Create. Share. Engage.

Christine Slade and Kevin Kelly: Digital ethics principle DEIBD

March 01, 2023 Mahara Project Season 1 Episode 13
Create. Share. Engage.
Christine Slade and Kevin Kelly: Digital ethics principle DEIBD
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Dr Christine Slade (University of Queensland) and Dr Kevin Kelly (San Francisco State University; Independent Consultant) explore the concepts of diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and decolonisation (DEIBD) in portfolio practice, having been members on the AAEEBL Digital Ethics Task Force since 2019. They share their reasons for joining the task force, why DEIBD is important to them, and what learning designers, instructors, and learners can do to incorporate them into their own practice.

This is the second episode with members of the Digital Ethics Task Force.  Episode 12 looks at the principle of 'Visibility of Labor' with Dr Amy Cicchino, Dr Megan Mize, and Dr Sarah Zurhellen.

Click through to the episode page for the transcript.

Connect with Christine

Connect with Kevin


Note: Interviewees are not affiliated with the Mahara community. They use different technologies.

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Production information
Production: Catalyst IT
Host: Kristina Hoeppner
Artwork: Evonne Cheung
Music: The Mahara tune by Josh Woodward

Kristina Hoeppner 00:05

Welcome to 'Create. Share. Engage.' This is the podcast about portfolios for learning and more for educators, learning designers, and managers keen on integrating portfolios with their education and professional development practices. 'Create. Share. Engage.' is brought to you by the Mahara team at Catalyst IT. My name is Kristina Hoeppner.

Today I'm speaking with two wonderful colleagues of mine, one from the United States and one from Australia, and we are working together on the AAEEBL Digital Ethics Task Force and have been doing so for the last three years. 

Dr Christine Slade is Associate Professor in the Institute of Teaching and Learning Innovation at the University of Queensland in Australia where she has leadership responsibilities in assessment and academic integrity. She's been a member of the AAEEBL Digital Ethics Task Force since 2019, which is a good fit because her research interests include digital pedagogies, contemporary assessment, academic integrity, and professionalism.

Christine, I think we first met many years ago at an Eportfolio Forum in Australia and reconnected a year or so later at an AAEEBL conference. How did you actually get interested in portfolios?

Christine Slade 01:26

Thanks, Kristina. You're right. Actually, I think it was around 2012 when I went to the first Australian Eportfolio Forum and then met you again at AAEEBL in 2015 or somewhere around there. So yes, I've been in ePortfolios practice and research quite a long time. 

The reason I first became interested was that the university where I was working at the time was interested in looking at ePortfolios for various reasons, and so I was on an exploratory trip to the Forum to find out the pros and cons of how to use those sorts of pedagogies.

Kristina Hoeppner 02:02

Thank you so much, Christine. Since then, you've been very active in the community, and we'll get to that part because of course, that is also part of your work on the task force. 

My second guest today is Dr Kevin Kelly. He's a Lecturer in the Department of Equity, Leadership Studies, and Instructional Technologies at San Francisco State University where he also previously served as the Online Teaching and Learning Manager. As consultant, Kevin now works with many colleges and universities across the United States to address distance education, educational technology, and organisational challenges. Kevin is also a member of the AAEEBL Digital Ethics Task Force and a member of the AAEEBL Board of Directors. Kevin when and why did you start exploring portfolios?

Kevin Kelly 02:48

Well, first, thanks for having me on the podcast. I'm delighted to be here. I got involved in electronic portfolios back in 2004 or 2005. And our campus had a number of fledgling initiatives that were happening at the programme level, and my colleague, Dr Ruth Cox, and I did the first ever needs assessment: who's using them, who would like to be using them, but is doing things with paper, who foresees the need for portfolios, but isn't doing anything yet? We did this across almost 90 departments and programmes at our institution that serves about 30,000 students, and we determined that there was a lot of interest and a lot going on. So when we first generated the results of this needs assessment, we found that seven or eight different tools were being used, more than seven or eight different practices or goals or audiences were being considered, and so we found our challenge to be how do we bring people together across the commonalities of ePortfolio use. 

But since then, I've been excited to become part of the ePortfolio community, especially AAEEBL and now doing a lot of things internationally, has made this been a really rich experience for me.

