Learning Environment & Situational Factors to Consider
1. Specific Context of the Teaching/Learning Situation
How many students are in the class? Is the course primary, secondary, undergraduate, or graduate level? How long and frequent are the class meetings? How will the course be delivered: live, online, blended, flipped or in a classroom or lab? What physical elements of the learning environment will affect the class? What technology, networking and access issues will affect the class?
- Students: There are about 30 students. This is broken down between three classes.
- Level: This will be in the secondary level, ranging from 9th to 12th grade.
- Class Meetings: The ePortfolio will used every day in class. The class meetings will occur at the end of the week, on Friday.
- Delivery: The delivery will be through school issued Chromebooks. It will take place in the classroom and outside of the classroom. The students will meetings will take place in the classroom. Students will use their ePortfolio outside of the classroom to: develop the ePortfolio, reflect, and communicate with others.
- Possible issues: Students might not have their Chromebook charged. If the students don’t have a charger laptop, they could also not have the charger for it. There could be an issue with the internet connection. Students could possibly forget their login and password. Students might not work on their ePortfolio outside of the classroom.
2. General Context of the Learning Situation
What learning expectations are placed on this course or curriculum by: the school, district, university, college and/or department? The profession? Society?
- All expectations and assignments will be provided to students and parent, in the form of a course syllabus.
- Resources will be posted on the school learning management system, Canvas.
- Students will be assessed and grades will be given throughout each marking period. There are four marking periods in a school year.
- Students will be given a grade per the school grade breakdown: A (100-92%), B (91-83%), C (82-74%), D (73-65%), and F (64-0%).
- Assignments and grades will be documented in the online grading system, Skyward.
- The PA Core Standards will be followed.
3. Nature of the Subject
Is this subject primarily theoretical, practical, or a combination? Is the subject primarily convergent or divergent? Are there important changes or controversies occurring within the field?
- The subject is primarily practical. The use of ePortfolios in the classroom is practice because students are getting a deeper understanding through personal experience.
- The subject is primarily divergent. With the implementation of ePortfolios in the classroom, students are able to develop their ePortfolio and learn in a way that is unique to anyone in the classroom. It is flexible and student-specific.
- A controversy could be that the students are given more control in the classroom, than in the regular or standard classroom, and the district may not feel comfortable with this approach. Another controversy may be that this is not the standard delivery of instruction used in the classroom and teachers and students may not feel comfortable with this approach.
4. Characteristics of the Learners
What is the life situation of the learners (e.g., socio-economic, cultural, personal, family, professional goals)? What prior knowledge, experiences, and initial feelings do students usually have about this subject? What are their learning goals and expectations?
- The school is located in a rural area. There is a lack in diversity in my school, with 89% of the population being Caucasian. Even though there is a range in socio-economic status, like other school districts, most student’s come from a household that is upper-middle level class to upper class. Most parents are involved with their child’s education. There is a 98% graduation rate at my high school. Most of the population goes to a post-secondary institution after graduation. A large percentage of the students go to college.
- Students don’t have any prior knowledge or experience with ePortfolios. Students know what portfolios are and some have touched on that matter in their English classes.
- Students will create an ePortfolio, to showcase their learning journey. Students will develop their ePortfolio with evidence of their learning. Students will reflect on their learning. Students will discuss and converse with other students about the learning process and reflections. Students will learn how to use the digital tools.
5. Characteristics of the Teacher
What beliefs and values does the teacher have about teaching and learning? What is his/her attitude toward: The subject? Students? What level of knowledge or familiarity does s/he have with this subject? What are his/her strengths in teaching?
- The teacher’s belief towards learning is that everyone can do it. All students should be taught to be lifelong learners. The teacher also believes that the most meaningful connections are made when the students are in control of their learning and the teacher is facilitating.
- The teacher’s attitude towards the subject is positive. The teacher has seen the benefits of using an ePortfolio. The teacher has seen the relevancy of uses of an ePortfolio that would assist the students to be successful in the future.
- The teacher’s attitude towards the students is hopeful. The teacher is hopeful that the students will understand the uses of ePortfolio and how it will benefit them. The teacher is hopeful that the students enjoy learning and feel empowered, especially the struggling students. The teacher is hopeful that the students will become lifelong learners.
- The teacher’s level of knowledge and familiarity with ePortfolios, is at the intermediate level and is still in progress. A vast amount of information has been learned and applied, but there is more information to be learned.
- The teacher’s strengths are: hard-working, accommodating, flexible, open-minded, positive, determined, perseverance and relatable. Another strength is having a background knowledge with ePortfolios.