Documentation:Wordpress eportfolio session

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Contents

Workshop Agenda

Introduction: You, Us

  • lucas.wright@ubc.ca - Learning Technology Specialist, CTLT
  • emily.renoe@ubc.ca - Learning Technology Specialist, CTLT



Session Objectives
Upon completion of this workshops, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the components of a teaching portfolio
  • Consider artifacts that they can add to their ePortfolio
  • Create and add pages and post, categories and tags, images and multimedia
  • Customize the appearance of the ePortfolio


Agenda

  • Activity I: Exploring ePortfolios
  • Activity II:Components of an ePortfolio
  • Activity III:Hands-on, Creating your ePortfolio




=Teaching Portfolios

What is a teaching portfolio?

  • A document that contains carefully selected and assembled materials and representative artifacts of one’s achievements in teaching [1]
  • A reflection of one’s beliefs, preparation, thoughtfulness, and innovation in teaching

Why create a teaching portfolio?

The teaching portfolio can serve many purposes, some of which include:

  • To document teaching effectiveness
  • To reflect on teaching philosophies [2]
  • An occasion to assess one’s practices, to question one’s methods, and to plan for the future
  • As a formative tool to improve teaching strategies
  • As a supplement to the curricula vitae

Getting started

The best way to get started is to start! Before you begin to assemble your teaching portfolio, consult your department head to better understand the process, expectations, and deadlines.

Though starting a portfolio can be a daunting task, there are many resources and guides available to help you. We invite you to read and consider the information provided in the tabs above. Here at CTLT, we occasionally offer teaching portfolio workshops, as well as individualized one-on-one consultations to help you get started.

Contact

For more information, please contact Lucas Wright at lucas.wright@ubc.ca or Isabeau Iqbal at isabeau.iqbal@ubc.ca.

References

  1. Zayani, M. (2001). The teaching portfolio: Toward an alternative outcomes assessment. Research and Teaching in Developmental Education, 18(1), 58–64.
  2. Teaching Statements. Center for Teaching. Vanderbilt University.

What Goes Into a Teaching Portfolio?

The items chosen for a teaching portfolio are based on a combination of availability of supporting materials, the nature of the portfolio, the discipline, and the importance assigned by Faculty and Department to different items [1]. The teaching portfolio is a highly personalized product.

Teaching Portfolio Infographic.jpeg

Larger version of image found here.

References

  1. Seldin, P., Miller, J. E., & Seldin, C. A. (2010). The teaching portfolio: A practical guide to improved performance and promotion/tenure decisions (4th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Teaching Philosophy Statement

A teaching philosophy statement is a purposeful and reflective essay about the author’s teaching beliefs and practices [1]. It is an individual narrative that offers concrete examples of the ways in which he or she enacts these beliefs in the classroom. It is typically 1-2 pages in length, and includes any of the following [2]:

  • Your conception of how learning occurs
  • A description of how your teaching facilitates student learning
  • A reflection of why you teach the way you do
  • The goals you have for yourself and for your students
  • How your teaching enacts your beliefs and goals
  • What, for you, constitutes evidence of student learning
  • The ways in which you create an inclusive learning environment
  • Your interests in new techniques, activities, and types of learning
  • The demonstration of your scholarly writing

To assist you in writing your teaching philosophy statement, you may find the questions below helpful[3]:

Discipline and Classroom Approach
  • Which teaching approach works best for you within the context of your discipline? Why?
  • What are your greatest assets as a classroom teacher? Your greatest shortcomings?
  • How do you change teaching methods and strategies to meet new classroom situations?
Instructor-Student Rapport
  • How would you describe the atmosphere in your classroom? How do you think your students would describe it?
  • What is your primary goal with respect to your students?
  • Who are your students and what are their goals?
Teaching Goals and Strategies
  • How does your teaching help students to master concepts and promote their understanding of theory and practice?
  • How do your courses contribute to students' achievements in their university program and in their community?
  • How do you nurture intellects in a setting where grades can be the key student motivator to learning?
  • How do you help students to learn aims and outcomes? What are your teaching methods?
  • What steps do you take to encourage higher level learning (such as synthesis, analysis, application, problem-solving, etc.)?
  • What is active learning and how do you use it in the classroom and in assignments?
  • How do you test the learning outcomes? How do you evaluate learning?
Teaching Aspirations
  • How would you like to grow as a teacher? What steps are you taking towards this?
  • In which ways has your teaching changed in the last five years? Are these changes for the better (for you, for your students)? Explain.
  • What would you like your students to remember about you as a teacher ten years from now?