Kristina Hoeppner 04:08

Thank you, Kevin. So you're going back all the way to 2004, Christine, you had mentioned that you went to the Forum for the first time in 2012, which probably, I think also was the first time that this iteration of the Eportfolio Forum had taken place. Did you already work with portfolios before then? Either paper or electronically?

Christine Slade 04:29

No, not really. You know, I've been thinking about this, why do some people accept portfolios more readily as a pedagogy than others? I think that's one of the interesting questions because wherever you go, you tend to meet someone who said, 'Oh, well, I've tried that, and it didn't work, or there was this problem.' I think part of that, of course, is around the technologies rather than the actual pedagogies.

To see a pedagogy or a group of pedagogies where you can allow for diversity, you know, a sense of being able to share yourself, thinking about your strengths, and being able to give students an opportunity to share something about themselves or answering their own way. I think is fabulous. I've probably one of those types of groupy people who thought that's fantastic, you know, and just accepted it straight away. And I think that's sort of where the passion for portfolios, whether they're paper or obviously electronic you can do more with them. 

As an educator, I mean, it's a brilliant way to help students develop themselves, you know, personally, but also professionally, and I guess, I just grabbed that vision and had that ever since.

Kristina Hoeppner 05:37

Is that also why you joined the task force?

Christine Slade 05:41

Well, I guess over time, my goals of portfolio work, I've seen a lot of practices, I've seen a lot of research. I joined the task force because I became quite passionate about the ethical side of being online, generally being online. I see ePortfolios as an example of what can be good or what can go wrong for students. And I was in a collaborative, a research collaborative with some other universities and the practice, mainly from health disciplines, were telling us that even though you have policies or you tell students something, they just don't always pick up the nuances of what to do in an ethical situation, even though they think they might. So they actually, you know, break codes of professions or they break university rules without really understanding that. And so ePortfolios is a good way to be able to train them in what to do, I suppose ethical decision making. 

So if you combine my passion with ePortfolios as a pedagogy with the concerns that we had around this, you know, ethical situations, and I guess the task force allowed a systematic way of looking at all types of ethical issues. So it is much broader. I can see in the future that's going to be even more important because, you know, since we've had COVID and everything, digital is everywhere in education, but I don't think we've actually yet sort of tackled some of those problems. So ePortfolios is a really good mechanism and way to be able to help students understand what's the difference with me being on social media as an individual or being on social media as a professional and that type of thing. So that's why I joined the task force.

Kristina Hoeppner 07:30

Kevin, why did you become a member of the task force, and I'm pretty sure it's not just because we needed an AAEEBL Board member on it as liaison [laughs].

Kevin Kelly 07:41

That is absolutely right. In addition to being on the AAEEBL Board and volunteering, not being voluntold to join the task force as the liaison, I have a lot of connection points with my personal and professional interests. So as you mentioned, I'm part of the department where the word 'equity' is the very first word of the department title, 'Equity, Leadership Studies, and Instructional Technologies.' I find that there aren't many people looking at the intersections. Where does instructional technology support equity, and where does it actually hinder it?

A couple of the things that I've noticed in my role as a teacher, my students will tell me when they experience assumptions or biases or institutional barriers that hinder their learning, and as a consultant, as you described my bio, I get to see institution level data where we can see educational gaps that definitely represent where the institution needs to do work to support students. Often you'll hear the phrase 'Is your student college ready?' and I love the fact that now we're starting to think is your college student ready?

Being involved in this task force just allows me to view the different questions and challenges that we face through another lens, one that's more focused on ethics than equity, I would say, but there are so many intersections that, like I said, personal and professional interest along with the responsibility of representing the Board.

Kristina Hoeppner 09:13

Just in 2021 you also released a book that you co-authored called 'Advancing online teaching: Creating equity-based digital learning environments,' which of course also follows right in those steps in all the conversations that you've been involved in where you could bring all of your knowledge together.

