Thinking about students presenting an online portfolio…

As an educator I am particularly interested in the tools within wordpress that students could use to present their own work… with an overview of thumbnail images and then an online journal/sketchbook. Having the overview and the linear journal is important because the new GCSE specifications demand that the onus is placed on students to present their work- and the ability to have an overview is important for external moderators.

Assessment Objective 4 (A04) for both AQA and Edexcel draft specifications for the New GCSE in Art and Design, “Present a personal, informed and meaningful response demonstrating critical understanding, realising intentions and where appropriate, making connections between visual, written, oral or other elements”

AQA GCSE in Art and Design Draft

Edexcel GCSE in Art and Design Draft 1 September 2008-07-04

As the assessment is currently set out in the specifications (although AQA have been instructed by QCA to increase mark range) the top level performance descriptors for AO4 are as follows:

Fluent 17-20 work is intuitive, imaginative, exciting and original with highly appropriate research connections shows sophistication, flair and understanding; technique, style, content and judgements consistent and sensitive from conception to realisation

13-15 A confident and highly competent ability to present a personal, informed and meaningful response when realising intentions. A confident and highly developed ability to demonstrate critical understanding and where appropriate make discriminating connections between visual, written, oral or other elements.

Presentation becomes something that the students must consider and the ‘art teacher’ displaying work in an exhibition seems to be less relevant… although I love exhibitions and think that they are still very valuable in terms of celebrating achievement and learning new skills.

At a recent meeting I attended the use of online and digital portfolios were discussed as methods of ‘presenting’ work. Certain limitations regarding an assessor’s ability to mark the body of work ‘as a whole’ were discussed.

Thinking about this problem I would point people to Wessex Archaeology’s fantastic site that enables viewers to see their work in a number of forms-
In a linear fashion (like a traditional journal or sketchbook)
Thematically (either by topic or ‘tag’)

As I didn’t have the IT smarts to do this (or I perceived this to be the case) I had signed myself up for a course through Graft, taught by Brenda Burrell and Pete Hindle who demonstrated the potential of using wordpress.

We were based in the Polytechnic opensource lab adjacent to the Star and Shadow.

I now feel quite confident that I can help facilitate a students use of wordpress to create a digital portfolio. Smashing.


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