e-portfolios in East Renfrewshire – Part 1

Overview 

East Renfrewshire logoIn June 2011, just before the end of term, two of the East Renfrewshire clusters worked with their pupils to create e-portfolios using Glow Blogs. This involved Eastwood High School, St Ninian’s High School and their associated primary schools. In the secondary schools, every S1 pupil (the new S2 cohort) created an e-portfolio and in the primaries, every P7 pupil did so, in preparation for their transition to high school. In many of the primaries, the P6 pupils also created e-portfolios for use in P7 and beyond.

Context

BTC 5In line with Building the Curriculum 5: A Framework for Assessment (BTC5) , the Assessment Team in East Renfrewshire was keen to ensure that all schools are providing opportunity for pupils to reflect on their learning, evaluate it and record evidence of what they have achieved, both in school and outwith. They felt it to be essential that there was a consistent approach across all schools in the local authority. This approach is encouraged in BTC 5:

“It is important that shared standards and expectations should apply among the primary schools in a cluster and across departments in secondaries. Transition will be greatly assisted by sharing ideas across sectors.”

To help ensure consistency, staff from East Renfrewshire contacted the National Glow Team to enquire about the possibility of having a custom-built Glow Blog theme created for their e-portfolios. This was readily agreed to and a theme reflecting the East Renfrewshire priorities was created. The theme incorporates an image for the header, widgets, categories and three ready-made pages. This can be seen in the ‘how to’ videos later.

Creating the e-portfolios

Members of the National Glow Team worked with staff and pupils in all of the Eastwood and St Ninian’s cluster schools to create the e-portfolios.

Each pupil created a Glow Group in their My Glow area and into that Group they added a Glow Blog. It is the Glow Blog that is used as their e-portfolio. All staff were made members of the Glow Group where the blog lives. This membership alone, however, does not enable them to access the e-portfolio. Since no one can access another user’s My Glow area, pupils additionally had to provide staff with a link to their blog. This link to the view of the blog was added to a web links web part in a school e-portfolio Glow Group. This Group had been created ahead of time in preparation for the pupil sessions.

Pupils learned how to add content to their blog by writing posts, categorising and tagging them, adding media such as images and attaching documents. They also learned how staff can comment on the posts and where they can then access those comments from.

Ingredients

In preparation for the pupils creating their e-portfolios, each school had to do some work in advance. This involved them creating a Glow Group to host links to the pupil e-portfolios. They also had to ensure that both Glow Light and Glow Blogs were switched on for all pupils. (This task is done by the school or local authority Accounts and Services Manager – ASM)

During the pupil sessions, the pupils required the following:

– To have Glow Light enabled

– Create a Glow Group in their My Glow area

– Add the Glow Blog web part to their Group and create a Blog

–  Add teachers and non-teaching staff as administrators of the Glow Group Note: One of the reasons that  (Administrator access is recommended so that any comments left by staff on the pupil’s blog are automatically published. If, for example, staff are given Contributor rights, they can still access and interact with the pupil’s blog but their initial comments would have to be approved by the pupil before they are displayed)

– Put a link to their Blog into the school e-portfolio Group to enable staff to access it

– Carry out some ‘admin’ on their blog – apply the Local Authority theme; delete the default post; delete one of the pages; set a static welcome page and a page to display latest posts

– Add information about themselves to their welcome page

– Learn how to use the Blog Dashboard to write a post

Recipe

The following videos explain the process that the pupils went through to create their e-portfolios, as well as looking at the preparatory work the schools did to create the Glow Group to host the links to the pupil e-portfolios.

Step 0 (for staff) – How to create a school Glow Group to host links to pupil e-portfolios
e-portfolios in East Renfrewshire – Part 1
Step 1 – How a pupil creates a Glow Group in their My Glow
e-portfolios in East Renfrewshire – Part 1
Step 2 – How a pupil creates their Glow Blog
e-portfolios in East Renfrewshire – Part 1
Step 3 – How a pupil adds staff as members of their Glow Group
e-portfolios in East Renfrewshire – Part 1
Step 4- How a pupil adds a link to their blog into the school e-portfolio Glow Group
e-portfolios in East Renfrewshire – Part 1
Step 5 – How a pupil uses the Blog Dashboard to apply the local authority theme and customise it
e-portfolios in East Renfrewshire – Part 1

The following video covers the whole process for steps 1-5 above. There is slightly less explanation than in the separate videos but the video provides a good overview of the entire process:

The whole process for pupils creating their e-portfolio
e-portfolios in East Renfrewshire – Part 1
 

For videos on how to add content to the blog, see part 2 of this cookbook.

Impact

Each of the schools in East Renfrewshire plans to use the pupil e-portfolios in different ways, depending on their particular focus. Part 2 of this cookbook looks at the plans for two of the schools and discusses the impact they hope the e-portfolios will have.

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