We've started talking a bit about equity and ethics, of course, in more general terms, and on the Digital Ethics Task Force, we've developed 10 principles over the course of three years and recently just consolidated principles back down to 10 from 13. I'd like to focus our conversation today on one of those principles, namely DEIBD, which is diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and decolonisation because for me that is a principle that frames a lot of the digital ethics conversations that we're having being at the start, a reason why we want to engage in those conversations and also being at the end of it, coming back to it. 

Why is that topic so important to you? Kevin, let's start with you this time, since you've already hinted at it being in the department where equity is part of the name already, writing about equity-based education, and then also, I can't get around not mentioning the Peralta Conference where you are also a co-organiser, and it's not just the Peralta Conference, but the Peralta Equity Conference. So clearly, there's a very big thread going through part of your professional life because there's definitely lots of other aspects [laughs] that we're not even touching on today. But why especially this topic of the DEIBD?

Kevin Kelly 11:00

Even though I've been working in this space for a while, I would say maybe the last 8-10 years, I've increasingly been looking at, again, educational debt gaps and equity challenges and doing my best to support faculty in my professional development roles in finding ways, strategies that would address them, but also the motivation. I know that there's literature out there that talks about are we engaging in equity practices to level the playing field with respect to student retention and success? Sure, but are we also doing it because it's the right thing to do? I hope [laughs]. 

So with all this growth that I've been working on, in my own world, I still have so much to learn. That's why I really appreciated practising DEIBD as we develop the principle itself and that included interviewing a diverse group of educators and education professionals who addressed DEIBD topics themselves, whether that be in Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, Canada, or the United States. That's where our pool of interviewees all live and work. Being able to get perspectives on not only what practices they promote, but also how they define equity, how they define diversity or inclusion, belonging or decolonisation if we want to spell out the DEIBD for the podcast listeners. So for me, it's an opportunity to continue growing in a space that I'm actively involved.

Christine Slade 12:34

In my roles that I've had at different universities, not only do I teach classes, but I often had responsibilities at an institutional level. You know, for the last seven years, I would see like a watch person for assessment environments for students. That comes out of my own personal philosophy, I guess, towards, you know, working with other people and institutions, etc. So I'm, you know, watching for areas where we might be failing to actually offer equity, and I mean, they come up all the time, it's very difficult. 

There's always issues to try and make for inclusion, equity, belonging. I mean in COVID, we've just had a lot of research done at the universities around how are the students coping with being at home? Or are they feeling like they belong to university, given the fact that they've been off campus for so long? Some of the decisions that had to be made in a hurry were trade offs, you know, between equity and something else. For example, equity and academic integrity, you know, if you have students all around the world, and they don't really want to do their assessment task at 2am, you might have to leave it open for 24 hours. But that does allow some students to get some ideas about how they could, you know, do better in their task [laughs], and then what they're really asked to do. 

So I see it a world of sort of balance of where, yes, we need to recognise a set of principles, and I guess that's what around the task force is really helpful is that we have thought about lots of different issues so you don't have to go back and think about that again. As a practitioner or someone I'm sharing with there they all are, you know, a lot of thought's gone into that by a lot of people. So that's a really useful platform to launch from, which I haven't seen before.

The closest one I had to that is probably assessment principles. I'm trained in assessment principles, and they're similar. Transparency, equity, authenticity, fairness, how you're marking. We use criterion marking. So therefore, we're marking students against a set of criteria and standards, not judging them to each other. So things like that sort of well ingrained in my sense, but when we come to a lot of these issues, we have to be ready I think to be able to one deal with systemic issues, yes, but two also consider every student and be flexible to take our principles and apply to different scenarios, which is why in the task force, it's been very useful to have different scenarios spelled out. This could be what happens, this could be the group of people this happens to. So I guess we have to sort of develop that maturity of understanding, 'What are we really aiming to do?' And then to apply it as best we can to structural change but also to every student that comes through our institutions.

Kristina Hoeppner 15:27

What do you think would be one thing to do for an instructor who is interested in providing or reviewing a portfolio assessment task or even another assessment task from a DEIBD lens? What would you tell them initially because of course, if you look at our principle, it consists of five different concepts. There are some strategies that we outline that can be used and the scenarios as you mentioned, but that might also be a bit overwhelming for some who then think also of their own workload. And of course, visibility of labour, workload, care work is another principle of ours that all need to be balanced out a bit. What do you think could be something that somebody can do right now with relatively little effort to get started to be part of that conversation?