Additional Resources

Here are some more resources to help you get started in writing and evaluating your teaching philosophy statement.

  • Articulating your Philosophy of Teaching Statement. Center for Effective Teaching and Learning. University of Texas at El Paso.
    • Various exercises to guide someone in thinking about, articulating, and writing a teaching philosophy statement.
  • Writing a Philosophy of Teaching Statement. Faculty and TA Development. The Ohio State University.
    • This site provides an in-depth guide to teaching philosophy statements, including the definition of and purposes for a teaching philosophy statement, general formatting suggestions, a self-reflective guide, and additional links.
  • Rubric for Statements of Teaching Philosophy. Center for Research on Learning and Technology. University of Michigan.
    • A rubric for evaluating teaching philosophy statements created by CRLT. The design of the rubric was informed by their experience with hundreds of teaching philosophies, as well as surveys of search committees on what they considered successful and unsuccessful components of job applicants’ teaching philosophies.
  • Montell, Gabriela (2003). How to Write a Statement of Teaching Philosophy, from the Chronicle Manage Your Career section of the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Here are some teaching philosophy statement examples:

  • Diane Peters, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Kettering University, US
  • Greg Martin, Professor, Department of Mathematics, University of British Columbia, CA
  • Katherine Fiori, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Adelphi University, US
  • Kent Rondeau, Associate Professor, School of Public Health, University of Alberta, CA
  • Sharon Tokar, Former Graduate Student, Department of Archaeology, University of Saskatchewan, CA
  • Tim Jensen, Graduate Teaching Associate, Department of English, The Ohio State University, US

References

  1. Teaching Statements. Center for Teaching. Vanderbilt University.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Portfolios. Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology - Okanagan Campus. University of British Columbia.

Demonstration of Teaching Effectiveness and Reflections

Assessing and reflecting on your teaching contributes to your effectiveness as a teacher. A significant component of this section is your own reflection about your effectiveness based on the use of data gathered from the various sources listed below. Even more importantly, you should demonstrate how you used the feedback in your development as a teacher. You may wish to include the ways that you monitor and evaluate your own teaching and reflect on what the evidence gathered tells you about your teaching.

Materials to draw from to document your effectiveness and to reflect on your teaching [1]:

  • Summarized student evaluations of teaching, including response rate and relationship to departmental average
  • Unsolicited and solicited letters from students (initiated by the unit)
  • Student-initiated feedback and written comments from students on class evaluations
  • Statements from alumni
  • Letters from course head, division head or chairperson
  • Departmental teaching evaluations (initiated by the unit)
  • Peer evaluations or reviews based on visits to your classroom and/or scrutiny of your course materials. Note: before peer observations are undertaken, your department should be clear about the teaching aims and student learning outcomes that apply to your undergraduate or graduate program.
  • Teaching awards received by you including departmental, faculty, and UBC Okanagan awards, and external awards (professional association, national and international teaching awards). Nominations for awards also indicate your reputation as a teacher.

You may wish to make some concluding remarks that tie together the philosophy, approaches, evidence and evaluative sections. At this point it is also important to detail a plan for future actions, including your motivation and challenges, as well as short and long-term teaching goals.

Additional Resources

The sample teaching portfolios below incorporate reflection and evaluations of teaching effectiveness:

  • Fang Liang, Teaching Assistant, Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Colorado Boulder, US
  • Kevin Dunn, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, McMaster University, CA
  • Martin Andresen, Professor, School of Criminology, Simon Fraser University, CA
  • Robert Williamson, Graduate Student, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto, CA

References

  1. Documenting Teaching Effectiveness. University Center for the Advancement of Teaching. Ohio State University.

Paper vs. Electronic

When it comes to developing your teaching portfolio, you will need to decide on a format: it can be in paper or electronic form – some people do both.

