ETEC 590 E-Portfolio Proposal

Rebecca R. Jacobson

March 4, 2012



As I am not pursuing the TQS, this e-portfolio (EP) will not be geared toward that end. My purpose for taking the MET program is very much reflected in the purpose of my EP. I undertook this degree because I was being given opportunities to use educational technology (ed. tech.) at my institution (Selkirk College, Castlegar) but had very limited training. This bothered me; I wanted to add theory to my practice and understand how, why and when we can and should use ed. tech when teaching. As I near the end of the MET, I’m beginning to ask myself: What have I learned? How is my attitude different? How is my teaching different? What will I do differently in the future because of what I’ve learned? Until now, these have been passing thoughts in a very busy professional and personal life. The purpose of this EP is to explore the answers to these questions; my goals are to clarify the knowledge I have gained by taking the MET program, how I can use this knowledge, and how I can further it in the future. My EP will be geared toward my MET colleagues and professors, although I can see it being of use in the future as a means of demonstrating skills/learning to future and current employers.

METAPHOR: I AM A PIECE OF LEGO As I began thinking about my experiences in the MET program, I realized, to my surprise, that I had undergone a significant shift in perspective. Indeed, with a nudge from my ETEC 590 professor (F. Feng), I now realize that the MET developers and professors have made me an unwitting (and grateful) victim of Jack Mezirow’s Transformative Learning Theory, which, according to Mezirow, “is the process of effecting change in a frame of reference [...and,] [w]hen circumstances permit, transformative learners move toward a frame of reference that is more inclusive, discriminating, self-reflective, and integrative of experience” (1997, p. 5). While I have certainly learned a lot about educational technology, I have transformed from an individual determined to work alone in my educational and professional lives to one with a mind open to the idea of collaboration and even ready to put this idea into action. Each course in this program puts significant value on participation in discussion forums; for me this was by far the most irksome part of the program. Indeed, I was determined to work alone as much as possible. However, it soon became apparent that this was impossible if I was going to succeed. So, while I did not embrace the idea, I grudgingly participated; I was experiencing what social psychologist call cognitive dissonance. Now, as I near the end

E-Portfolio Proposal


of the program, I realize that teamwork and collaboration are worth the extra effort, not only in this program but in my professional life as well.

When thinking about a metaphor for this shift, I have decided that I am a single piece of Lego. Alone, I’m a block of plastic that has all sorts of potential but cannot realize this potential on its own. Join me up with a bunch of other individual pieces of Lego, however, and I can become virtually anything.

PROCEDURE: REFLECTION + ACTION Moon (2001) contends that “we reflect on something in order to consider it in more detail,” and further explains that “reflection is thus a means of working on what we already know” (p.1). She also, however, discusses the results of reflection, including “action or other representation of learning” (p. 5). My plan for this EP, then, is to use reflection to more fully understand what I’ve learned while also putting what I have learned into practice by means of action. To facilitate the latter and put my newfound collaborative spirit to the test, I plan to pilot a Community of Practice (CoP) on learning technologies with my professional colleagues. My plan is to use a Weebly website to create my EP. As I move through populating the site with reflections and artefacts, I will also be working on creating the CoP; this will begin with an email to all employees at Selkirk College inviting a response from anyone who is interested in the use of learning technologies and would like the opportunity to share their experiences and learn from others. Once I have a list of interested colleagues, I’ll organize our first meeting, which I hope to have before the end of ETEC 590.

E-Portfolio Proposal TIMELINE Week 7 EP Proposal Create website Email CoP invitation Organize 1st CoP meeting (Doodle?) First CoP meeting Choose artefacts Revisit ETEC courses Create & populate EP pages Write reflections Create guided tour video Submit EP & video EXPECTED OUTCOMES My Weebly website will include artefacts from the MET program, including: MET Moodle site (ETEC 565) Video story (ETEC 565) Action Research Proposal (ETEC 500) Personal Learning Theory (ETEC 512) Concept Map (ETEC 530) Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Week 13


In addition, the EP will include reflections about my progress through the MET. Because my goal is to clarify my own learning, these reflections constitute the most important part of this portfolio. I expect to discover aspects of learning that would not be apparent without careful reflection; indeed, this is what I hope to learn in this process. In addition, as I look beyond the MET, I anticipate future learning. I will also be reflecting on the process of creating the CoP, how

E-Portfolio Proposal I feel about initiating a collaborative project, and what I learn during the process. For example, will I be nervous approaching my colleagues (yes!), how will it feel to be responsible for organizing this group (intimidated), will I plan the meeting and then resent having to attend (probably!). I will not include any information about my colleagues.


While I don’t expect this to be something that will begin and end during ETEC 590, I do hope to take the initial step to get this going during this course.

KEY RESOURCES Because my goal is to revisit what I’ve learned in the MET while beginning the process of creating a CoP, my resources reflect key sources I’ve used throughout the former with new resources pertaining to the latter.

Anderson, T. (ed.) (2008). Theory and practice of online learning. (2nd ed.) Athabasca, AB: Athabasca University Press. Bates, A. W. & Poole, G. (2003). Effective teaching with technology in higher education: Foundations for success. New York, NY: Wiley, John & Sons Incorporated. Cowan, J. E. (2012). Strategies for developing a community of practice: Nine years of lessons learned in a hybrid technology education master’s program. Techtrends: Linking Research and Practice to Improve Learning, 56(1), 12-18. doi: 10.1007/s11528-011-0549-x Dick, W., Carey, L. & Carey, O. J. (2004). Introduction to instructional design: The Dick and Carey systems approach model for designing instruction. Retrieved May 10, 2011 from Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2000). Critical Inquiry in a text-based environment. Computer conferencing in higher education. Internet in Higher Education, 2(2), 87-105. Retrieved June 20, 2011 from Loertscher, J. (2011). Cooperative learning for faculty: Building communities of practice. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, 39(5), 391-392. doi: 10.1002/bmb.20548

E-Portfolio Proposal Lu, M., Todd, A., & Miller, M. T. (2011). Creating a supportive culture for online teaching: A case study of a faculty learning community. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 14(3). Retrieved Feb 15, 2012 from Martin, F. (2011). Instructional design and the importance of instructional alignment. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 35. doi: 10.1080/10668920802466483 Mezirow, J. (1997). Transformative learning: Theory to practice. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 74. 5-12. Retrieved March 4, 2012 from Moon, J. (2001). PDP working paper 4: Reflection in higher education learning. LTSN Generic Center: Learning and Teaching Support Network. University of Exeter. Retrieved January 9, 2012 from Ward, H. C. & Selvester, P. M. (2012). Faculty learning communities: Improving teaching in higher education. Educational Studies, 38(1), 111-121. doi:10.1080/03055698.2011.567029