Christine Slade 16:23

I think the first thing you've got to realise with portfolios is and also for teaching, generally, it's incremental change, you know. If you changed everything at once, you would blow up your own schedule as well as the students' [laughs] because there's just so much involved in a course or, you know, assessment task, or whatever process you're doing. Think about perhaps one thing that's going on in your context now.

So we're still concerned about our students in a sense of belonging because they're only just coming back to campus. So let's pick that one or something that is relevant to your cause that you know that the students might be online, as well as in the room, that's also another dynamic where equity can come into play, being able to manage the two different groups, and think about the design of that ePortfolio task. What are you trying to achieve there? What's important? And that takes a lot of thinking to get it as right as you can for the moment. It's always a process. But what am I trying to achieve? And then I think, design it with these principles, you know, equity, belonging, whatever it is in mind. So you might make it so that students work together, or you might have it so that they can check in about something when they're not sure, in a draft or, you know.

I think feedback is a really important part here. You know, you can do a lot to through a strength based approach or encourage students to share about their own backgrounds or whatever is important to them. Portfolios allow that to be. So if you give them feedback on a draft, or you encourage them in the classroom to talk about that the technology, the platform does allow you to have that in it. So it's not, you know, like one statement, and you've just got to answer that question.

Encouraging the students to be able to think outside of the box for that and then to give them feedback that's useful, so that they can continue on that. And of course, then at the end, it's the rubric where you're marking, but you've got to judge on something that's not going to discriminate against particular students.

So really think carefully for your discipline, for the what we call graduate attributes or the skills you want students to have when they leave their courses, personal growth, whatever it is that you've got in that rubric for your learning outcomes, just stick to that and allow for some diversity, allow for students to say something at the level of which they're currently at.

Kristina Hoeppner 18:43

Kevin, do you have a tip from things that have worked for you in your context? because of course, what we've also discovered during the task force is that cultural differences can be quite important also to take into consideration especially also in DEIBD.

Kevin Kelly 19:01

Rather than say what has worked for me, I'm going to describe something that I'm going to try for the first time this spring, spring in the U.S. North America, I know. We have different seasons around the globe. In the very spirit of what you just brought up, Kristina, I am planning to take different knowledge traditions into account, which includes international students, Indigenous learners, and other non dominant cultures.

So in the spirit of Christine's 'Just pick one thing and do that,' I'm going to put out a buffet of small things that one could do along those lines. One is start by either collecting information from students about those knowledge traditions so that you can infuse ways of learning and ways of demonstrating learning into the activity or assignment or creating a portfolio assignment or activity that's flexible enough to accommodate learners who come from different identities and backgrounds and cultures. And so that might involve creating opportunities for collaboration for those interdependent learners. And, you know, obviously, we always have room for the independent learners to go off on their own and do their work and show the results. Also, offering opportunities for learners to interact with communities beyond the classroom, whether that be their family, their friends, their community with a capital 'C' to work in real world settings or capture what they've done in those spaces, and maybe even in nature where they may have engaged in learning in the past.

Another buffet option, if you will, would be making space for students to provide evidence in their portfolios using formats consistent with their identities or cultural practices that may not be a traditional essay or a presentation that we have come to know from Google Slides and other online tools. So those are just a few things that I'm toying with for my course that's coming up very quickly so that I can be more inclusive, create a sense of belonging, and also maybe address decolonisation topics with my ePortfolio activities.

Kristina Hoeppner 21:14

I definitely look forward to hearing more from that and how it goes, how your students take it on as well. Kevin, you did mention the decolonisation, and so I think it's worthwhile just briefly exploring why we decided to make that actually a part of the abbreviation because especially if you're looking at definitions, often you hear DEI or D and I, so 'Diversity, Equity, Inclusion' or 'Diversity and Inclusion' or DEIB, but I think so far, we are the only ones that extended the abbreviation by yet another letter and included decolonisation explicitly. Do you want to tell us why we had made that decision when we drafted the principle?

