Tag Archives: graph

More ePortfolio Graphs

I was motivated to try and visually represent what I had written in a post in the ePortfolios in NZ Google Group thread. Here’s some of what I said:

“…Your example of scanning learning and now moving towards HTML templates illustrates this. Over time you also want or need to readdress your criteria, purpose and vision, especially if you are in a scenario where other classes are using paper. It is more than likely that your views and thoughts are expanding at the same time as your understanding grows due to an increased awareness of the technology capability, student/teacher capability and allignment to learning, and much more rapidly than for those with paper based portfolios…”

The attempt to visualise this into another eportfolio graph is below. The basic idea being that the more experienced you are in implementing eportfolios the more dynamic they are due to the teacher continually refining and developing the implementation.

Not rocket science really. The second graph below includes a reference to paper based portfolios. There are probably a few people who don’t agree with my view here that there are generally a static document in terms of how they change over time…

The graphs aren’t perfect and the terminology is not quite right. As with most posts in this blog I am just unpacking and reflecting on ideas running around in my head.

It is pretty full at the moment as there are two more graphs brewing. One is to try and show the relationship between the ownership and formative nature of an eportfolio and the other the place of feedback in a portfolio within the bigger picture of learning.

I get a lot of inspiration from Jessica Hagy who’s site thisisindexed.com is full of great visual representations of life and thinking relationally. I would love to be able to create such simple graphs that are yet so informative. Here’s an example:

Inquiry Visualisation

As mentioned in my previous post, the same time I sketched up the eportfolio graphs to visualise my thinking, I also played around with seeing what inquiry learning may look like.

The first graph tries to recognise the change of the inquiry process ownership over time. The younger the student the more teacher directed, transitioning into a guided approach where the teacher closely supports and guides the inquiry. Finishing the process off is the the ultimate goal of students being in complete control of their inquiry and the teacher monitoring and facilitating the process.


The graph doesn’t really cut the mustard for me. Too many what ifs and open to interpretation from teachers and or models of inquiry. So I decided to take a different tack with the next graph looking more at an individual student and what the process may look like from start to finish:


In a purist form of inquiry the initiation or purpose of the inquiry comes from the student. A question, a curiosity, something that interests, engages and motivates the students to learn. The teacher then questions, listens, provides support and feedback directing and encouraging the student as they investigate, research and experiment. The student then takes control as they continue through their inquiry.

Again the visualisation here does not really work. It suggest that the teacher only conferences or has a checkpoint once with a student in their learning process which would be a bit of a worry. So onto the the next version:


I am quite happy with this representation. Again the inquiry is initiated by the student, and ongoing interaction with the teacher is shown as the progress dips into the “Zone of Co-construction” as the student and teacher check in with each other for further guidance, feedback, questioning. The end of the inquiry finishes with a bit of a flourish, some kind of action by the student as a result of their new knowledge.

This represents a reasonably capable student and also a teacher willing to let go and not be in control, acting as a guide for the student’s learning. Every student is different of course and even different inquiry contexts can alter what the process looks like. The graph above is also not exclusive to inquiry. It could just as easily be a literacy based project, art or virtually any other learning scenario.

Thoughts? How would you visualise the process of inquiry? The process of facilitating learning?

Interestingly, the term “Zone of Co-construction” seems to be unique, googling it returns zero hits. Maybe I should trademark it?

Portfolio Visualisation

I was digging around in some of my research notes for my efellow research and came across some graphs I had sketched in order to visualise my thinking on the topic. I never actually used these in my research report but thought I would tidy them up and share them here anyway with the possibility they may help others to conceptualise some of the thinking required around eportfolios.

ePortfolio Ownership


This graph is pretty self explanatory really. Essentially it suggests that the younger the student, the more teacher directed the portfolio will be. Generally, the teacher will dictate/suggest learning to share in the eportfolio, direct reflections and self assessment and more than likely do significant uploading and formatting of content. As the student matures and takes control of their learning, their ability to independently select, upload, reflect and set new goals for learning becomes less guided and increasingly integral to the way they learn. The process is facilitated by the teacher who supports the learning through providing rich learning experiences, opportunities for reflection and by giving feedback.

ePortfolio Purpose


Closely related to the first graph, this one illustrates the changing nature of the portfolio’s purpose. My thinking at the time was that the portfolio for young students is essentially a vehicle for showcasing what the have done, finished examples of learning that show what they have done. As the student gets older the portfolio transforms into a much richer space that becomes part off and includes evidence of the process of learning such as goal setting, reflections, finished and unfinished work and feedback. As the student moves on to secondary and higher education the portfolio can also be used for accountability and assessment of achievement. I am not a big fan of this purpose but don’t have a problem with it as long as the formative/process benefits of the portfolio are not lost in its use for accountability.

Hopefully that is helpful.  At the same time I drew these I also sketched some graphs to do with inquiry. I will share those in my next post.