Creating and Using Media for ePortfolios Breakout Session

Uploaded by PSUMediaCommons on 15.10.2012

Alright, so welcome, thanks for joining us.
So we're gonna tlak a bit today about ePortfolios and how I use it.
Particularly in two courses that I've helped TA
and one that I'm currently the instructor for. So I'm filling in for a professor that
retired in the Department of Agriculture, Economic,
Sociology Education. It just rolls off the tongue. That's our new department
here in the College of Ag. So again, my name is Brad Olson
and Laura Reich our Media Commons consultant. So we work a lot together
in this particular, one course, that I'll be telling you about.
So first start off with talking a bit about ePortfolios in two classes,
AEE 440 and AEE 530.
530 is a graduate level course that I TA'd with last spring. And
440 is the one that I'm currently teaching and taking a look.
So we're talking a bit more in depth about AEE 440 and some projects that we do and how we're using
Media Commons and different types of media. And then
lastly, some of the future plans. And finally I'll talk about
the key of this whole thing is be able to walk away with some ideas to act on. So we'll
talk about some [ inaudible ] items. And again, time at the end
we'll open it up to discussion. Feel free if you have a question, raise your hand
So ePortfolio, as we designed it, is meant to
be really an opportunity for students to showcase the knowledge skills and
abilities, KSA's, we use that acronym a lot, about what they're learning
in this course in terms of different types of communication
methods to really focus on three, written, verbal, and visual
communication. So we give them a crash course in a variety projects. We want them to be able
to showcase the skills that they've learned in actual projects themselves.
We also have them write reflections on each of the assignments. So not only
what they...the skills they've learned or used in that project,
but how they can use that in the future. Take it and applying to a future job.
So this whole thing is geared towards perspective employers
and we really use it as a way to,
me as a person to resume, how do I make myself standout from other
applicants? One way to do is have a website one, ePortfolio,
that we can direct people to to really showcase beyond the resume of
just the gpa, where you went to school. some of the, perhaps
certificates or experiences you had, but to really show them actual
content and to get them, not only, to just see the content, but to learn more about
the person themselves.
So ePortfolio, slightly different for the two different courses.
AEE 440, here's just some information about the courses themselves, thirty
students, typically undergraduate, predominantly upper level class.
It is a cue requirement for communication credit for many
of the majors. They tend to prefer this one than the 330W Writing Course.
And I appreciate honesty, so I ask them that, day one, how many people
are here because they don't want to take 330? But nonetheless it is a popular course
and I hope that they walk away being glad that they took it.
[inaudible]. That one is also a wonderful course.
and a good friend of mine TA's that. But again we focus on
three things, written, verbal, and visual communication. We try and prepare students
to be able to communicate their knowledge in their respective fields,
whether it be Forestry, Wildlife, [ inaudible ] Science, Animal Science,
communicate that information to a larger audience, but in different ways.
Not just being able to talk about or write about it, but being able to present it with
perhaps using media or different communication methods.
AEE 530, slightly different, graduate level course, aimed at people
want to go into teaching or perhaps are going to find themselves
in a TA role. So tend to have graduate students
helping out with the course and they have to teach every once in awhile. They fill in for a course
They don't know the first thing. They're not, you know, haven't had experience
in some basic teaching methods. That's the idea.
The way the ePortfolio comes into, it's particularly with this
specific thing called the Teaching With Technology certificate. This is
present only at University Park. As we were talking
in the session just before this, I don't believe it's available at the other
campuses. And it's only available for select departments that have
elected to participate in it, because it does require a coordinator
in each department to be really the facilitator between
the students creating these ePortfolios, the facilitator or coordinator,
is the one who's grading them based on specific criteria.
And based on that, then they contact the teaching with technology folks.
I'll back out here and I'll show you the website.
teaching, TWT, Teaching With Technology.
You type in Penn State TWT it'll pop up, but it's basically
a way for students to use an ePortfolio
to demonstrate they can teach with technology using a variety of methods. And it really
revolves around their teaching philosophy and how they integrate
technology and media into that philosophy. So it has
a can go, where does it say,
portfolio requirements, there is a series of
items here that add up to a total of forty-five points and they
made a suggestion of forty-one points is a passing grade.
So it is a bit subjective and comes up really, ultimately to the
facilitator or the coordinator. But when they have students complete
these ePortfolios, they rate it based on the rubric, and then they let Teaching With
Technology folks know, hey, we've got five students here, they've all passed.
Then they get a physical certificate, Teaching With Technology certificate,
and that's something that they can put on their resume.
So it tends to be smaller, ten to fifteen students, and like I said,
graduate students here. I'll show you two examples. One from
440, this was last year's class.