Kevin Kelly 22:02

I will harken back to the history of DEIBD and do my best to characterise it. One is the very thing that I just described in what I intend to do, which is recognising that there are more than one way to learn. At San Francisco State, for example, we have students who speak 108 languages other than English at home. We have to recognise [laughs] that they come from backgrounds where some may have learned around the kitchen table with family, some may have been integrated into a very Western dominant way of learning where you go off and read something, you report back, or take a test and show that you've understood it. First generation learners may not have learned the unwritten rules or hidden curriculum, as it's called, assumptions we make about what students know about how higher education works, and how students are supposed to demonstrate their learning; all of these things. So on top of that you have in the U.S., in Australia, in New Zealand, in Canada, and many other countries around the world, Indigenous populations that are often not brought up in conversation.

And so again, I was really excited that we got to interview Indigenous scholars and people who work with those communities to identify ways that we can support the learners who are working through ePortfolio activities, possibly for the first time, and trying to do so within a context that is not their normal way of doing things. And so DEIBD, and the decolonisation in particular, is really just an attempt of how do we create a more equitable experience for the learners, take everyone into consideration, and make the experience one where everyone can flourish?

Kristina Hoeppner 23:52

And also, how can we make the part about the decolonisation and the importance of the decolonisation more prominent so that it is at the forefront of the conversation as well and not just subsumed in other conversations when we are talking about equity and belonging in particular.

What I found interesting was also when we researched that principle that there was not a lot of research done, which of course is often the case with underrepresented groups. There was not a lot of research on women and portfolios or transgender peoples and portfolios. There was a bit of research around Indigenous peoples and portfolio practice in Australia and a bit also in Canada, but not so much in other areas.

Both of you have been working with portfolios for many years, you've worked at different institutions, you've seen many different implementations, and you yourselves are constantly iterating over your practice, as we heard in Kevin's response. Have you noticed any trends in portfolio work that you'd like to point out?

Kevin Kelly 25:03

It's interesting because there was an article in 2009 about trends in electronic portfolios, at least in the United States, and not anything really since, other than just little blurbs of five things to take away. I would say from my perspective, one trend is the constant variety. For those familiar with other educational tools like learning management systems, they have fairly consistent goals, regardless of what institution you're at, fairly consistent practices, fairly consistent audiences. And they are limited to four primary solutions.

When you get to ePortfolios that space is always evolving with new tools, with different goals, whether they be academic, career bridging, professional. One blog post, I found noted that ePortfolios had expanded to touch all the phases of student lifecycle, ranging from enrollment to alumni, it's what some people are now calling 'cradle to trust.' So I would say that sense of variety and constant evolution could be considered a trend or it could just be considered a state of affairs for ePortfolios. 

Another as reflected by the fact that we're talking about the DEIBD principle today, equity, diversity, inclusion, belonging and decolonisation to some extent, are all something that is starting to become more actively pursued in the ePortfolio space.

And then I would say one constant, rather than a trend, is community. The global ePortfolio community has always been generous and collaborative, and I look forward to many more years of working with colleagues around the world to make ePortfolio experiences better for students.

Kristina Hoeppner 26:43

Looking at one of the first trends you've mentioned, why do you think the field of ePortfolio is evolving and changing and offering so many different avenues for students and staff and to people outside of academia to get involved?

Kevin Kelly 27:03

I think because it didn't get cemented into 'this is what it does.' It's also not so institution centric, even though there are institution centric ways of using ePortfolios, possibly for accreditation purposes, possibly for programme review. But the fact that you have these small pockets of people exploring the use of portfolios as ways of authentic assessment or providing students with a way to showcase what they know, to an academic audience, as well as to potential employers, all of those differences get away from 'we want a one stop shopping for the learning experience,' where we will store our files and facilitate our activities and collect assessment information in the form of essays or exams. So that to me, lends itself to a very fluid environment that can change when things emerge. And so I don't think it'll become cemented or as rigid as the learning management system environment because of that fact that we are always going to have people using them for different purposes.