The following are some things to consider:

Electronic Paper
Audience Who is your target reader? Which format is most accessible to your target audience (i.e. most likely to be read)? Which format does your reader expect/want?
Ability to Customize Most software allows you to make a duplicate copy of your portfolio, resave with a different name, and edit as necessary, as well as modifying the ‘look and feel’ (colours, fonts and so on). All relevant documents will need to be resaved with changes and then printed off.
Multimedia Can store pictures, video clips, sound clips, text, images. Can include text and images, as well as physical copies of CDs, DVDs and so on.
Portability Content uploaded directly to the web. Can be viewed from any computer with internet access. As it is a physical document, it is often bulky, consisting of one or more large binders.
Security Variable, depending on the portfolio software: you can invite people to view your portfolio, send a link to your portfolio, make your portfolio public, or keep it private. Portfolio can be viewed by those whom you give it to in hardcopy format.
Ability to demonstrate learning/knowledge construction over time Yes Yes
Feedback Depending on the software used to create the portfolio, others may be able to provide you with feedback and you can choose not to make feedback visible to those who read your portfolio. Feedback cannot be easily incorporated into the portfolio unless you add it as a separate document.
Potential to encourage interaction (collaboration, communication) Easy to share as a hyperlink. You can choose to release smaller parts of it to certain people and allow others to view most or all of the material on your portfolio site; you may even pre-set a time span during which a given part of your portfolio can be viewed. Can be shared by lending the physical copy or printing/photocopying more copies.
Flexibility Yes. Flexibility influenced by choice of software to create portfolio and by ability to use software. Flexible within the constraints of using paper and hardcopy artifacts.
Organizing and cataloguing learning materials Material can be easily organized, catalogued and modified; e-Portfolio software often includes tools for organizing/reorganizing materials. Materials can be organized, catalogued and modified within their source files (Word, PDF) or by reorganizing the paper copy.

Teaching Portfolios at UBC

The teaching portfolio allows you to build a coherent and thorough case for your effectiveness as a teacher. Please note that the teaching portfolio can be used in different ways depending on Faculty and Department.

At UBC, a well-constructed teaching portfolio and effective curriculum vitae are used for merit considerations and ultimately may be used in the tenure and promotion process. Candidates in both the professoriate stream and educational leadership stream must provide evidence of scholarly activity and effective teaching. Candidates must also supply a file to the Head that demonstrates and profiles their record of educational leadership, teaching, evidence of distinction in these areas, and service contributions. The file must include an up to date curriculum vitae in UBC format, and a teaching and educational leadership portfolio that provides evidence of outstanding and innovative achievement. It should also include a scholarly statement regarding teaching contributions and evidence of impact.

Additional Resources


Hands-on Activity - Exploring ePortfolio Examples

Work in pairs and look at the two example of teaching portfolios and consider the following questions:

  1. What is the goal of the ePortfolio?
  2. Who is the intended audience
  3. What evidence of their teaching did the author provide?
  4. Overall impression
  • Joanne Fox
http://www.joannealisonfox.com/blog


  • Rebecca Taylor

Rebecca Taylor e-Portfolio

Components of a Teaching Portfolio

  • Determine the components of your ePortfolio according to the intended audience and their expectations
  • In the higher education setting the requirements of a teaching portfolio often include the following:



Hands-on Activity - What are the components of a teaching portfolio?

  • Work individually and for each of the listed components of a teaching portfolio write down what evidence you could provide for each component. Consider how you might make this evidence available in an online format.
  • Debrief: Sharing example of each component





What is WordPress?

WordPress is a platform that can be used to easily create blogs and webspaces. WordPress is a web-based platform that we can access from any computer that is Internet enabled. UBC blogs is a installation of WordPress that is available to the UBC community.



Developing an ePortfolio using WordPress?

WordPress is a blog platform that has been growing in popularity as an ePortfolio tool. Although the WordPress platform requires some work developing the overall structure of the portfolio overall it is easy to use, multiple privacy levels and different ways of contributing content.

  • Examples of WordPress as an ePortfolio Tool
  • University of Oregon UFolio
  • Teacher Education Program UBC, Teaching ePortfolios



Developing a Frame for your ePortfolio?

Using WordPress developing a frame for your portfolio will provide you with a structure that you can use after this session to upload and reflect on artifacts.

Setting up your UBC Blogs account and logging in

  • Go to https://blogs.ubc.ca/ (bookmark this for the future!) >> click on the LOGIN button and enter your CWL information.

BlogLOGIN.png

  • The “Get your own UBC Blogs account” screen appears

Get.png

  • Enter a Username (only the lowercase letters a-z and numbers allowed), Email address, and Display Name
  • Agree to to the terms: "I have read and agree to the terms of service"
  • Select "Gimme a Site" and click the NEXT button



Login Info PART II

  • Choose a Site Name and Site Title
  • The Site Name will become part of your URL and cannot be changed
  • Select the Privacy option "I would like my blog to be visible to everyone, including search engines (like Google, Sphere, Technorati) and archivers and in public listings around this site"
  • Click the SIGNUP button at the bottom of the page



Orientation to the WordPress platform

Your WordPress Profile Page

Figure 1: WordPress Dashboard

1. The Dashboard (image Figure 1 at right) provides you with the ability to quickly create a new blog, add and manage content.



