – to – student feedback. The tagging/recommender widget enables tutors to tag content in their course encouraging student discovery within the Blackboard Learn course site. The video widget enables tutors to quickly and effectively upload videos on course sites stored in a dedicated server. Case studies that evaluate the use of the widgets and their impact on student learning and engagement.
  • To support PDP at Reading we have developed a VLE-based e-portfolio tool, iLearn. Students are encouraged to complete an Individual Learner Profile (ILP) at the start of each year and to review progress against set goals at the end of each year with their Personal Tutor. Academic Schools are encouraged to populate their bespoke iLearn area with useful and timely information such as placement opportunities or forthcoming events. Students are able to create portfolios and share these with Personal Tutors, Careers Advisors and Study Advisors. iLearn has been rolled out to all undergraduate students and extensively evaluated. 8. In addition, Reading has made significant efforts to develop the functionality of the VLE e-portfolio tool in order to enhance its learning and teaching potential, including: a. Better integration of portfolio tool into the structure of courses b. Step-by-step guidance to set-up of a portfolio, alongside (and embedded within) the tool c. Integration of new features: eg. “ Preview ” button and “ Print ” button for individual pages d. Digitisation of a confidence-rating questionnaire (Individual Learner Profile) that was then integrated into the tool 9. Despite successful work to improve the appearance and configuration of the VLE portfolio tool, issues remain: ‘ Make it more interactive because presently it feels like I'm typing a word doc. which no else will ever read and so it feels pointless ’ .(student) „ The existing templates provided make it very difficult to edit information ’ . (student) ‘ iLearn has no provision for staff-led and controlled generation of coursework feedback: this is essential for students' reflection, and indeed a key source for the reflective work we ask our students to write. At the moment we have no way of integrating coursework feedback ’ (staff )
  • To support PDP at Reading we have developed a VLE-based e-portfolio tool, iLearn. Students are encouraged to complete an Individual Learner Profile (ILP) at the start of each year and to review progress against set goals at the end of each year with their Personal Tutor. Academic Schools are encouraged to populate their bespoke iLearn area with useful and timely information such as placement opportunities or forthcoming events. Students are able to create portfolios and share these with Personal Tutors, Careers Advisors and Study Advisors. iLearn has been rolled out to all undergraduate students and extensively evaluated. 8. In addition, Reading has made significant efforts to develop the functionality of the VLE e-portfolio tool in order to enhance its learning and teaching potential, including: a. Better integration of portfolio tool into the structure of courses b. Step-by-step guidance to set-up of a portfolio, alongside (and embedded within) the tool c. Integration of new features: eg. “ Preview ” button and “ Print ” button for individual pages d. Digitisation of a confidence-rating questionnaire (Individual Learner Profile) that was then integrated into the tool 9. Despite successful work to improve the appearance and configuration of the VLE portfolio tool, issues remain: ‘ Make it more interactive because presently it feels like I'm typing a word doc. which no else will ever read and so it feels pointless ’ .(student) „ The existing templates provided make it very difficult to edit information ’ . (student) ‘ iLearn has no provision for staff-led and controlled generation of coursework feedback: this is essential for students' reflection, and indeed a key source for the reflective work we ask our students to write. At the moment we have no way of integrating coursework feedback ’ (staff )
  • Following on from the successful introduction of the new portfolio tool in the autumn term 2011 I thought I would take this opportunity to compare the ‘ portfolio experience ’ for this academic year against that of last year (2010-2011). I would like to make the following points:   The portfolio tool is located within the Legal Skills module and is launched directly from the portfolio tab. I think this has been very successful and reduced the level of confusion experienced by part 1 students when accessing their portfolios after the initial teaching session which takes place in week 1 of the Autumn Term. This has also meant that the link between the portfolios and their being assessed as part of the Legal Skills module has been reinforced. Previously the portfolios were launched through iLearn.   The new prompts that are now part of the portfolio tool significantly reduced the number of queries relating to the completion of the Individual Learner Profile (ILP), and its subsequent insertion into the personal portfolio. A brief assessment indicates that the number of queries were reduced by over 65% (from 2010-2011) and those that did query the process were almost all students that did not attend the PC workshop where the portfolios were created. The queries received in the main were amount a ‘ glitch ’ that did not allow the completed ILP to be located in the portfolio. This was resolved quickly by the DEVELOP team.   The ‘ how to ’ prompts in general are a very good addition to the portfolio tool and I hope have been helpful for the students.   The main benefit for both the students and me has been the reduced amount of time spent building the portfolio and thus the increased amount of time spent teaching the students about the content required for the templates contained in the portfolio. In general, and again only a brief assessment, the number of queries I have received during the autumn term in relation to the portfolios has again reduced significantly, and are more to do with the content required for templates rather than other issues to do with construction of the portfolios.   At the end of the autumn term 2011 I completed the first of the reviews on the legal skills portfolios. Those students that had started the portfolios had done so very well. As ever there are a number of students who have yet to start the process and it will be interesting to see when they get closer to the deadlines for submission whether they contact me.   As a consequence of the new portfolio tool and the revised way of teaching session I have now produced a new handout for the portfolios. It is succinct and deals only with the mechanics of creating the portfolio. As ever, there are always a number of students who did not attend the initial timetabled sessions and I decided on this occasion to run a further teaching session for those students. They were instructed to create the portfolios using the handout as a guide prior to the session. They all managed this successfully and also completed the ILP prior to the session. The session, therefore, focused purely on the content required for the portfolios.   The portfolios are also used by part 1 students at TUC in Malaysia. On a recent visit the Legal Skills leader was instructed on how to use the portfolio tool. She will hopefully provide feedback to me shortly.   I hope the above comments are of use to you. I think the project has been successful from both my point of view and that of the students.   Louise Hague School of Law 6 th February 2012.