Really has three basic pages, a welcome page saying, hey, this is what this ePortfolio
is designed for. Perspective employers showcase
my skills in 440 through these projects and it gives a little breakdown
of some of the content. The about me page, this is really
where it sort of personalizes the applicant. If you're looking at it from a
reasoning standpoint of, they can
follow the link to their website, be able to learn a little bit more about them, put a face to the name.
Certainly can't put a picture on your resume, but we can certainly
direct them to information where they can find that. And again, something to set them apart
from the rest of the applicants. And we have them attach their resume.
We have them hyperlink a variety files in creative ways. It's really a visual
presentation and you can see that on their projects page.
So instead of just saying, click here for my final,
we have them to screenshots, then we hyperlink the screenshots, so it looks
like a document there, you click on that, and it brings up the document.
Similarly we have them create posters,
click on the poster, brings up the full poster.
And so these are just
I'll talk about these in a little bit, but
I'm clicking too much here. These are the different projects that they do
and then what you're seeing here is the written reflections asking to really think about,
okay, now that the projects done, what have you learned? How am I gonna use this or apply
this outside of the class? That's really the crux, one of my
key messages that I try and get people
to walk away with, is how can I use these skills beyond the class, not just for the
projects and the assignments to get a grade, but how can use this
outside of the course? So again, like I said, Teaching With Technology,
we can certainly...I'm gonna try and make this web...
powerpoint available on the [ inaudible ] page, so then everyone can access it.
So, teaching philosophy, and this whole idea of getting back to our
roots is sort of a theme of this tailgate. I think that
pairs up perfectly with Wayne [ inaudible ] in terms of what were we originally
designed? Well we were originally designed for both practical and applied education.
And that's something I try and do in 440. Really hands-on
activities that they can learn, real set of skills that they can walk away with.
One thing I want to strive for is greater engagement with the community.
How can we tie projects that we assign in the course to get students out
of the classes to work in the community and work with folks in the
community? And really establish that sort of Town and Gown connection.
The idea of cooperative extension, so again, trying to pair
communication or media needs with teaching moments.
And I think cooperative extension could be a place where we could that.
Where folks are needing to develop videos, again, it's all about efficiency these days
of how can we can the information out in more efficient ways?
Well, video is one. We could have students work with extension educators
again, limited to geography of how far we can go.
There's certainly plenty of resources here and there's certainly resources throughout in all the
different counties around the other campuses. And lastly,
collaboration. So we're all hoping to get folks here together to talk about
similar things. How can we connect with people that we might not have
met up to this point? But there is great potential to work together
and try and achieve some bigger things. And lastly,
capitalizing on opportunity. So, just the other day
I had a colleague of our department, she's now in a new position, where
she's in charge of recruiting, she's the associate dean,
of multi-cultural affairs and she's in charge of recruiting under represented students.
to the College of Agricultural Sciences. She came to me because she wanted to know
if we'd have a project or a group of students interested in
making a recruitment video? So what she'd like to do is have about two to three
minutes with each person, somebody representing, sort of in each
different background of the people they're targeting, explaining
a bit about what they're doing in their major, where they're hoping to go, and use that
as a recruitment video to increase numbers. So that's definitely
something that we can do and I'm gonna pitch down to the class. Now I'm not gonna force it on them.
Because it's ten minute video that they're going to be doing is really meant to be
their own topic, they get to choose. I've been sort of guiding them this whole time.
This is the one chance they get to really let their passions show and
do a project solely on what they want. But I will put it out there as an offer
and if we don't get any takers, I'll certainly step in
and work with her. But things like that to try and seek out more
opportunities. This one just sort of fell into my lap, which is wonderful, but if we can seek it out too,
we might find more. So I
sort of been talking AEE 440 this entire time, but really
I give them a couple lectures on some core topics of sort of the
theory behind communication and how we communicate in a variety
of ways, but really what we focus in on is sort of the workshops for central
skills. So I'm giving them the nuts and bolts, getting familiar with the technology, and
how to go about laying out a game plan. And then I let
them go. And then I take on more the role as a consultant.
So it's a idea of learning by doing, which is sort of more of my own teaching philosophy
and how I learn best. I think with something like this in media and the actual
equipment, that's the best way that we can learn about this. Rather than me showing
them everything, every last detail, I want them to make mistakes, I want
them to start recording and realize that their mic wasn't
plugged in and oh, that's something you don't forget. And I've done
it plenty of times so I know. But lastly,
with a lot of this group work, because is does have to a class of
thirty students, one instructor, I can't reach everybody in a class
if they're all doing individual projects. So I tend to group them up because
one, it's a time saver, but two, it just takes a
few people sometimes to work with the headphones to monitor
audio, to work the camera, you have somebody on screen that's the talent.
