Showing posts with label summative assessment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label summative assessment. Show all posts

Monday, April 26, 2021

Spaces Digital Portfolios Emphasize Feedback and Growth

Disclosure: Spaces is an advertiser on this blog. 

A couple of months ago I published a detailed overview of a digital portfolio platform called Spaces. In that blog post I emphasized the capability of Spaces to be used for Asynchronous breakout sessions. Those asynchronous breakout sessions are great for students to give each other feedback. Today, I’d like to highlight another aspect of Spaces. That is the ability for teachers to give individualized constructive feedback to their students through Spaces.

Purposes for Portfolios
From documents to presentations to videos, you can have your students add just about anything to their digital portfolios made in Spaces. I’ve even had students add samples of code they’ve written into their digital portfolios. The type of material or artifact that students add to their portfolios isn’t nearly as important as the process of building their portfolios. Though it used a relatively small sample size, this study by Clare Kilbane and Natalie Milman found that using digital portfolios had a positive impact on students and teachers. In particular, it had an impact on relationships and how students learned academic content.

Over the years I’ve had students create digital portfolios that contained artifacts from just a few weeks of the school year. I’ve also had students build portfolios that covered a semester and some that spanned the whole year. In all cases, the point of the portfolio was to have students create something that they could look back on to see growth. Likewise, their parents could see growth.

It should be noted that there are some other purposes for digital portfolios. Those include showcasing examples of work for potential employers or to represent mastery of specific skills. While those are great uses of portfolios, this article is focused on using portfolios for documenting reflection and growth.

Implementation of Individual Digital Portfolios
Spaces provides a safe, private space for your students to create their own digital portfolios. Within their private portfolios students can upload documents, write text notes, upload videos, upload audio recordings, upload presentations, and share links to just about anything that they have created online.

Students should be given some direction as to what they should add to their portfolios and when. For example, the students in my Intro to Programming class need to add snippets of their code at the end of every week. In other classes, I’ve been a little less specific in giving directions. For example, when I taught U.S. History I simply told my students that they needed to add an artifact (other than quiz/ scores) every two weeks that they thought demonstrated their understanding of key concepts and or events.

Probably the most important part of implementing the use of digital portfolios is providing students with feedback on the items they add into their portfolios. Spaces provides teachers with three ways to deliver feedback to their students. Feedback can be provided via video comments, audio comments, and written comments.

Offering feedback to students through video, audio, and text increases the opportunities to reach students where they are. A struggling student writer might be better off getting feedback in video than in a text comment. A student who has difficulty accessing audio may be better off getting feedback in written form. Spaces provides those opportunities for all students.

The ability to add comments to work shared in Spaces isn’t limited to teachers. Students can also add comments to their own work to gather information from you. A study by Kate Wall, Steve Higgins, Jen Miller, and Nick Packard found that the process of providing feedback through digital portfolios was helpful in aiding students’ ability to understand learning objectives and who are responsible for participating in their own learning. The video, audio, and written feedback mechanisms available in Spaces can help you help your students better understand learning objectives and become responsible participants in the learning process.

Parent Involvement
Spaces digital portfolios can be kept private between the student and teacher. Parents can also be invited to view their child’s portfolio. In fact, I’d encourage you to invite parents to view their child’s portfolio as it provides a great opportunity for them to see their child’s progress throughout the year rather than just at parent-teacher conference night. Inviting parents to view their child’s portfolio also provides them with the opportunity to talk to their child about what they’re learning in school.

Getting Started With Spaces Digital Portfolios
I published a detailed overview of the features in Spaces here. A couple of tutorial videos can also be found here and here. In short, the quickest way to get started is to sign-up at https://app.spacesedu.com/signup then create an account using either your Google account or email address. After doing those simple steps you can create a class roster and invite your students to join. Once they’ve joined, from your teacher dashboard you can quickly generate individual spaces for them to use. Again, this video walks you through the process of creating spaces for your students and this video shows the students’ perspective.

Bottom-line
A digital portfolio can be what you and your students want it to be. Spaces gives you and your students all the tools they need to make a portfolio and gives you the tools you need to give your students meaningful feedback.




This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin, TodayHeadline, and 711Web.

Friday, April 21, 2017

5 Good Ways for Students to Create Digital Showcases of Their Work

As I look at dreary weather outside my window it doesn't feel like the end of the school year is near, but it is getting near for many people. The end of the school year is when many of us start to think about summative activities for our students to do to show what they have learned over the course of the year. Having students create a showcase of their best work is a good way to have them reflect on the school year while also showing you and their parents what they've learned. Creating a digital showcase makes it easy for parents to see what their children think are their best works. Here are five ways that your students can create a digital showcase of their best work.

Adobe Spark's webpage creator offers a fantastic way to create simple webpages in which your students can include images, text, and videos. Consider having your students arrange their pages chronologically so that the top of the page shows their work at the beginning of the year and then as viewers scroll down they see your students' latest work. Click here for a video tutorial on how to use Adobe Spark. Adobe Spark works in your web browser and is also available as an iOS app.

Tackk is a free service on which your students can create a page to announce an important event, to advertise an event, or to show off their best digital works. To create a Tackk page you do not need to register for an account, but unregistered Tackk pages expire after seven days. If you register for the service your Tackk pages stay up indefinitely. Tackk offers an edu version which lets students integrate their G Suite accounts, Edmodo accounts, or Office 365 accounts. Creating a Tackk is a simple matter of uploading an image then adding text in the customizable fields above and below an image. In addition to images Tackk pages can accommodate videos, audio files, and maps. Learn more about Tackk in my video here. Tackk can be used in your web browser. It is also available as an Android app and as an iOS app.

SeeSaw offers a fantastic way for students to organize a digital portfolio that they can share publicly or privately. The most outstanding feature of SeeSaw is the option for students to record videos in which they talk about the artifacts in their digital portfolios. And as was explained in a post earlier today, SeeSaw now makes it easy for students to import items from the G Suite for Education accounts.

Google Sites might be the obvious choice for teachers who work in schools that use G Suite for Education. Google Sites will let you create a site on which you give each student his or her own page to manage. By doing that you're only tracking updates on one classroom site as opposed to trying to keep track of each student's individual sites created in a service like Adobe Spark or Tackk. Another good feature of Google Sites is that it is designed for importing files from Google Drive which makes it easy for students to showcase their best docs, slides, videos, and drawings. The downside to using Google Sites is that it rejects a lot of third party embed codes.

ClassDojo's Student Stories offers a convenient way for your students to create a portfolio that their parents can see while they're also checking all of the other information that you share with them through the ClassDojo platform. Student Stories puts students in charge of assembling their portfolios. Their portfolios can include digital work as well as physical work that they take pictures of with a camera on a mobile device or on a laptop. You moderate your students' submissions before anyone can see them. To submit work students simply scan a class QR code then add their submissions. Watch the video embedded below to see how it works. Click here for a PDF of directions on how to use Student Stories.