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Examples of Using ePortfolios in a Course: Spanish Culture

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Introduction

This illustrative example of a course on Spanish culture is one is a series of examples of using an ePortfolio approach in a course. The example is adapted from an existing course at UW Oshkosh. Each example in the series has three parts: 1) an overview of the course in question; 2) how to support sample learning activities in D2L and D2L ePortfolio; 3) an example of the finished ePortfolio presentation which might be created.

This overview of the course provides a possible course description, course requirements, and alignment with UW Oshkosh's essential learning outcomes as context for a discussion of the activities which follow in part 2.

Part 1: Course Overview

Course Description

"For this course, we will read primary texts by writers of European and Indigenous descent.  We will also read some articles that will bring theoretical approaches about how European and Indigeonous peoples interpret their environment and each other.   We will discuss how natives conceived the world and its creation to have a better understanding of their cosmovision.  We will read narratives by Europeans written during the ages of exploration, conquest and colonization (16th and 17th centuries) to examine how Europeans portray Indigenous peoples, how they use natural resources, and how they construct a sense of place in the new lands.  We will also read narratives written during the colony by Native writers.  Just as we will do with the writings by Europeans, we will examine how indigenous and Mestizo writers construct their discourses on sustainability, identity and sense of place real and mythical.  We will examine how assumptions and cultural baggage played an important role in the construction of space among the Europeans. We will revise the notion of the search for “El Dorado” and other mythical places that brought so much death to many explorers."

 

"How will this course relate to our Winnebago sense of place? In the requirements for the course, students will write four short papers.  Two will be on topics and texts we will read/discuss in class. The third will have two parts; the first part will be a narrative from the point of view of an explorer who just came to Winnebago during the colonial times and sees for the first time the lake and the landscape and the second part will be a narrative from the student’s point of view replying to the explorer from the twentieth-first century in which he/she creates a “Sense of Place” in Winnebago. Each student will have to go physically to a spot that will be his/her point of reference and familiarize himself/herself with the flora, fauna, geography, and resources to write an informed reply. The fourth will be on finding out what the native people from Winnebago county think about the lands and resources. Each student will interview or find an interview on the subject and examine what how those views compare to the Indigenous texts we will read in the course."

-Dr. Rocio Cortes

The design of the course is suited to creating and using an ePortfolio within the course as it blends incremental activities, research, and reflection into a cumulative project.

Course Requirements

  • Participation & Attendance: It is vital that students attend every class.  We will cover a wide breadth of material throughout every class that cannot be made up.  You must be responsible for your own education and actively participate in all classroom activities, discussions, etc.
  • Readings & Discussions: Literature will be assigned to be read before the start of each class. Group discussion and review will be available via D2L to be completed during class, however it is pertinent to review questions prior to arriving to class. Students will be required to have a solid understanding of the reading material in order to discuss the theoretical foundations of this course.
  • Written assignments: Students will be required to write four comprehensive, grammatically correct, thought provoking responses to the readings covered in this course.  Papers will be graded by grammar and language usage, content, and citing original works.
  • Class presentation: Each week one student will present on a theoretical piece from our required readings.  Students have ten minutes to present and a discussion and review handout should follow the presentation.  In short, every week a student will teach the class in Spanish and be a discussion leader.
  • Research project: In addition to the four responses, a final research project will be required.  Students will research  on the earliest narratives by Europeans on Winnebago (19th century) and on their perception of the Indigenous people.  Students will compare the descriptions to the ones we read during the course.  The conclusions will have to be on what we learned about the past and how we can implement that knowledge to our future.

 

Essential Learning Outcomes

  • Knowledge of human cultures and the physical and natural world
  • Identification and objective evaluation of theories and assumption
  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Written and oral communication
  • Quantitative literacy
  • Technology and information literacy
  • Knowledge of sustainability and its applications
  • Civic knowledge and engagement — local and global
  • Intercultural knowledge and competence

 

Part 2: Alignment with Essential Learning Outcomes

Part 2 of this example will highlight different approaches to uses D2L and D2L ePortfolio to support the requirements of the course.

 

Learning Outcomes:

  • Knowledge of human cultures and the physical and natural world
  • Identification and objective evaluation of theories and assumption
  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Written and oral communication
  • Quantitative literacy
  • Technology and information literacy

Activities:

  1. Use D2L discussions to respond to questions relating to course literature: 
    spanish discussion posts
  2. Present on a required reading from the course and create an artifact in ePortfolio:
    spanish presentation artifact
  3. Utilize D2L's Content to have instructor post student's work for the entire class to reference and use:
    presentation in d2l content
  4. Utilize D2L's Dropbox for paper submissions on written reading responses, and create a collection on written reading responses based on literature throughout the course: 
    spanish collection
  5. Utilize ePortfolio's share feature to have students write peer reviews on written reading responses:
    sharing paper in eP

Learning Outcomes:

  • Knowledge of sustainability and its applications
  • Civic knowledge and engagement — local and global
  • Intercultural knowledge and competence

Activities:

  1. Make presentation in ePortfolio to reference written work, show video/ audio/ PowerPoint/ etc. (Research paper and/ or presentation on cultural aspect of course study)  https://uwosh.courses.wisconsin.edu/d2l/eP/presentations/presentation_preview_popup.d2l?ou=93007&presId=121909&pageId=0&contextId=121909
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