Monday, January 11, 2016

Changes to My Google Sites Student e-Portfolio Template

As I'm prepping for Spring semester, I've made some changes to the e-Portfolio template my students use. Here are the major changes:

Writing Process
More modeling.
I've planned for more time to model peer-review. This is necessary for the peer-review to be of any worth.The feedback from students about peer-review was so mixed, and I know "the blind leading the blind" problem is very real. I couldn't ignore this, so in addition to more modeling how to peer-review I have also included...

More paragraph specific and manageable tasks. 
In the writing process I used last semester, I was asking students to look and comment on entire papers.
Slap Forehead Here.
After speaking to the Writing Lab manager at my campus, he offered some wisdom about getting students to focus simply on paragraphs and sentences during peer-reviews.

Asynchronous Tutor Feedback.
Lo and behold, our Writing Center offers virtual tutoring!
Insert  Happy Dance Here.
Again, that short chat with my campus' Writing Center manager revealed this nugget of joy! At my last campus, I had students submit their work to the 3rd party tutoring service, "Smarthinking". While I was usually quite satisfied with the feedback, having on-campus virtual tutors is so much better, as I can spend time with these well-qualified student-workers, and let them know what my class' needs are. I've inserted this tutoring in place of my mock-grading initial drafts.
Insert an even Happier Dance Here.

More in-class peer-review sessions planned.
Last semester I noted how students usually provided better feedback while in class using Google Docs. I'm sure it had something to do with me haunting their Docs while in class, but I am trying to use as much time for in-class peer-review as possible.

e-Portfolio Layout
I've deleted some pages that seemed redundant, and I've inserted a sub-page listing on every page of the "My Writing" Tab. I want to make this e-folio clean.
I've also inserted a resume template for my students to use.
Most helpful, I think, is the page I now included strictly for how-to videos & course FAQs. The student reviews revealed that my students appreciated these videos very much, but I still need to revamp them before the first class day.

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