Program design seems to be one of the those things that everyone agrees should happen but too often people become overwhelmed by the prospect of getting all the stakeholders to the table and keeping track of all the details. I get it. It can be a daunting process but designing cohesive programs where the assessment is relevant and useful is not only important, it is also my favorite part of learning design. So, selfishly, I like to see it happen and I love to be involved. With that in mind I decided to see if I could make things easier by designing a tool that would bring all of the information together in an easy format. Below you can get a glimpse of the Program Mapping Tool that I created. When I first developed it there was some skepticism in my office about whether faculty would understand it or see the value. But the first time I showed it to faculty, this was the response:
"Oh wow, I could really use something like this. Is there any way I could get one?"
"Um, yes. I built it for you."
ePortfolios & Program Assessment
Any discussion around program design that excludes the possibility of using ePortfolios overlooks a powerful way to assess student learning. I have been working with ePortfolios since they first came on the scene, fascinated by their potential for enriching learning. As part of the original executive team of AAEEBL, I helped set up the organization's first community-based website and create their first survey around ePorfolio usage. I’m also a reviewer for the International Journal of ePortfolios.
ePortfolios are essential for so many aspects of learning design. integrating knowledge across formal and informal learning; promoting metacognition; authentic assessment; and putting students in the driver’s seat of their own education. I am a keen proponent of non-institutional ePortfolios that students own from the start and take with them when they leave. Students never fully engage with the other kind. They see institutional ePortfolios as just another hoop to jump through and they are right. Below are a few of my ePortfolio projects.