Summary: Students need to have a larger role in the classroom in order for their learning autonomy and knowledge to increase. Collecting evidence enables students to observe their work and progress, and represent that progress to others. Teachers must allow students the opportunity and time to collect evidence of their learning and reflect upon its importance.
Collecting evidence has played an important part of my education since Kindergarten. My teachers from elementary all the way up to high school utilized the collection of student work as part of our learning development and records. Sometimes I felt frustrated near report card times as it could be a very stressful process to organize our student files to send home for our parents. I remember our teachers struggling to keep everyone organized and on task as sheets of our work were scattered across tables. I think what I learned from this is the challenge in having students collect their own learning evidence. It may be easier for the teacher to collect the work and organize it themselves, but it teaches students independence and responsibility, which is more important and worth a few moments of chaos in my mind.
I think the biggest challenge for me to incorporate student collection of evidence will be being organized and planned. It takes a lot of thought and planning in order to successfully bring together a portfolio of student work, so this is something I will work for. I’m hoping that experienced teachers in the school will be able to give me some pointers that they have discovered for themselves along the way.
The most beneficial part of the chapter was the exemplars of how other teachers use and make the most out of evidence collection in their classrooms. This helped me imagine the ways in which I can use it in my own high school classroom. I personally feel that the chapter made collecting evidence seem easier than it is, and failed to mention the amount of preparation it takes to successfully build up that student portfolio.
This chapter led me to thinking more about online collections of student work. As our students become more and more technologically driven, it only makes sense that where they collect and share their knowledge is on a technological platform. I do not have a lot of knowledge when it comes to tech resources, so I did some research. I found a great resource on another Word Press Blog that discusses the use of Personal Learning Portfolio on a virtual space. I thought this was a great alternative as students get to control and create their own collection, and even determine what parts of their collections they wanted to share, and what parts they wanted to remain personal. Of course with this in mind teachers would have to set standards and guidelines, but I think it leaves room for personal interpretation and choice. I will provide the link and others can take a look at the resource and let me know what you think!
The collection of evidence and learning by our students is an extremely useful strategy in the classroom. It helps us assess our teaching and our students’ progress, as well as teach learning independence and motivation. This is absolutely a form of assessment that I will be utilizing throughout my school year.
Resources: Word Press Blog: Online Learning Insights. Debbie Morrison. January 30th, 2013. http://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/why-students-need-personal-learning-portfolios-more-than-we-do/