 2. Under My Blogs you will see:

  • All your blogs
  • Create a Blog
  • Access to the Dashboard (the "nerve" central of your blog space).

3. Go to your WordPress dashboard by clicking on the name of your site from the drop-down menu



A Tour of the WordPress Dashboard

The Dashboard is the "nerve" centre of your blog spaces (image Figure 1A at right)

Figure 1A: WordPress Dashboard

Some important areas are:
1. My Sites - lists the blogs you have access and Create a New Site feature
2.Visit your webspace by clicking on the underlined title
3.Right Now column gives a quick snapshot of how many pages, posts, categories and tags exist
4.The Screen Options button allow you to rearrange your Dashboard page




















Pages or posts--two different ways to display content

WordPress employs two fundamental content types: pages and posts. These content types behave quite differently and therefore it is important to understand when to create a page or a post.

Pages are static. They are a good way to publish information that doesn’t change much, like an "About" or "Contact Us" page. Pages are usually linked from the main navigation bar on the Homepage.

Posts are dynamic. Posts are always associated with a date and are really meant to update your audience.

Some key differences:

  • Posts are:
  1. dynamic (you may create a couple of Posts a day!)
  2. displayed in reverse chronological order (placing the most recent content at the top of the page)
  3. can be assigned tags and categories (helps with search engines!)
  4. meant for updating your audience
  5. are syndicated via RSS
  • Pages are:
  1. static content that will not change - or very, rarely anyways (Examples are 'About Me', 'Contact Me', 'Services', etc.)
  2. not related to categories or tags
  3. do not appear in RSS feeds
  4. may have sub-pages (this gives the appearance of a more traditional website)



Add New Page

Now, let's add two new pages.

  • On the left-hand menu bar, under Pages, click Add New.
  • The Add New Page screen appears. For this example, create a page called My Teaching Philosophy. Enter some text about your philosophy in the large empty box below the title.
  • Click the Kitchen Sink icon to expand the toolbar and format the text.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the page and select whether to enable comments or not
  • From the sidebar select whether you would like this page to be a sub-page or a parent page



Hands-on Activity - Developing pages for your ePortfolio

  • Create a frame for your teaching portfolio by developing pages for each of the components that you would like to include. Consider whether you would like the pages to be top level or sub-pages. Would you like to allow comments? When this is completed create a page and name it posts. This page will be used to house your site's posts. When



Adding Evidence and Artifacts to Pages

Evidence and artifacts can be added to your ePortfolio in different formats and media. The WordPress platform allows you to upload the following file formats:

  • Documents: MS Docs/Docx
  • Presentation: PPT, PPTX, Keynote
  • Images: JPEGs, GIFs, PNG
  • Audio: MP3s....



Add Images and Media to Your Page (or post)

Figure 5: Adding Images & Media
  • From the Dashboard, click Pages on the left-hand menu bar.
  • Select one of the pages to edit.
  • On the Add Media toolbar click the first icon in the row. (see Figure 5 image at right)
  • Add media files from your computer window appears.
  • In the Choose files to upload box, click Select Files. From your computer, select an image and click Select (OK on a PC).
  • Enter a caption, a description of the image, and select an image size to be displayed on your page. (Note: the default in Full Size). Click Insert into Page.
  • When you have finished formating your page, click Update on the far right-hand side and visit your site.









Hands-on Activity - Adding media to your pages

  • Go back over the components of a portfolio/evidence chart that you completed earlier. For each of the pieces of evidence that you noted consider how you might convert or link to this artifact. Once you have completed the chart practice adding images and other files to one or more of your pages.
















Posts--how can we us them?

