Eportfolio Team: (Blair D'andrea), Janet Stephenson, Ken Wiens, Shelley Wiltshire, Shellie Maloff, Tamara Malloff

 Inquiry Question: "How do we move from a culture of marks and assignments to a culture of owning and improving learning?"

Our team gathered to reflect upon the eportfolio and student conferencing program for 2011-2012. Key themes for the year were:

  •  Competencies (healthy living, communication, creativity & innovation, problem-solving and critical thinking, citizenship & social responsibility, independent learning)
  •  Student Conferencing (Gr 11s with Gr 7 and 8s, WKTEP student teachers with Gr 9s)
  •  Reflections (What does meaningful reflection look like? How do we facilitate meaningful reflection?)

  1. What is the information telling us?
  • It is important to be recognized/validated for who you are, and to share that with someone else (increases ownership). Let's be mindful of ensuring students don't feel the need to "perform" on their eportfolios.
  • With grade 7s, it's important to build from a simple foundation (biography/learning style inventories, an overview of the competencies, an opportunity to provide evidence/reflect on 2-3 key projects, choose other evidence they wish to have on their eportfolio) 
  • A common language and shared understanding of assessment practice helps anchor students' understanding of the learning process (reflection, descriptive feedback, assessment, goals)
  • What students present in their eportfolios may not be how they present in their learning context: many students learn "richly" outside of school, yet we don't recognize/act on that information within our school environment. How do we see students from an asset, not deficit position?
  • How do we address vulnerable learners in terms of making the eportfolio process meaningful and safe?

 2. What was successful this year? What can be amplified?

Senior students connecting with junior students was a powerful model. Suggested that it should be done earlier, and often. How can we facilitate a "get to know you" earlier in the year and sustain connections throughout the year? 

 

3. What was challenging/needs to be revisited?

Meaningful reflections were challenging, especially for the boys. How can we make the process of thinking about your learning make sense to our boys, in particular? What might that process look like? 

4. What opportunities/connections do we see next year?

Build leadership skills all the way from 7-12, embedded into curriculum (HCE and Planning, in particular), with a particular mentoring focus for the Grade 11 and 12s. Shannon may have some great resources for Leadership Building.How can we embed character development through mentoring and service-oriented learning?

Let's connect more closely with Brent Kennedy Elementary School! Ideas include: joining in with the grade 6 graduation, having grade 11s plan the orientation (Planning 10) for the new grade 7s, use our August PROD to think of other ways to connect with Brent Kennedy.

How might we better address the learning strengths, preferences, and rich experiences that many students have outside of school in our programming? How might we better facilitate these experiences?

How can we closely link the competencies to student learning in (capstone) demonstrations? Ken suggested he will focus on key competencies (via eportfolios) in Planning 10 next year. Shelley Wiltshire will be doing the same. Tamara has used key competencies to assess summative performance tasks. How can we share these ideas?