In many respects seizing the moments to reflect on and to illustrate pathways to collaborative professional engagement is a central feature to teaching and learning science and learning how to teach science. It is important to gain awareness of the relationships connecting our systems of meaning, including how we approach the ideas of others, and our collaborative experiences as science educators. Accordingly, the emphasis of this ePortfolio assignment is to illustrate achievement and growth in the collaborative professional process and its implications for learning science and learning how to teach science. In this assignment, participants (with their collaborators) are required to create a scholarly science/science education collaborative ePortfolio entry that illustrates growth and achievement in the context a professional collaborative science education experience. The collaborative experience may be currently ongoing or may have been completed in the past. The collaborative entry is incorporated in the participant’s final capstone ePortfolio project.
This collaborative entry assignment provides participants (and who they select to work with) with an explicit opportunity to engage in social pedagogy. The assignment requires participants to engaging with professional colleagues to co-construct ways to use evidence to document and illustrate shared professional practices in the context of the ePortfolio to an audience they select. The assignment gives participants wide latitude to co-create the entry. The key requirement is to use coordinated baseline evidence and post-baseline evidence to articulate collective and individual growth in the context of the collaborative project they are describing. In many cases it requires participants to introduce colleagues to the concept of the ePortfolio and how the pedagogy is being used in the science education ePortfolio capstone assignments.
Description of Practice
The collaborative entry does not have a lot of guidelines. However, the assignment needs to be scaffolded upfront. Time must be allotted throughout the course to discuss the project and for participants to share their ideas for how they plan to go about planning their collaborative entry. The initial requirement is for students to write a proposal detailing their plans to develop a proposed collaborative entry. The plan is submitted to the instructor for approval with the understanding, as with any project, that some adjustments might need to me made along the way. Below describes what must be included in the proposal. (The assignment is attached.)
The description must include the following:
1) Provide a descriptive title for the entry.
2) Write a 1- to 2-paragraph rationale for selecting and illustrating the collaborative experience in your ePortfolio.
3) Who will you be working with to create the entry? Why?
4) Identify the primary audience for the entry.
5) How do you plan to show individual/collaborative growth and achievement related to the collaborative experience being illustrated?
6) What type of evidence do you plan to present to illustrate growth and achievement?
7) How should the entry be assessed?
8) Provide an editorial management scheme you anticipate to enact to help create the entry. Remember that the entry must be co-created and co-authored with your collaborators.
9) Describe how you plan to present the collaborative entry as part of your capstone ePortfolio presentation.
10) Write a one-paragraph abstract for the entry with 4-5 key words.
11) You are required to post the approved description (items 1-10 above) in a page in your collaborative entry.
Impact and Evidence
Participants are required to provide coordinated sets of baseline evidence and post-baseline to illustrate and argue growth in the context of the parameters they select for the collaborative entry. For this entry participants supply the assessment parameters for the entry. Impact has yet to be assessed. However, a plan to evaluate these entries will look at overarching themes that support some of the social pedagogy constructs (understanding about learning, learning new content knowledge, connections to lager contexts and communities) and others constructs. We plan to use Dedoose, a qualitative research data analysis software, to help analyze the collaborative entries.
Connections to other Polished Practices
The collaborative entry assignment most closely align with the science education reflective pedagogy practice. The assignment asks participants to argue growth in the structured context (coordinated sets baseline/post-baseline evidence) that supports a systematic approach to reflective practice.
This is the first time this practice has been truly integrated into the science education ePortfolio capstone assignment and implemented with a significant level of scaffolding. Last year, this assignment was treated more as an add-on to the capstone assignment. Our next steps include: 1) getting feedback from participants about their experiences completing the project, 2) conducting qualitative analysis on the entries to surface important themes and 3) sharing this practice at a professional development sponsored by the C2L Lehman team in the fall 2013 to the School of Education.