The post roll in the WordPress platform is typically used to display more dynamic information. In this session we have focused on creating a page-based portfolio so far. There are a variety of ways that posts can be incorporated into an ePortfolio:

  • The portfolio can be post-based, using categories and tags to index the information

Example:Post-Based

  • The portfolio can incorporate posts and pages to display artifacts

Example:Post and page based

  • The posts can be used to blog or journal about issues, ideas relevant to your practice or online identity

Example:Page based journaling/blogging with posts

  • Endless possibilities



Add New Post

Figure 2 Creating a Post
  • From the Dashboard, click Posts on the left-hand menu bar.
  • Click the Add New button (see Figure 2 image at right).
  • Enter a new short title in the New Post such as “A Teaching Challenge” and enter text in the large empty box below the title.
  • In the Categories area on the far right, enter a category name and click Add New Category button.
  • In the Post Tags area on the far right, type a new tag (eg. learning, students, education, etc) and click Add button.
  • Browse the Discussions settings below and either allow or disallow comments on your posting.
  • On the far right, in the Publish settings, click Preview to see your new post, and then click Publish. Note: the yellow confirmation at the top of the page.
  • Create a second post following the above directions.
  • At the top of your Post, click View Post

Both your new posts will now appear on the front page of your webspace.





Changing Your Front Page

Figure 6:: Reading Settings

The Reading Settings control how a webspace is displayed to visitors. Front page displays allows you to choose what appears on the blog’s front: the latest posts or a static page that you have created in the Pages section of your blog. (see Figure 6 image at right)















Hands-on Activity - Creating posts for your ePortfolio

  • Consider how you might use the posting feature of WordPress and develop two posts for your ePortfolio:
  • Add content to each post
  • Format the content using the kitchen sink.
  • Consider categories and tags









Customizing your ePortfolio

Wordpress Themes

Figure 7: Custom Theme

WordPress Themes can provide control over the look and presentation of the material on your webspace. Changing your WordPress Theme does not impact the content of your site only the header image and widgets.

  • From the Dashboard, under the Appearance drop-down menu, click Themes (see Figure 7 image at right).
  • Manage Themes screen appears, displaying your current theme. Browse through the many different themes and select one by clicking on the thumbnail image.
  • Wordpress displays a quick view of the selected theme.
  • Click Activate at the top right of the screen. Visit your site to see the changes!

Customizing Headers

Figure 8: Custom Header
  • From the Dashboard, under the Appearance drop-down menu, click Header. (see Figure 8 image at right)
  • Click on Choose File, select an image (jpg, gif, png) from your computer and click Upload.
  • Adjust the header image with the slide ruler and click Crop Header.
  • Click Visit Site and see what your webspace looks like now!



Widgets

A Sidebar “Widget” is just a silly word that WordPress has chosen to describe the sidebars on your webspace. Widgets are things you can add to your webspace to make it more interesting, such as a calendar, links to your favorite websites, a search feature, a tag cloud, and so much more! 


Adding Widgets

Figure 11A: Widgets
  • From the Dashboard, under Appearance, click Widgets. 
(see Figure 11A image at right)
  • Select the desired widget(s) and click on it.
  • Drag the widget to the sidebar and drop it where you would like it to appear.
  • Enter a Title, select a Position, and click Save Widget.
  • Open each widget and edit the title and content and click Save.
  • Click the Visit Site button at the top of your screen to see the new sidebar on your webspace.





Privacy and sharing

  • When developing a teaching ePortfolio it is useful to consider the following questions:
  • Who will see my ePortfolio?
  • How dynamic/interactive would I like this webspace to be?

Privacy settings

Privacy Settings

The Privacy Settings control your webspace visibility to search engines like Google. You can decide if you would like your blog to be visible to everyone, including search engines or not. If you don't want your blog available to the search engines you can block search engines, but allow normal visitors to see your site.

  • From the Dashboard, under the Settings drop-down menu, click Privacy.
  • Browse through the Site Visibility settings and select the most appropriate settings for your webspace.
  • Click Save Changes. (Note: If you have selected “I would like my blog to be visible only to registered members of the blog”, refer to Adding Specific Users section below)


Blog Visibility has 5 options - the top three of importance are:

  • I would like my blog to be visible to everyone, including search engines (like Google, Bing, Technorati (Technorati is an Internet search engine for searching blogs) and archivers – This is the setting used by most blogs. It lets everyone read your blog and allows your blog to be included in search engines and other content sites.
  • I would like to block search engines, but allow normal visitors – If you want all human visitors to be able to read your blog, but want to block web crawlers for search engines, this is the setting for you.
  • I would like my site to be visible only to Registered network users – You would use this setting to create a private blog. If selected, another area will appear where you can control which WordPress.com users will be able to log into your blog to read it (those users will only be able to read your blog, they will not get access to your dashboard to edit your blog, please see this section if you want to give people edit access):



Resources

Teaching Portfolio CoP Webspace
WordPress Documentation
CTLT Teaching Portfolio Resource