Thursday, July 24, 2014

D2L Fusion Notes on ePortfolio

Guest Post by Dr. Barbara Berg, Associate Professor, RHCHP School of Nursing

I enjoyed the time to hear of the many uses of D2L at the Fusion 2014 conference last week in Nashville. I purposefully attended several sessions on use of the ePortfolio component of the learning management system. I can say that from two of the sessions (one lecture type and one actually hands on at a computer) I have a better understanding of how the portfolio works and what the finished presentation looks like. I was impressed that the look of the finished product was what you would expect from a contemporary multimedia portfolio without artificial compartments within which some ePortfolio systems force faculty to fit when constructing templates for the students. I was also interested that the link to the ePortfolio was always in each class and available to students once they logged on with their password. Access was very easy.

Artifacts are stored by the user (student or faculty) in their My Items area. These documents or files can be of all types and can be imported from the classes (link to “add to portfolio button” in classes) that are “certified” as taken from a course or from other sources. These collected objects can be viewed in a list or organized into collections for greater ease of locating them later. There is also a forms tool with which forms can be created by the faculty to be completed and submitted by the students.

Faculty are able to create a template of the type of presentation they want for the portfolio for consistency and push the template out to the students. To share the works the student is able to create the presentation to the template and submit the finished product to the drop box, export as an HTML website (with a link for access), or print the portfolio. Program administrators are able to force sharing to a faculty or within a class as well. Portfolios do not lock as graded or submitted and may be recreated in many templates for many uses. All students are able to save the portfolio materials to a My D2L site where they will have life-long access at no cost. Apparently a help center is available to students and faculty (but I do not know much about this feature).

Two other presentations highlighted the way that programs have used the ePortfolio. Most had some sort of training materials for faculty and students prior to the use of the portfolio. One school even produced video tutorials. One presenter stated that complete training to all the uses of the ePortfolio usually lasted a day for faculty and administrators. Types of uses included completing requirements for a school of education competencies, class related assignments, and showcasing accomplishments for career purposes. One university required the students to submit weekly ePortfolio assignments working toward increased familiarity with the program and completion of a finished portfolio.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Welcome to IDT Today

The proper use of instructional design principles and their associated learning technologies can significantly enhance the student experience. There is a strong research correlation between properly designed courses using appropriate learning technologies and student success, student satisfaction, and instructional efficacy. So why aren't these principles incorporated into all courses?

Welcome to IDT Today. This blog provides a forum for a number of topics including perspectives on the design and delivery of courses that are enhanced by the use of technology, training ideas, conference summaries, and the occasional off-beat post. Blog authors will primarily be from the Department of Instructional Design and Technology of Regis University with a hefty sprinkling of other perspectives from guest authors outside the IDT department and Regis.

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