And my colleague, John Ittelson, he will put a slide with a bunch of people in blindfolds touching different parts of an elephant. Some people will touch the trunk, and they'll say 'it's a snake' and somebody will touch the leg and then will say 'it's a tree.' He'll use that as the metaphor for when people approach electronic portfolios, Career Services professional see in one way, instructors see it in another, department chairs and dean's and campus leaders see it in another, and then the stakeholders from beyond the campus, the family and friends who may not know what that first generation student's experience is like, and now can see into that space with a reflection that describes why they did something and how it's changed the way they look at the world or any number of other audiences that aren't at the institution itself.

To me that richness, again, and that openness so it's not just a closed community of the people within a classroom's four walls or the digital space for an online course. It's this much bigger, messier space [laughs] that requires a variety of solutions.

Christine Slade 29:16

I would totally agree with everything that Kevin said. And that's the passion why people can see the vision of what you can do with portfolios, you know. The people that I've met over the years, like learning designers, academics, whoever, that not only use portfolios, but actually design for portfolios, are the type of people that are constantly wanting to push the boundaries of a technology, of a pedagogy, of a use for portfolios. That's probably what we love about it. Institutionally, if you think about it, though, in Australia, most institutions have a commercial package, which is the one that they have an enterprise system, which they support. That can be good because you know, people can know where to go, and they can get support for doing things, we have staff who help because technology training for students, and that is a big thing. You don't want the barrier of the technology to stop them doing these things inside of the tool. 

So I think there is some conceptions and some, rightly perhaps, that the technology isn't always easy to use. It can be a bit clunky, or it hasn't actually worked properly for what somebody wanted. But on the other hand, you know, there's a lot of people that use things very well. We've sort of had this little sort of dichotomy of people. So I guess, one experience, perhaps, and it can be, you know, in marking or whatever can skew somebody's idea of what these pedagogies can do.

So we're very conscious, I suppose in more recent years, to talk more about the pedagogies, to talk more about what you can actually do. And I think to be a little bit freer to use the type of tool that would suit what the person wants to do. An interesting experience with the Southeast Asian groups is they don't have institutions that have these big enterprise systems. So they're using a lot of existing tools, you know, Google Classroom, Wordpress, different types of things, which in Australia isn't so common, but the acceptance of that just allows more people to use it. So I guess, a broadening of how we could use these pedagogies in different ways, not just within one system, I think, would help.

The other one is broadening our approach. The Digital Ethics Task Force is one of those things. EPortfolios is the - for my mind - is the example of how we're doing all of these things and showing how they can be done, but what's there to say that you can't transfer those principles to social media use or something else? So while I don't want portfolio pedagogies to be institutionalised - I definitely agree with Kevin there - I think we could join some other conversations around the types of things that portfolios can demonstrate, and we can contribute to that broader digital space with our experience of portfolios. Now because that all takes effort and lots of things. But you know, perhaps - well, I've been in over 10 years, and I think we need to progress a little bit more to that. You know, we don't need to lose what we think about portfolios and the fantastic way we can use them but to offer that perhaps a little bit more outside into other, you know, discipline or research areas.

Kristina Hoeppner 32:27

So kind of integrate the practice, right? 

Christine Slade 32:29

Mhh [affirmative].

Kristina Hoeppner 32:30

Which also takes us straight into the quick answer round, I'd like both of you to answer each question, and we'll start for the first one with Kevin. Which words do you typically use to describe portfolio work?

Kevin Kelly 32:47

You use one of them just recently. So I use 'integrative', 'reflective', and 'iterative'. They draw across multiple disciplines and types of activities. The process requires that students are metacognitive and are thinking about the learning process and how it applies, and the artefacts themselves provide evidence from specific points in time and can show growth over that span.

Kristina Hoeppner 33:13


Christine Slade 33:14

Yeah, so I would agree that it allows creativity, it can be challenging, both from using tools, but also from your own person as to what you're thinking about putting in there, you have to measure out what the users are going to feel comfortable putting into a portfolio. But I think after you've gone through that journey or on the way, it can be very rewarding when you have time to reflect on where you've come from where you are now.

Kristina Hoeppner 33:38

Both of you have already shared tips on how to get started with DEIBD in the portfolio context. Do you have another tip to share for learning designers and instructors who create portfolio activities? Let's start with Christine this time.