So it tends to be very group based, but because I understand
it's difficult to coordinate schedules, and everyone is busy, everyone has got
a variety of things. So I try and dedicate class time, where at least, in theory,
they should all be in one place at the same time. And I think they really
appreciate that. It's just sometimes, you know, there's not enough hours in the day
and you'd love to keep on going on, but you got another class coming
through. But I think that's a big part about what makes this work
is that we do set aside time for them to work together as a group.
So here's just sort of a snapshot of all that we do,
the online quizzes and reflections that's just showing you how
we sort of evaluate things here and there. The media proposals,
that's a written assignment, where we have them sort of take on the role of a media strategist
and their job is to promote either an organization,
issue, an event. They want to get the word out about something.
They're gonna do that using a variety of methods in media. And so what they have to do
is they have to justify what their audience is, what they media
types of media that they're using, why they're connecting those two.
I'm using newspaper or radio ads with this target
population because it's adults. Here's x, y, and z sources that say,
that's a popular media for reaching this demographic.
So it's really bringing in, it's not just willy-nilly, I'm gonna do a
newspaper ad, I'm gonna do radio, and I'm gonna do a TV ad, but actually taking these
things for specific reasons. We have them develop a timeline, budget,
to really get them to think about all aspects. It's not just about getting a camera and hitting record.
It's that everything sort of as a whole project.
Do you have a question? Okay! Again,
440 assignment that's just practice in photography, podcast
episode we have them talk on in the Whisper Booth,
for about three to four minutes on a subject that they feel the public should be aware of
but isn't. So they bring stuff, we have
predominantly, I think, it's like sixty-two percent wildlife and [ inaudible ] science students this year.
So one of them have been on white-tailed deer management in Pennsylvania.
We get that topic lots. But again, that's passion that comes through in projects
that we have in this course. Eportfolio as I explained before,
the two and ten minute videos. Two minute video is
a video about, it just basically promotes a
department on campus here in the College of Agricultural Sciences, but I write the script.
I write the script and the shot treatments and they're given
basically instructions that they have to then go film and I do that
so they can see as an example of the level of detail
and why it helps that when you say, this person stands on this side,
the camera is fifteen feet away, and you frame him in the right half of the shot. You have to be
detailed because if you just say, stand fifteen feet away and film,
most likely you're gonna get head on, center,
who knows what. But the ability to do really dead targeted shots
really with the help of script is something that is new to them.
So I try to give them an example with the two minute video. So they
just finished that up and they're getting ready...I'll introduce the ten minute video assignment
on Tuesday. They're on their own for that. They pick their groups.
They pick their topic. They have to develop a script. They hand the script in
and I edit that and give them feedback on that. Then they hand in a final script.
Also part of that, they're getting feedback from an outside
person, a client so to speak, so we try and make this as real as possible
where somebodies local dog kennel wants
a promo video to show a fundraiser drop
or something like that. We would have them work with them to try and say, okay, this
is some of the content that I would like you get, like just show all the cute little puppies or I'd like you to show
me talking on camera explaining a bit about what we do here.
They'll be required to get two to three people on
camera as experts sort of doing an interview talking about the subject.
And then they're also gonna be required to be on camera, and you'd be surprised,
ten minutes gets filled up pretty quick. Most of the films last year
went over that, they were about twelve to fourteen on average.
But because you have multiple people in a group each doing, sort of, two to three segments,
it doesn't feel that long, it sort of taking it
in chunks if you will. And lastly a final survey
research project, we have them develop a one page survey instrument about a topic
that they feel people don't know enough about or they liked to find out if people know
enough about it. So we have them develop a one page
survey, ten to fifteen questions, send it out to about twenty people.
Don't have them write a paper, because the important lesson really is when they get that data back
how can they present that to an audience. So how can you translate being able to
survey the population, the general public, whoever it may be, get that
data back and then present that to your peers or present that back to the public,
And how could use that to identify where you might need to go from there.
Sort of a needs assessment, if you will, using survey
research. But again, it's a different style of communication. About being able to translate
numbers on the screen or graphs, charts, to what that really means to an
organization. So again, we pack a lot into this course.
But my theory behind that is that this is the one shot that they get
to be exposed to this. If this is their one required Comm class and after this they're saying,
I don't want anything to do with Comm, I at least want them to have that exposure
to a variety of activities. So we work with
Media Tech support services a lot checking out equipment.
