By David O'Hagan | Published: Monday, June 04, 2012
My brilliant reflection
The act of reflecting on one's educational studies, work, successes, and challenges is highly valuable for everyone. Regular reflection often illuminates patterns and themes that can aid one to make better decisions about career paths, areas of study, and life in general. This practice, however, has long lacked the encouragement and attention it should rightly have, especially during one's younger years - the ripe time of one's life, where they establish and engrain practices and habits.
Reflecting on one's past is nothing new and has been going on for centuries, be it on parchment, in a notepad, on a computer, or a tablet. I know many people that regularly journal and obtain a great deal of value and enjoyment out of the process. (Personally, I journal somewhat irregularly, however when I do reflect on my past thinking, decisions, and ideas, I not only get more clarity into my own thinking, but gain valuable insight into my own life.)
Over a period of years, the multitude of events in one's personal and spiritual lives, as well as changes in one's career, health, and perspectives, alter the ability to recall small details, which could provide all with greater awareness and powerful ingredients to make better and more informed decisions. Unfortunately, reliance on the brain for these finer details and specifics puts one at a significant disadvantage.
Desire2Learn® ePortfolio is having a powerful impact on education and learning in a variety of ways. It offers users a manageable method of compiling their ideas and work, sharing those with others, and capturing valuable feedback. In the ePortfolio toolbox, two complimentary tools are available that make reflection simple and extremely functional. The ePortfolio reflection, and its more sophisticated cousin, the ePortfolio form, are both user-friendly, have no learning curve, and are powerful, in that they pick up where our brain begins to falter.
The reflection tool allows for open-ended composition of thoughts inside the HTML editor. Rather than limited to basic text, the editor enables users to explore and incorporate links, images, tables, and embedded objects. Conversely, the ePortfolio form is far more structured, and a variety of fields can be used, including dropdown menus, checkbox lists, rubric evaluations, formatted text, and the linking to other files and objects.
Reflections take advantage of the Insert Stuff™ framework
In addition to the variety of fields available, the creator of the form, typically an instructor or teacher, can add additional prompts to trigger ideas or have students expand on their thoughts. This feature is especially useful for younger students or those that are new to the process of reflecting.
Desire2Learn ePortfolio forms can be built with a range of type fields
These simple to use tools offer immense value to all ePortfolio users:
- Easily captured reflective thoughts and ideas all in one single easy-to-access location (using a computer, tablet, or smartphone)
- Easily organized with the use of tags, as well as ePortfolio collections
- Easily presented in the form of a story with ePortfolio presentations
- Easily shared with others for both peer feedback or formal assessment in a course of study
Reflections and forms are just two components inside the ePortfolio toolbox. In addition to the reflection functionality, ePortfolio allows users to easily capture a large variety of one's work, assessments, and ideas that can span years, as well as share items with a classmate, the entire class, or a grandparent, all the while easily capturing feedback from others on their work.
On top of all this existing powerful functionality, the newly released version 4.0 of ePortfolio includes, among other things, the ability for users to tie in, share, get feedback, and reflect on learning objectives structures. It is for these reasons that more and more organizations are using the Desire2Learn ePortfolio to truly enhance the learning experiences of students, teachers, employees, and staff.
Posted in: ePortfolio
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