ED 870/CEP 807

Co-taught, Michigan State University,

Summer 2008, Summer 2009, Spring 2011, Summer 2011

Course description: Reflection and synthesis of learning experiences in online masters program. Creation and exhibition of electronic portfolio on the Web. Participation in online discussion groups.

The Course

Students complete this course at the end of their experience in the online Master of Arts in Education (MAED) or Master of Arts in Educational Technology (MAET) programs.  The aim of the course is to help pre-service and in-service teachers not only to showcase what they have learned during the pursuit of their master’s degrees but also to create a sustainable online presence. In all their work, students are encouraged to write for an authentic audience, including their students, students’ families, school, and community members.

Using softwares (many free) such as Google Sites, Weebly, WordPress, iWeb, and others, students design their own web portfolios containing the following elements:

  • Homepage
  • Resume/curriculum vitae
  • Coursework page: List of all courses taken during the MAED program and examples of the students’ best work from each course
  • Goal Reflection essay: Reflective piece on the essay students wrote when applying to the MAED program
  • Future as a Learner essay: Essay on how the students’ envision themselves as continuing their learning in the future
  • Synthesis paper: Reflective, informative essay on the students’ work in the program and what the student has learned.
  • (Optional) About Me page, Teaching Philosophy page

In this course, the students work in four-person groups called “houses.” Members of the houses work together to support each other’s learning through discussion of course readings and instruction.  They also critique and provide feedback on their housemates’ portfolio work each step of the way.  At the conclusion of the semester, we hold online “exhibitions,” during which the instructors and students participate in a two-hour chat.  The purpose of the exhibitions is two-fold: first, students receive feedback, and second, we celebrate the students’ accomplishments during the semester.  After the exhibition, students have the opportunity to act on the feedback they received and revise their portfolios before the final grading period.

Information about Using Portfolios

“Vines, Timelines, Lifelines, and Lifelong Learning” (PDF) by Dr. W. Patrick Dickson

Literature on portfolios