Shannon Hagen is a Media Educator at Campbell River School District. Her presentation at the BC ERAC (British Columbia Educational Resource Acquisition Consortium) Digital Learning Conference, focused on her first-hand experience using Scholantis student portfolios. Her talk, Bringing your Classroom Online, pointed out the many benefits of student portfolios for students, teachers and parents alike.
Student Portfolios allow a student and their teachers to co-create and store a rich collection of documents, presentations, blog posts, photos, videos and other media. They can be shared with teachers to evaluate progress, demonstrate learning outcomes, compentencies and skill growth over time. They can also be used to highlight student accomplishments and engage parents in student learning.
Shannon originally approached us after her superintendent came to her looking for a way to host digital assessment information in a safe, secure way. Since then, we’ve collaborated to provide the district with a tool that fits the superintendent’s needs but also offers much, much more.
“The Scholantis Student Portfolios are being used in ways we could not have imagined and we’re still making improvements based on how the tool is being used in the classroom,” – says Shannon.
“It’s proved so useful for engaging parents about learning and assessment.”
In Campbell River, like many school districts students receive just one formal report card. However, with the help of Scholantis, Shannon and her colleagues now also communicate regularly with students/parents through secure, online student portfolios. As Shannon describes it, “It allows students to reflect on what they’ve learned and for parents to be more involved.”
Student portfolio profiles are also managed, in part, by students. Students can upload their own avatar and profile description. In Shannon’s experience, kids enjoy the personalization and want to write their own profile description. In some cases, teachers set this task as the first writing assignment of the academic year – a modern version “what did you do last summer” essay that then becomes part of the student’s profile.
Scholantis Student Portfolios contain four elements: rubrics, video & audio, photos and text & documents. Shannon and the Campbell River school district found each element offers a unique benefit.
Our rubric templates give teachers a multitude of options… One creative and cute example Shannon shared in her talk is a self-assessment tool for younger students who can not yet read or write. The template allows students to draw flowers and the height of the flower indicates how well the student believes they’re doing in class.
Video & Audio.
In Shannon’s school district provides teachers with iPads and students use the camera to upload a record of their work… “Video is a very cool, real-time assessment,” says Shannon. With Scholantis student portfolios, uploading video and audio files is simple.
When it comes to using student portfolios, students are usually tech savvy and eager to use the tools. “Grade 4 kids just get it, I only need to show them once and they’ve nailed it,” says Shannon. She went on to share how students doing group and community work are able to take all the photos they need to build their portfolio using the classroom iPad. Students in one art class, for example, took photos of their work, uploaded them at school, then logged on at home to reflect on the work in the comments section and share it with their parents. Teachers also have an opportunity to comment.
Text & Documents.
Thanks to Shannon’s feedback, we made improvements to this area and in our latest release, and now a thumbnail is generated for documents uploaded to student portfolios, making organizing and tracking a dream. Documents, videos and photos can all be locked by teachers so a permanent record of a student’s submission is preserved.
Thanks to Shannon and Campbell River for their part in developing this powerful teaching and assessment tool!