16 June 2015

Interactive Infograph Proficiency Portfolio

When students leave my class, they should have a record of what they've accomplished, tangible evidence of their proficiency. I want them to have that evidence at their fingertips when they're applying for jobs or looking to skip some college Spanish courses down the road.

A portfolio is a useful tool.

Also, as I am often reminded, proficiency is by definition something demonstrated consistently, with a variety of functions, contexts, and text types, so any IPA is inherently going to fall short, as each only represents a single performance of each skill.

So how can I ensure that kids have something worthwhile to take with them and that both of us still have our sanity at the end of the semester?
Move VoiceThread links up the proficiency scale
and post badges to the side to show your progress!
Streamlined standards
Here's the thing. My kids hate doing portfolios. I hate grading them. It takes so much time on both ends, and some of the Can-Dos are so niggling and specific.

And fake. I can't explain why my kids should have to point at stuff in "pictures or posters" to get to the next level. Or why they HAVE to introduce someone they know and give their "basic information." Also providing evidence that they could understand courtesy phrases consistently got a little tricky a few months after we quit trying to pretend we hadn't all known each other for three years.

So, yes, after I spent hours setting up ACTFL Can-Do based rubrics--barely a week after I posted about how well they worked--I'm making new rubrics (still with ForAllRubrics, mind you).

One way to  streamline this process and to cut to the proficiency-based chase is to switch from scoring 5 skills to 4. I deal in novices. Novices generally don't do much with presentational speaking anyway, right? Most is interpersonal. Shoot, OPIs, the be-all, end-all of proficiency evaluation, are interpersonal!

Plus the holistic IPA scores based on AAPPL rubrics have been a lot more meaningful for my kiddos this past semester than the Can-Dos that drove them crazy, and I think they'd mean more to employers and other people who need impressing later.

Improved displays
The kids liked Livebinders, and they discovered VoiceThread was really useful for assembling evidence of, well, any kind!
Speaking? Upload a video!
Writing? Upload a photo, .doc, or screenshot!
Interpersonal? Take turns commenting on an image!
Reading? Screenshot or photograph the text and comment your interpretation!
Listening? Upoad a video and comment that interpretation too! 
Too bad kiddos only get five free VoiceThreads. Otherwise I'd have them make a VoiceThread for each level of each skill. Instead, I'll just have them create one VoiceThread for each skill, then add 3 samples to the beginning of the VoiceThread for each level.

But since they only get so many, it's kind of silly to split it all up into LiveBinders tabs. And I'd really like something more visual and more immediate. Like ThingLink!

I made a proficiency cone template they can use--or they could upload their own creation from the beginning of the course (post forthcoming)--so all they have to do is upload and link their four VoiceThreads! Then as they progress, they can move the links around as they move up the proficiency scale AND they can add their ForAllRubrics badge images as they earn them just by adding a link with the image URL (and maybe the proficiency descriptors).

Conclusion
I am entranced by infograph resumes, and you know I love me a good infograph syllabus. Really, if I could get all of my information via infograph, I think I would--so simple and straight to my brain!

Do you think students and potential employers will feel the same way about infograph portfolios?

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