Day 93 (of 188) reflections on one year of eportfolios @freshgrade #ETMN

Day 93 (of 188) reflections on one year of eportfolios @freshgrade #ETMN

It has been one year since our learning community ‘officially’ started working on communicating student learning using @freshgrade instead of reporting student achievement using report cards.

It’s been a paradigm shift.

While I would like to say it’s been “easier” – I can’t.

While I would like to say it’s “hard” – I can’t.

I will happily say that while it hasn’t been easier it has been different – replacing 40 hour marathon weekend(s) summarizing student work with ongoing descriptive feedback that spreads out the “assessment communication” over the length of the learning process – not having to ‘stop’ because a report needs to be submitted to the office for review by a random day of the week/month/year.

I will happily say that while it hasn’t been hard -I will admit it’s been uncomfortable at times – because it’s very new.

Are there still that we can/should/will do better on? Of course. It’s been one year (with a couple months of job action integrating) and it’s not like we are implementing a different/more complete report card….as I’ve blogged before I’ve “moved on” from looking for a ‘better’ report card; they do their job just fine – they report. student. achievement. (Essentially recoding achievement based on task-completion). I/we “need” something that ‘communicates student learning’ and that is something that eportfolios do very well (photo/video/audio/script sharing).

It’s time that technology is accessible and flexible enough to not require ‘a’ paper based report 3-5 times per year. It’s ongoing and ‘personalizable’.

But it’s so different….yer shouldn’t be….but much like we worry about students being to focused on ‘testing’ I worry about teachers being too focused on ‘the card’. The paradigm is shifting…

Reflection comments included it helping change classroom practice (more control over to students and their learning at ‘their’ level) and differentiation.

Many/all commented on how eportfolios had them thinking more/different on assessment practices – working on learning outcomes rather than tasks (I think Ken O’Connor would be proud).

I’ve noticed conversations around the table and through the hall are more focused on individual achievement as opposed to ‘the group’.

Comments on decreasing anxiety were also reassuring – though we know this is only a small part towards our ‘other’ school goal on self-regulation. But it is a part of it. Oh yeah – I was referring to student anxiety, but really this has been the ‘best’ year without having a weekend (or three) taken over by report creation & reviewing – and my adults have swapped the stress about what’s on their report cards to the pressure of being leaders in this methodology (I couldn’t be prouder!).

We couldn’t do this without a learning community that trusts us. That supports risk taking and doing “what’s best” for learners. It hasn’t always been easy, but it’s definitely been worthwhile! And the journey continues with the support of both my real-time & asynchronous Professional Learning Network – this is not something to be done in isolation (it’s just too damn good for that!).

If you want to know more – send me a tweet @technolandy or email ilandy@sd83.bc.ca because THIS is the assessment I love to talk about!

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About technolandy

Educator in BCs Sunny Shuswap Pushing 'technologization' in education: blending technology and curriculum seamlessly. Advocate for better understanding of Anxiety in Education (and use of self-regulation) Utilizing ePortfolios & Descriptive Feedback
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2 Responses to Day 93 (of 188) reflections on one year of eportfolios @freshgrade #ETMN

  1. Matt Renwick says:

    This is a great reflection, Ian. I have been sharing the good work your school is doing with my staff and at conferences. My own school is hosting a webinar overview of FreshGrade next week. We are considering piloting this tool this spring. What you share here about your experiences really helps me in my own school’s learning journey.

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