Assignment 4 Learning Portfolio

Assignment 4: Learning Portfolio

In Brief:

This assignment is worth 25% of your mark for this unit. Please refer to the calendar in your Unit Outline for the due date.


The Learning Portfolio is made is up of two parts: your Ongoing Portfolio which is written throughout the unit, and contains your reflections on tasks and discussions each week; and the second part is a Learning Reflections written document in which you present a selection of your entries, critically contextualizing them in order to illustrate your overall learning in the unit.

Your Ongoing Portfolio is to faciliate your learning during the unit, but you are not required to submit the whole Ongoing Portfolio. On the due date you only submit your Learning Reflections (see Part Two).

Part One: Ongoing Portfolio

Each week of the unit contains one or more tasks, which are either activities or responses to readings.  You are required to complete these readings and activities as indicated. You will also participate in various learning conversations, either on the discussion boards, using online tools, or (for on-campus students) in face-to-face tutorials.  In order to summarise, analyse and critically reflect on your learning throughout the unit, each week you are  asked to create a portfolio entry in which narrates your critical thinking on either a task or conversation from that week. You may write as much as you like on as many tasks or conversations as you like, but the important thing is to write enough to ensure you focus and reflect on what you have learnt and how you have learnt each week.  Choose things which most interest you and write it in whatever format you like – you can keep it as a word document on your computer, a personal wiki or in your own blog.  You are most welcome to share your portfolio with others in the unit as it if you wish (however, there is no requirement to do so). Try and include references to the unit readings and material in each entry as this focuses your thinking and will make it easier when writing up the Learning Reflections for submission.  You are not required to submit your whole portfolio for assessment, but rather will submit an edited selection of portfolio entries which best demonstrate your learning in the unit, which is explained in Part two.

The entries in your Ongoing Portfolio are generally either reflections on Learning Tasks or Learning Conversations.  A Learning Task is your response to specific activities, such as using an online tool, or specific readings and any related questions.  You might also wish to think about all of the readings and activities for a week together, maybe along with your thoughts on the week’s lecture.  In short, Learning Task Reflections can be:

  • Critical Reflections on set Activities
  • Responses to set Readings
  • General Analysis and Reflection on      Topics.

The other type of entry for your Portfolio will be Learning Conversations. A substantial proportion of your learning in the unit will take place through conversation both with your tutor and your peers.  Your Learning Conversation entries are an opportunity to capture and reflect on these conversations just after they occur.  A learning conversation on which you could write a Portfolio entry can be:

  • A discussion on the Blackboard      Bulletin Boards in which you made substantial contributions
  • In-Class Discussions (this option      only applies to internal students)
  • Discussions with your peers ssing      suggested Web 2.0 platforms.

Remember, keeping your Ongoing Portfolio entries up to date will allow you to make the most of your learning in the unit and make it far easier to write up your Learning Reflections to submit at the end of the unit.

Part Two: Learning Reflections

At the end of the unit you are asked to write up a Learning Reflections document, which has a word limit of 1500 words, includes between three and five representative portfolio entries, and contextualizes them in order to demonstrate your overall learning in the unit.  You must include at least one portfolio entry which is about a Learning Task and at least one entry which is about a Learning Conversation.

The aim of the Learning Reflection document is to both demonstrate your overall learning in the unit, but also to take  edited fragments from your portfolio entries and combine these, along with your general insights from the unit overall, and create a narrative of your learning.  Since this narrative is being assessed, you should aim to make it as clear as possible, and you will probably need to edit the portfolio entries you are including. Since your marker will be looking to see your learning development across the entire unit, try and included a representative sample of entries which lets you demonstrate the breadth of your learning  (ie don’t include all your portfolio entries from module one, but none from two or three, because it would be very hard for your marker to get an overall sense of your development in the unit).

The specific conversation referred to in any Learning Conversation entry must be accessible to your tutor.  Obviously your tutor was present for any in-class discussions and has access to the Blackboard Discussion Boards but if, for example, you chose to include a conversation with your fellow students about the unit which took place via a blog, using Twitter, and so on, then you’ll need to provide links to these conversations, or a copy of it if the conversation might not be easily or reliably linked to (this copy can be added as an appendix to your Learning Reflections document and does not count towards the word limit).

As a guide, when contextualizing your portfolio entries for the Learning Reflections, you may wish to think about the overall Learning Outcomes for the unit and use these to help focus your writing.  As a reminder, the Learning Outcomes for the unit are:

  • Explain the basic technical      foundations of the Internet and related technologies as they apply to      communications and collaboration
  • Demonstrate understanding of key      concepts in Internet communication and collaboration
  • Relate conceptual understandings      to practical implementation of communication and collaboration tools      online
  • Use various Internet applications      for communication and collaboration.

Also, please keep in mind the should be presented in an essay-like format, which means it should include a fully formed introduction and conclusion, should be written in paragraph form and should present your selected portfolio entries in a logical sequence.  Your Learning Reflections should follow the APA referencing style. You must clearly indicate all references and sources for the material informing your learning reflections using in-text citations and a clearly marked References list at the end of your assignment.

Criteria for Assessment

Students will be assessed on how well your Learning Reflections:

  • Presents a clear, coherent and concise overview of your learning in the unit
  • Engages critically and meaningfully with relevant unit readings, activities and ideas
  • Follows conventions of referencing (APA), grammar and expression appropriate for an academic writing
  • Demonstrates understanding of key concepts in Internet communication and collaboration
  • Relates conceptual understandings to practical implementation of communication and collaboration tools online
  • Engages critically and meaningfully with relevant unit readings, activities and ideas

NB: The Learning Reflections submission date is close to the due date for the Web Presence Creation Task.  The Learning Portfolio is an ongoing task throughout the unit, and to complete the Learning Reflections document which summaries, contextualizes and reflects on your portfolio that you submit should not take that long if you’ve been doing the readings and activities, and writing your reflections on these, throughout the unit.  No extensions will be granted on the basis that the Learning Portfolio and Web Presence Creation assignments are in close proximity as you should have been working on your portfolio throughout the unit.

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