When we took students to Northwest Passage before Spring Break, Project Foundry was the thing that they really got excited about. They saw a student login to her page and the first thing she saw was a pie chart representing her credit completion towards graduation. Then they could see her portfolio of projects and stuff. They thought that was awesome. It makes the way we do grade reporting, credit updates, and academic advising with students feel just embarassingly outdated. As far as the Project Foundry, we did hear that there are some issues with that and so Northwest Passage is switching to EDIO next year. I really like the way EDIO looks and the potential for what we could do with it.
Scott Swanson and I discussed that the initial hurdle I would seem to be this:
A bank of the all key learning targets is needed. Obviously we teach the MN Standards, but putting each standard and benchmark in would be way too many targets in the system. The targets should be distilled down to the power standards, or clusters of standards put together, and the essential “soft skills” or “success skills” or whatever we’re calling them. You could also have targets in the bank around basic or prerequisite skills for reading, writing, math, etc. Anyhow, instructional staff would need to agree on those items and some work would need to be done to input them into the system…
Being at the end of the quarter here, once again we in NECA hit this necessary (but evil and soul-crushing) period of hyper focus on “passing” grades. Some feel like traditional grading does more harm than good, and I am in that camp, personally. I’m going to have a hard time waiting another 2 or 3 years for us to break out of this mold. IMHO we really, really need to be moving forward with a portfolio model for the sake of teaching and learning, ASAP.