Portfolio CoP Meeting Minutes, October 3rd, 2012

Portfolio Community of Practice (CoP) Meeting
October 3, 2012 1:30 – 3:00pm
Fraser River Room 2.27


1. Introductions & updates
2. Digital identity discussion with Cindy Underhill

Cindy Underhill,  Learning Strategist at CTLT, shared with us an introduction to digital identity, loosely defined as anything that you or others publish about you online. Like a tattoo, a digital identity can be beautiful but is also permanent and can be hard to remove. In the discussion that followed the group explored some of the following issues:

  • Some students are embarrassed by sharing online when they are novices in their professional field
  • Many students, after initial resistance, have come to be proud of their e-portfolio
  • Students’ primary concern around portfolios is censorship – they don’t want to get in trouble for what they write
  • Students may want to share their ‘reflections’ with only one faculty member, for example
  • Students may want a completely private space for individual reflective work.
  • A WordPress platform allows students control over who has access to view which parts of the portfolioStudents are looking for clarity on the purpose of the portfolio to buy-in on the ‘why’
  • There is the idea that “students don’t care about privacy” – but in fact a Piu study showed that students do care, what they want is control over what’s public and what’s private.
  • Faculty primary concern is around confidentiality
    • Confidentiality of patient information, for e.g.
    • Sharing of ‘private’ opinions, eg on ratemyprofessor.com
    • Faculty may want to be reassured that their comments on portfolios are kept confidential, for example.
  • Digital identity is gaining increased attention in the last few years in the field of nursing
  • Students often ‘prune’ their digital identity to fit their new professional identity
  • There is no one-size-fits all approach – some individuals combine professional & personal identity online, some keep the two very separate
  • There are often standards of ethics for individual professions
  • Some units take the approach that part of a professional responsibility is to be sure that what you post online is ready to be published – thus no editing is permitting for posts
  • The idea is to encourage students to think carefully before they post publicly
  • In the first year of a program, there may be resistance primarily as a result of the technology
  • Adding a course in first semester addressing reflection helps prepare students for the reflective process
  • Important to emphasize the ‘process’ of making a portfolio – recognizing learning, selecting items to include, and changing the portfolio over time
  • The process is as important as the portfolio ‘product
  • It can be hard for some to see that both process and product are useful
  • Many students are so proud of their portfolio at the end of the program that they do download the file and take it with them
  • Some have reported that their portfolio made the difference in getting them a job – having an e-portfolio put them a step ahead in terms of self-presentation and technological skills.

3. Planning for the upcoming year & blog-to-email

The group came up with several ideas for meetings in the coming year (through general discussion)

  1. Discussion: processes for early visioning / planning of a program-wide portfolio initiative
  2. Presentation & brainstorm session: Having folks who are considering launching a portfolio program present their current ideas & gain the insight/wisdom of the group
  3. Presentation & discussion: update on the latest e-tools in portfolio development
  4. Presentation & discussion: recent evaluation of the portfolio program in nursing
  5. Discussion: how to motivate faculty to adopt eportolios
  6. Discussion: how to ensure ‘safety’ in portfolios
  7. Presentation or Discussion: how to focus on and assess the process, rather than just the product, of an eportfolio.

**The group agreed that the best way to choose the next meeting topic(s) would be by an online survey, so as to include those who were not present at this meeting.

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