Christine Slade 33:55

I think you should know the reason why you're actually suggesting it [laughs] or if the person is suggesting it to you, be very clear about what it can do. I know when I was doing a lot of implementation, we have sort of like a checklist, an entry form for the people who wanted to use it to say, 'Why do you want to use that? How's that kind of fit with what you're doing? Do you have support from other people?' So just clarifying, 'Is this the right time for you to actually be doing what you think you want to do?' And also want to know the way you're going to use it. 

I've seen some fabulous work from learning designers. You know, it doesn't have to be complicated. It can be very simple things that are designed like Shari Bowker's feedback tools, journals, etc. They look really simple when you look at how to use it, and they're fabulous. Now it could take a while to get to that [laughs]. But you don't have to think 'oh my goodness, this has to be complicated.' It can be some very simple touch points that you put in that makes a big difference to the experience of the student.

Kevin Kelly 34:58

From my part, my tip would be 'be co-creative: engage students as partners in different parts of the process,' whether that be, again, surveying them to find out what biases and assumptions and institutional barriers they face. They may not have access to the technologies required to complete assignments in the same ways and so providing avenues for them to still do the work within the constraints that they have. It might also extend to having them help inform the rubric that you use to evaluate the work or have them participate in a peer review process and help each other. So I would say 'be co-creative.'

Kristina Hoeppner 35:37

Last but not least, what advice do you have for portfolio authors?

Christine Slade 35:42

Make time to put something in [laughs]? That's usually the educator's problem. I know in Australia, we have special sessions that we just allow time for people to actually catch up with their portfolio. I think for students, it's really important to understand why they will be using this tool, and why they should persevere. And I know for some of the research we did that the encouragement to use it from educators repetitively went on for quite a long time, and it really the change was when they could implicitly say 'I want to use this tool' was more when they actually own their own profession or own their own destiny or where they were heading with the courses and so that they could see the relevance of this type of pedagogies to where they were heading. But that doesn't come straight away necessarily. It might for a few students, but other students need to be, you know, retold, 'this is why we're doing this, this is how it would help you' so that they can embrace the benefit of it while they're still trying to learn how to use it, how to think critically, and all of the things that are tough, like some parts of learning are tough. They just need that extra support.

Kevin Kelly 36:49

The advice I'd give the portfolio authors would be, be intentional, be inquisitive, but most importantly, think beyond the instructions. You're going to get a list of things to do, and hopefully, as Christine mentioned, you'll get a 'why', the rationale for it, you'll get a 'how' you can be successful and the criteria for success but because we see this as an iterative process, think about how that artefact you're producing might be used not only to get a grade for a class to keep moving in your academic career, but also it could be used as evidence of having a professional skill. And so as you curate, as you collect your work, and select which audience you're going to use as your audience and reflect on how that work meets some potential goal down the road, you build and publish the ePortfolio, constantly be thinking about and what some people will call 'folio thinking', how this work is more than just a check box.

Kristina Hoeppner 37:49

So we've had both John Ittelson and Helen Chen, who came up with the concept of 'folio thinking' in this conversation. 

Kevin Kelly 37:58

Yes, they're both influences on me. 

Kristina Hoeppner 38:00

In the episode notes, I link to their seminal book 'Documenting learning with ePortfolios: A guide for college instructors' that they co-authored with Tracy Penny Light. Thank you so much, Christine and Kevin, for today's conversation around digital ethics in portfolio practice, and in particular on the topic of DEIBD, diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and decolonisation. It's been wonderful to chat with you.

Kevin Kelly 38:33

And thank you.

Christine Slade 38:34

Thank you very much.

Kristina Hoeppner 38:35

I think we've though only explored the tip of the iceberg today and also in our principle. I look forward to future conversations in the community.

Now over to our listeners: What do you want to try in your own portfolio practice?

This was 'Create. Share. Engage.' with Dr Christine Slade and Dr Kevin Kelly. Head to our website where you can find resources and the transcript for this episode. This podcast is produced by Catalyst IT, and I'm your host, Kristina Hoeppner, project lead and product manager of the portfolio platform Mahara. Our next episode will air in two weeks. I hope you'll listen again and tell a colleague about our podcast so they can subscribe. Until then, create, share, and engage.

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