Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Effective Communication: The e-Portfolio for SIE2016/PEV2011


In SIE2016/PEV2011 posting writing on your blog is as an integral part of the portfolio.
Essentially, your e-portfolio is an individual blog that you will create as a home-base for most of your module writing. The core of that writing will be responses to the course writing assignments -- reflections, multiple drafts of a summary/reader response and then various documents that form a technical report / inquiry-based proposal -- and subsequent interaction about those assignments with your instructor and classmates. In fact, one of the most critical components of the e-portfolio is the feedback you give to and receive from peers.


Blogging, as you may know, is a form of self-publishing, online. Once a writer has set up a weblog, or blog, he or she can post on a variety of topics and receive feedback from anyone with an Internet connection.  This can be useful when writing is shared within a particular community, whether a special interest group, class or any other blogging group. 

In SIE2016/PEV2011, blogging will serve as a way for you to:

1)      reflect on course content in writing in a semi-formal manner;
2)      develop and share your ideas with an audience that is not limited to your
3)      learn about the ideas of your classmates and your tutor;
4)      comment on the ideas of others; and
5)      refine your writing skills. 

Your various interactions in cyberspace have the general objective of allowing you to connect with classmates and your instructor outside of class; encouraging you to ask questions, give opinions and share information; and helping you better understand the role of social media in shaping effective communication within the academic community.


Setting up a blog:
To create your own blog website, go to or any other blog site. At these sites, follow the instructions to create your own site. To make your site easily recognizable to classmates, your address could have SIE2016/PEV2011, and your given name, family name or nickname on it. Once you have created a blog for our course, within that you can eventually begin to post assignments.  The title of your course-related blog might be something like “Effective Communication” or “SIE2016/PEV2011. Eventually, share your blog address with me and your classmates. We will post the link to your blog on our own blogs.

Blogging groups: In your class/tutorial group, you will be assigned a blogging group of 4-5 members at the start of the trimester. For every written post that you make, you should read and respond to the posts of at least two members of this blogging group. The purpose of this is for you and your blogging group members to share written ideas with each other. In this way, you might also develop greater familiarity with each other and assist each other in creating the most appropriate and effective posts possible. A second purpose is for this smaller class group to have an opportunity to demonstrate the skills needed to become a cohesive social unit.

The four-stage blogging process:
Stage One -- Having setting up your blog, read the blog assignment for the first post (see schedule on the course website), and write a response of 150 to 200 words, preferably as a word document. Later you can copy and paste this doc into the new post section of your blog.

Stage Two -- Publish your post on your blog by the assigned date.

Stage Three -- Access the blogs of at least two other members of your blogging group, and read their posts for the same topic/assignment. After reading each post, leave a comment.  In your commentary, you might answer questions such as these: What do you think about the post?  Does it respond to the assignment? Is the content clear and well expressed? Is the content impressive or not?  If it is, what makes it so? Is it concise, coherent, cohesive? Is the answer complete? Are you in agreement or disagreement with any opinions stated? Is the writer courteous (and are you)? How clear and accurate is the language use?

Once you have reacted to the posts of at least two members of your blogging group, you can visit and comment on the blogs of other classmates. These 'comments' should be made by the first tutorial after the weekend when the posts were first uploaded to your classmates' blogs.

Stage Four --
Return to your post to see what commentary has been left by your peers. Follow that up, if you like, with comments back to your readers.

Feedback: There is formal assessment of your e-portfolio. Part of this will involve your posting various drafts and rewrites of the main writing assignments: the summary/reader response and the technical report/proposal. On these you will receive feedback with a focus on the content & organization, and language use of your writing. You also receive feedback on the reflective writing that you do. This will include descriptive, analytical and critical reflections. Most of the feedback you receive in this regard will come from your peers. 

At the same time, the punctuality of your posting and the manner, frequency and accuracy of your comments on your classmates' posts is also important for the final evaluation of your e-portfolio. For further information, please see the rubric for the portfolio.


Blogging assignments should be completed as follows:

Assignment 1:  Due by Friday, midnight, Week 1
Write a reflective post on the topic “My English Language Learning Journey” or “The Importance of English for Me,” or an instructor-approved variation of one of these topics.  This should be 150 to 200 words.

Assignment 2:  Due second tutorial, Week 3
Write the first draft of your assessed reader response essay to one of the reading articles included in the module resource reading list. This draft should be 400 to 500 words.

Assignment 3: Due by the start of the second tutorial, Week 7
Post the draft of each section of the inquiry-based proposal that you have written. This must include a personal statement, and might then also include the transmittal letter, the intro, various sections of the body, and/or the conclusion.

 Assignment 4: Due by Friday, midnight, Week 9
Write an analytical reflection on your recent oral presentation experience. In it detail one aspect of the presentation: preparation, your delivery, the use of audio-visuals, teamwork or overall impact. This should be 150-200 words.

Assignment 5:  Due by the start of the second tutorial, Week 12
Write a critically reflective post on the topic “The Role of Peer and Tutor Feedback." Explain your view of that feedback, how it impacted your developing writing skills, and  whether/how you might transfer content, organization and language skills learned in the course to writing assignments within any other module at SIT. This should be 300 to 400 words.

Your 'comments' on classmates’ posts should be made by the first tutorial after the weekend when the posts were first uploaded to your classmates' blogs.

A necessary condition for an assessment of excellent in the Portfolio portion of our course grade is that you read and react in writing to at least a total of three classmates’ posts per blog assignment, and that you do so in a timely manner. 


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