In the process of selecting previous coursework for revision (in support of this week’s Assignment), please expound on at least three lessons learned from the process. For example, describe transportation and logistics management or business concepts you now understand better or could apply better.
Instructions: Your initial post should be at least 300 words
- Why Conduct an E-Portfolio Review?
- Importance of Reflection in Metacognition
- E-Portfolio Review and Reflective Writing
In this lesson, we discuss the importance to both student and faculty of an academic e-portfolio review. The three topics of this lesson are designed to help you meet course Learning Objective #4: Revise artifacts from previous coursework throughout the program based on feedback from the instructor.
The goal of this lesson, therefore, is to advocate for e-portfolios and the e-portfolio review process.
Why Conduct an E-Portfolio Review?
E-portfolio review, according to the Association of American Colleges & Universities, is the process of a student collecting his or her past work under the academic program, reflecting on the strengths and weaknesses of their research and writing, and striving to learn from the exercise (of reviewing their work) and to improve (Miller & Morgaine, 2009).
But equally important and beneficial to faculty and academic departments, the e-portfolio review process avails empirical data from their own reassessment of the work contained in portfolios, enables institutional reflection on the data in curricular contexts, and facilitates the institution use of the data and reflections to plan for future curriculum improvement (Miller & Morgaine, 2009).
An e-portfolio review provides numerous benefits to students, educators, employers, and lifelong learners.
Building an e-portfolio will expose a student to a process for codifying a life-long learning process. The student’s learning abilities will receive wider recognition from peers. Self-confidence will be enhanced as a student takes control of his or her learning. Students with e-portfolios will likely be able to leverage the documentation for course credits. Students can take advantage of the e-portfolio’s portability and accessibility 24/7. The cognitive benefits of receiving feedback from academics are availed by having a documented set of learning goals, objectives, and accomplishments.
For students who become educators, they will have been exposed to and understand the inherent benefits of both the process of building an e-portfolio as well as the product itself.
Employers will have an enriched set of data in which to assess a worker’s values and skills. A worker’s progress and growth will often be on display (to human resource professionals attempting to match people to tasks) in his or her e-portfolio, as will strengths and potential employment interests. Workers aligned with their strengths and interests tend to be more productive.
For lifelong learners, having an e-portfolio enhances their ability to think creatively and critically about what they have accomplished and hope to accomplish in the continuous academic arena they enjoy existentially. The importance of having a logical academic record is critical to lifelong learners, as much as it is to students getting a secondary degree. Lifelong learners cherish a tangible representation of the time and effort they have expended and will expend in pursuit of learning.
Why Conduct an E-Portfolio Review? (Continued)
Bottom line, according to the Association of American Colleges & Universities, e-portfolios, as well as the e-portfolio review process itself, provide:
- A treasure trove of information for both students and faculty to learn about achievement of important outcomes over time, make connections among disparate parts of the curriculum, gain insights leading to improvement, and develop identities as learners or as facilitators of learning, and
- Rich opportunities for metacognition (awareness and understanding of one’s own thought processes) through periodic reflections that may help students develop an array of outcomes and skills (Miller & Morgaine, 2009, para. 3).
Importance of Reflection in Metacognition
An important element of graduate learning is the exercise of academic writing, writing that entails research, analysis, persuasion, and the rigors associated with academic scholarship (APA formatting, for example). An important element of metacognition linked closely to academic writing is reflection.
Reflection is simply a process of examining and interpreting experience as a means of gaining new understanding.
Take a look at what these three academic sources say about reflection.
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- Colorado State University
According to Colorado State University’s Writing Studio (2017), reflection transforms experience into genuine learning about individual values and goals and about larger social issues. It challenges students to connect service activities to course objectives and to develop higher-level thinking and problem-solving. And, it works against the perpetuation of stereotypes by raising students’ awareness of the social structures surrounding service environments. In other words, by fostering a sense of connection to the community and a deeper awareness of community needs, reflection increases the likelihood that students will remain committed to service beyond the term of the course.
- Lew & Schmidt
One study, advanced by Lew & Schmidt (2011), charted that self-reflection that is focused on both what and how students have learned does, in fact, enhance academic learning and, by extension, knowledge application.
- Association of American Colleges & Universities
According to the Association of American Colleges & Universities, reflection enhances a learner’s identity and capabilities, connects learning across both time and courses, develops multiple self-identification and self-assessment capabilities, and helps students to better gauge where they are in terms of learning achieved and required learning to come (Miller & Morgaine, 2009, para. 5).
E-Portfolio Review and Reflective Writing
Not unlike learning to drive (well), reflective writing does not just happen: It takes planning, focus, and follow-through. Reflective writing engenders generalizations gained (from the metacognition process) that can help the student tackle new challenges and environments with an enhanced and advancing toolset. Andy Gillett, in his Using English for Academic Purposes: A Guide for Students in Higher Education blog, provided a comprehensive list of topics to reflect on and to write about in the reflective writing process (2017, March 2). These should help you jump start your reflective writing process.
Topics to Reflect Upon
- How to choose a subject for your dissertation
- How to approach your dissertation
- What your essay title means
- How you are going to approach the essay
- How well you wrote a piece of work
- How you prepared for a lecture
- How you listened to a lecture
- How you undertook a reading assignment
- How you performed in a recent examination
- How you contributed to some group work
- How others reacted
- How you did in a practical situation
- What experiences you gained in part-time or voluntary work you did
- How you solved a particular problem
- How you can improve your study
Topics to Write About
- What you did and why you did it
- What was good and bad about it
- Why you found it good or bad
- What you found easy or difficult
- Why you found it easy or difficult
- What you liked about what you did
- Why you felt like that
- How you might want to follow it up
- What other people did and why they did it
- How did you feel about what others did
- How you used what you have been taught in class
- What other information do you need
- What you are going to do differently in this type of situation next time
- What steps you are going to take on the basis of what you have learned
- What you are going to do next
The writer Margaret Wheatley famously said: “Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful” (Wheatley, 2017, para. 13). How true is that? Reflection helps us focus the mind on what is important and how to apply that knowledge. Academic reflection and writing assist in the metacognition process associated with our academic knowledge gained in this curriculum. E-portfolio review has been found to greatly assist the metacognition process. Proceed full ahead with the e-portfolio review process!
Colorado State University. (2017, March 2). Benefits of Reflection. Retrieved from Colorado State University https://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/service_learning/refben.cfm
Gillett, A. (2017, March 2). Genres in academic writing: Reflective writing. Retrieved from Using English for Academic Purposes: A Guide for Students in Higher Education http://www.uefap.com/writing/genre/reflect.htm
Lew, M. D., & Schmidt, H. G. (2011). Self-reflection and academic performance: is there a relationship? Advances in Health Sciences Education, 529-545.
Miller, R., & Morgaine, W. (2009). The Benefits of E-portfolios for Students and Faculty in Their Own Words. Association of American Colleges & Universities, 11(1). Retrieved from https://www.aacu.org/publications-research/periodicals/benefits-e-portfolios-students-and-faculty-their-own-words
Wheatley, M. J. (2017, March 2). Writings. Retrieved from http://margaretwheatley.com/articles/interconnected.html
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