First annotated bibliography item up…..some help needed!

First annotated bibliography item up…..some help needed!

Not sure on what to include in the evaluations. If there are any annotated bibliography stars out there, could you have a quick look at my first entry (by clicking on the link above) and the question I’ve added under the evaluation section. I’m not sure how much detail we are supposed to go in to there. Thanks! 😀


Arena of Change MindMap

Arena of Change MindMap

(To see a bigger image right click and save as. Sorry!)

I’m not sure exactly if I’ve quite done this correctly, but for what it’s worth it definitely helped clarify my thinking and give me a bit of perspective from some different angles.

So…..the change I’m focusing on is how ePortfolios can be used to replace some traditional assessment techniques in order to better assess 21st century skills and learning. It needs a bit more refinement of course but the general idea is there.

Who are the key players? Well, if ePortfolios are to be used as part of a student’s summative assessment grade (which is where I’m heading), then initially Government / Ministry of Ed are going to be a key player as they would need to make the necessary changes ‘at the top’. This would then flow on to NZQA to work through the subject frameworks, standards etc (I think – need to do some research into how this process actually works in NZ setting). From there subject cluster groups would need to be put in place in order to support teachers in understanding the new assessment style, running professional development sessions and creating national exemplars.

In terms of a technological perspective, consideration needs to be given as to how to actually create / document / store the ePortfolios. Tim gave me a great suggestion in pointing me towards Google Sites which definitely looks like it has potential and I’m going to play around with more. Also, would/could schools be given freedom to choose or is it better to have a set format? Would the same work for each subject? Is an ePortfolio even appropriate for all subjects?

Another key player would be parents, as they need to not only understand changes that are taking place, but buy in to them and support them. The idea of having open assessment practices, whereby parents can follow their students’ progress online and see where they are at also appeals to me. I’m sure this is already the case in some schools, but it’s an important aspect to remember.

Clearly the teacher and students are key once the initial ‘top down’ stuff has come through, as any change to assessment practices must actually benefit the learners by adding value to their education, preparing them for the world, providing authentic learning experiences and allowing for self-reflection……

I’m not sure yet how the balance of theoretical vs practical will be in my research…..still a long way to go with thinking! Speaking honestly, I wasn’t keen on this activity initially as it had me all confused, but working through it like this (especially with the scaffolding provided as part of the week’s activity) and just being able to also blah all my ideas here into the blog has been really helpful. I’m not sure how I’m going to tackle this idea – from the angle of making changes to assessment at a national level or just pottering around with the idea in an in-school context. I’d prefer to tackle the big issue but not sure how well it will fit with the assignment requirements etc. Will start out with that view in mind but just wait and see me backtrack on that one once I really get into it!

Down to…..TWO!

So, I’ve spent the past few days exploring and reading around two broad research areas in an effort to narrow both down – I think this will help me to finally decide on one! Here’s where I’m at now. I think the process of having to put both ideas into writing will ultimately be very useful.

1. ePortfolios and assessment:

  • how can they be used to provide a more personal learning  / assessment experience and capture deep learning – assessing as/when a student is ready, according to own interests and learning styles etc
  • how can they be used in a way that makes assessment FOR learning, rather than OF. Can they be both formative and summative (ie. leading to summative).
  • Can they be used as a creative replacement to exams?
  • Are ePortfolios are more authentic way of assessing ’21st Century skills’?

2. Prof development, school leadership and creative change:

  • Looking at the situation in UAE local schools, how can we support schools / school leaders to bring technology into their institution in a way that is creative, beneficial to learners and meaningful?
  • Bearing in mind that school leaders do not have the autonomy to make major changes to infrastructure, buy new technology etc…..what creative solutions can be found to overcome this and other barriers, such as cultural and social?
  • Interesting to explore the fact that local schools are technologically under-resourced environments, even though money is not an issue for the country – largely because the reform has just not yet gotten this far. There are pilot studies being done with 1-1 ipads in classrooms and the like but what can we do to support the majority until such projects are more widespread?
  • Considering issues of empowerment, building capacity and sustainability.

Now for some more think time. Any feedback welcome  🙂


Research Thoughts

Here are my thoughts on the research so far….yep, still running behind with time but getting there. I’ve kind of got three key areas I’m looking at – I know I say five at the start of the video but I manage to talk myself down to three somehow!

Feedback welcome…..

Do I enjoy doing video posts? Not really. So I think it’s something I’m going to try to do more of, as getting out of the comfort zone is always a good thing!

(Wayne – WordPress keeps changing my tags from caps to no caps. Can you let me know if it’s still working in the aggregator? Maybe the no caps thing is just a style choice based on the theme I’m using).

New Beginnings

A quick note to all SP4ED participants….below is a little intro to me and my experience with setting up a blog for my Canterbury University Masters course, of which our MOOC is a part. I’m looking forward to interacting with you all over the next few days in a virtual world of inspiration and ideas!

Phillipa   🙂  

Hey all,

So here is a belated first post! After just having returned from a yoga teacher training course in Thailand I’m a little behind the 8-ball in terms of being on top of things this week (and more than a little cold!).

I’m Phillipa (or Pippa – whichever you prefer!)…….

festy foot

…..and I love to play!

I have to admit, I’ve started a few blogs in my life and haven’t really fallen in love with any of them. Yes, this is my way of saying they’ve fallen by the wayside and are just floating around aimlessly in cyberspace. Even bringing my family in on one didn’t help. So I’m quite looking forward to having to keep a blog for this course and I’m interested to see whether I prefer it to the Moodle forums. I initially tried using Blogger and spent a frustrated evening trying to stretch a particular picture so it would work as a background image. Should have given up and just gone with a regular template, I know, but instead I had a little hissy fit and switched to WordPress instead, forgetting the whole idea of using my own background image.

So far, WordPress has been pretty good to use although I haven’t explored a lot in the settings yet. I have, however, created another blog that I’ve wanted to do for a loooooong time so appreciate the kick up the backside that creating a blog for our course has given me.

What would I like to achieve with this blog? Well, firstly I’d like to actually have a blog that I follow through with! And I’d also like to have a clear document of my learning, thinking, conversing, reflecting etc – something I can come back to, with useful research links (maybe using the delicious widget) and that may prove useful to others somewhere, somehow.

You can read all about me here. I’m off to play in the wonderful world of widgets and settings. Looking forward to working with and learning from you all during this course – my weekend reading is going to be all of your intro blogposts! Really great to see some familiar faces from last year too. 😀

Happy Thursday!