Meaningful Connections: Creating an Eportfolio
Updated: Nov 7, 2017
“Enlightened” is the word I would use to describe how I felt after learning about using Eportfolios to demonstrate learning. The simple act of defining exactly what an eportfolio is and what it is not is something that I had to work out in my head. I will admit that even after my first class, I still wasn’t quite sure I grasped the process. I now understand that my portfolio should be a combination of my learning process and my learning outcomes. I think some of that stems from my past learning experiences. The idea that showing the messy side of thinking about what I learn and being okay with writing about my thought process and reflecting on my personal learning journey is very uncomfortable.
“Meaningful connections”…these two words are packed with a whole lot of meaning. The act of connecting what I learn in a way that means something to me personally is both liberating and intimidating. I love the idea of being able to record my learning but sometimes that process is difficult. However, I now understand that the struggle comes from the act of recording my learning and the process of connecting my learning to something that can be written down. The process of internalizing the material, applying it to my own experiences and then recording how it influenced my thinking is extremely important.
It would be nice and tidy to file all the classes and courses that I have taken in my “online binder” and move on, however this would be shallow, temporary learning. In fact, this is exactly what many school systems do with students. They ask them to learn something (memorize) long enough to pass a test. There is very little reflection or connection (and we wonder why kids don’t retain information).
I appreciate the advice to keep eportfolios “simple to understand and, more importantly, simple to create and maintain.” (Harapnuik,2017) The fact that we shouldn’t feel pressure to use “academic and scholarly jargon” is also refreshing. I also like the advice to “set a very small goal or mini-habit of writing 50 words a day on your eportfolio/blog”. (“Harapnuik”, 2017) Committing to writing only a few words per day even if I am only writing a partial post and continuing it later is better than becoming overwhelmed with an expectation for myself that is too difficult to maintain.
Even though I am only beginning the Eportfolio process, I have big plans for where this will go. Hopefully I can look back in a few years and see just how far I have come!