Day 142 (of 185) learner profiles as a rosetta stone
Today was a professional development day, and I got to spend some time sharing some thinking and ideas around how to help people better understand the purpose of eportfolios that communicate student learning rather than reporting student achievement. Fortuitously I was picking up coffee at the same time as our DPAC president (our daughters also play soccer together) and got to share a bit about what we were working on: knowing that so many of us grew up with traditional report cards and have a feeling that they’re the one true way to know how students are doing……even though the more we study and think about letter grades and percentages, the more imprecise and ambiguous they are (says the guy whose dad read him articles like ‘the fallacy of letter grades’ while in diapers)!
We arrived at an understanding that while many of us have ‘moved beyond’ letter grades, not everyone is where we are….yet 😉. So we needed a “Rosetta Stone” – a device to help translate descriptive feedback (which is focused on improving learning) for those who are more accustomed to symbols representing achievement based on tasks.
We liked a 3 layer loop- how eportfolio she are used by all (teachers parents students), curricular competencies (mainly for the teachers: linking BCs big ideas & curricular competencies linked to descriptors of what the learning may look like) and then a Learner Profile (mainly to show parents if students are excelling, meeting, approaching or not yet meeting expectations – age vs grade will be next 😜). This should help parents understand the range their child is in, and when they want to know more, the eportfolio will have samples of students work – including samples linked to performance standards, rubrics and other ways to communicate how the learning was done….but in greater (and more specific) detail than a report card ever could.
We recognize that certain skills – especially how to do descriptive feedback that is relevant, meaningful and readable – need to be addressed via some professional learning; knowing that descriptive feedback will, and should, be different from one teacher to another. But I know I see a lot more about who a learner is via eportfolio than I ever did reading report cards.
And like the real Rosetta Stone, I hope that once it helps ‘translate’ the how & why Learning is communicated via eportfolios, that it can fade into the background because once the ‘language’ is understood….you don’t need to keep going back…!