They've been very helpful and willing to work with us and extending their people
project goes a couple days later, we need that camera a few more days,
they've been more than happy to work with us and that's why we appreciate them.
The four photo assignment, so something like
they would get up in front, they'd take this photo and talk about the photo composition elements
within the photo to their peers. They do that for four photos.
The idea behind this is to get them to look at photography in a different way. Not just a pretty
picture, but you can dissect what makes it interesting. How do we attract people
using imagery? Well, we could say, we have the rule
of thirds, by this horizon, we have a horizon up here, we have
repeating light, dark, light, dark, light, dark. Umm, what else?
We have nice bright bold colors of the green contrasting with the blue. We try
and get them to not just say, okay, yeah, it's a nice picture of a field,
there's a cow, looks nice, but be able to specifically say, okay
no, we can constructed this photo in a very specific way, for a specific
purpose. I think it's something
new that most people don't think about and some people go
wild with it and just have knack for photography and really enjoy it.
But either way, I think, everyone comes away with, wow, geez, I'm not just gonna look
at just photo in the same way anymore, subconsciously or consciously.
I'm gonna be picking out, okay, yeah, I can see repeating patterns with lots of color,
wall of thirds, stilling the frame, things like that.
So we did something new this year and we had a photography field demo
day where I gave them a shot, a shot list of ten different
photo composition elements that I wanted them to incorporate in their photos.
So one photo highlighting one particular element. I let them out
go wild in the Arboretum here, it's a great resource that was close, had lots of
items and subjects to shoot, and then I would work with them. They'd come back
after they were done shooting and I'd give them feedback on all their photos.
And we split the class up that day because I do
have a class of thirty and I was trying to get around to everybody in the
period of time that we have, it is a two hour class, but that time flies
quicker than you know. So we split the class up and had half the class
doing photography field with me, the other half doing their podcast
in the 109 ASI Media Commons. So Lauren and
John Coffer were helping with that. The
media proposal and poster, so I was talking about the proposal
while we have them develop a poster advertising that same topic. So they combine the
photography skills that they have learned about photo compositional elements, combining it
with the topic of their media proposal and how can they convey the information to get people to
attend an event, join your organization, volunteer their time
in a particular cause. So this is an actual example from a student this year,
they just handed in it the other week, but we have them
basically create, you know, some basic information, an audience
looking at would be able to attend their event, they have all the necessary information, but
then we also have them create a QR code at the bottom of the poster. So we don't want to
clutter the poster so much, there maybe more content, or more interesting
information that we want people to be aware of, so we can send them to a website
using the QR code. And that's sort of, I use that
as an analogy with ePortfolio on a resume. We can't
have all the information we want to talk about on a resume, let's give them a website to go through
where they can see more information.
Again, the two and ten minute video, preselected topic,
for the two minute, really about going through the motions, going through the steps, then
they're on their own for the ten minute video. But I help them out along the way and certainly
open to consulting with them, but I try and have hands off
and let them really take it in the direction they want to.
Unfortunately the professor who retired he took all the hard copies of the ten minute
videos I have, so I'm just left with scouring
the previous students ePortfolios where they posted them. And this one was a rather
low quality You Tube video, but it was advertising the Poultry Science Club
and he did a really nice job, filming at several different locations.
That must have been noisy because of all the birds in the background.
So we did a similar video demo day, like the photography day, we want to get them out
and have them practicing with the equipment. So we had them break off into
groups of about five or six and they were given, again, sort of, a shot list of different
video shots to get. And I bounced around and worked with them as they were
we were just outside the building, as they were getting their different shots, and then
took a couple photos along the way. But again, people are
checking out camera from Media Tech, the wireless mics, we have them do the whole bit.
So when I'm talking sort of about how do we get people to
really use and make them use more complex cameras,
this is what I'm talking about, actually going and getting the experience of what does it take
to make sure that, okay, same frequency on the wireless mic,
on our talent, same frequency to the monitor, plugged in,
everything. Seems a bit overwhelming, but this class is definitely an exercise in
how far we can push students. And
I haven't pushed them over the edge yet and I'm glad. I dance along
that line, but I do think they're capable of this. And as an upper level
classman, I think we should be pushing them to really go out
of their comfort zone. But I am certainly there to help them and as a resource
to work with them. I don't want them to just get frustrated with the technology and go,
I'm never using this, this is horrible, I've had a horrible experience.
So where things can kind of go, I talk about really
this idea of real life application. How can we take the projects in the course
and really have them be utilized outside.
The educational video, I think, is a great way to start.
