Assessment of Digital Learning

Assessing Digital Learning with Action Research

My most recent course in Lamar’s Applied Digital Learning Graduate program has helped me to make major progress with my innovation plan.   At the beginning of this course on assessment of our innovation plans, we learned about the importance of Action Research.  

According to Mertler, “action research offers a process by which current practice can be changed towards better practice” (2016).  With research and reflective teaching, teachers can use Action Research to make a difference in their classroom environment.  In this case, my Action Research will go along with my plan for implementing ePortfolios with my middle school students.

Action Research by Colby Clifford

Action Research Development

Before beginning my Action Research, I began with Design Development. This process was extremely important because I was able to organize my thoughts and determine my topic, purpose of study, and fundamental research question.  I also determined the type of data I will be using and the instruments I will be using to collect it.  

Action Research Outline

Moving forward in my research, it’s necessary to answer a few important questions. The information on this outline helped to organize my thoughts and ensures that my plan is focused and thorough.

Literature Review

Moving on in research process, I read primary sources and reviewed other work done in a similar field. My literature review reflects my ongoing look into ePortfolios as terrain for collaboration, reflection, and assessment.

I found that collaboration and self-reflection during the process of constructing ePortfolios can aid learning outcomes by:

  • building learners’ personal and academic identities as they complete complex projects and reflect on their capabilities and progress
  • facilitate the integration of learning as students connect learning across courses and time
  • be focused on developing self-assessment abilities in which students judge the quality of work using the same criteria experts use
  • help students plan their own academic pathways as they come to understand what they know and are able to do and what they still need to learn

Peer interactions captured in the ePortfolio weave together knowledge, skills, and identities. Therefore, through these roles of collaboration and peer feedback, the ePortfolio supports a dialogic space in which students can continue to reflect on their learning, experience improved learning outcomes, and learn how to learn.