Perhaps promoting an organization. Like I said, my colleague came up to me wanting
a promotional video for recruitment purposes. I think
people can do that, it's on the next page here,
that can certainly be used in a variety of ways, and I'll get to that in a second, the podcast
this has great potential. This is something I would love to
explore further, but if you have a course dedicated to Biology 101,
you can chunk it off into students
taking content or a topic or section each week
and preparing content and material to be imported
into a podcast. Where they themselves, each group could say, okay, we're doing
this weeks episode for Biology 101 podcast, and
that's a great way, because put it on iTunes U and we
set it up, if anybody else attended that session earlier, but you can also
as just an audio file, put in on ANGEL, put it on a website. It's not
confined to just on a Apple product or one
platform, if you will. (audience) You know, just, you know, we only have a couple minutes left. (Brad) Okay!
The ePortfolio like I have been explaining,
that certainly could be used outside of, but even just to showcase
students academic progress, not just in this course, the kinds of things
that they're doing, but with other projects that they've done throughout their career.
The podcast, I've pretty much went through that, and given you
the...what I was thinking of sort of as a whole class, the video
so being able to give students the opportunity to share something
that they're passionate about. Something that they have an interest in. You'd be surprised what they come up with.
And they certainly can get excited about that. I think it's
pairing with they're excited about the topic, even if they're
marginally, you know, aah, video, okay, I'm not quite sure I want
to use it, but wow, I can really tell the story about something I'm interested in, or something
that's exciting to me. It helps push them over the edge. Helps get them over that
hump and they really start to participate in. And it doesn't have to be anything
super long, two to three minutes. You can have them talk about something that they're
passionate about. Have some B roller, cut away footage, so if
I"m really interested in archery, in competing in archery, or something like that
for many, many years, I might talk about that. Have some video
of me shooting my bow or something like that.
It's two to three is very manageable on all accounts. And
you can have them do editing workshops with Media Commons. We have our students work them, and
they just did that the end of the week. And lastly, showcase those videos.
in class, because they put a lot of work into it.
They're very passionate about it. They certainly put in a lot of time and effort to produce
these videos. They want it to be shared. They're not creating it just for
their own enjoyment. They want to share that content. So giving them a platform
or environment where they can do that certainly helps reward them.
Again, the website or blog for ePortfolio could be used for
a variety of things. The recruitment video, I think, this is sort of
one of the more practical options. You could do it for anything, a program, department, or
even a class. You have a couple questions that you want to ask students, why did you join
this class? What did you get out of it? What would you recommend
or would you recommend it for other students? Film five to eight of them answering
those questions, combine it with some extra footage of perhaps you in the classroom
teaching or interacting with students. And then you sort of do a montage
of, hey, why join AEE 440? Here's five
students sort giving their own personal take about why you should join.
Not just because it's a different alternative to 330W.
So, I think that certainly is something that's easily manageable
for any individual. And certainly can be used, again, multiple
times over and over. It's not could even turn it into a class assignment if you wanted
to. The ability to
I think, use video, and that's what I tend to equate
media with. So, pardon me, if I'm very video intensive. But it's an exciting
media that most students don't tap into. Sure they take pictures,
or they maybe shoot a little video with their iPhone. But really
planning out video, shoot something to convey information, or
to talk about a subject to educate a population
or an audience about that is something that I really want students to get experience
with. So with that, sort of, what's the best way
to add that into? Well, I think it's a fine balance between the amount of points and time
faculty members are willing to dedicate to it. And I understand that, believe me,
the course that we have so much packed into, time is limited.
Trying to find ways to make it more [ inaudible ], I think, is key.
Using the content outside of the course, not only perhaps,
in the course itself, you can change content each time.
or perhaps using it in other courses related to your course. So if you're teaching
a 400 level Biology using some of that content in your intro
or seminar courses. And lastly, how do we get students to really
use these skills, their knowledge skills and abilities, beyond the course?
To see that there are opportunities to use this, not just in this class.
But it's actually applicable in the real world.
So, with that, I'll leave you here with the contact information because we're all
QR codes of course. This is pretty slick because
you can scan this and it will automatically populate, name, phone number,
address, and I have my website there too, just my personal
website with Penn State, but you can scan this and the Smart Phone will automatically populate it
and add content. (audience) Then you can call Brad at any hour of the day.
(Brad) There you go. Luckily it's my work phone and not my cell phone.
But here's just a couple slides and the tail end of how I did that.
So this is sort of some beta testing that
a person was using, but it works. And sort of copy this
code and what's highlighted in orange is what you replace your information with.
Again, I'm all about tutorials and step by step instructions so it's easy to
understand. And there's a couple different formats if you just want a name, phone,
email, address, or website there.