An inclusive vision on education in dance and music.
The Digital Student Portfolio is a learning tool and a method, pointing towards an increasing degree of action. It is a tool to upgrade learning and education. The process of practicing a portfolio is individual and varies from person to person. There is no fixed way or form, as the process spans from a very personal and private level to a public website. The process goes from individual documented reflections (“backstage”), through collaboration, to a public website (“frontstage”).
The portfolio is closely connected to the concept of “learning how to learn”. This includes being able to identify the next best action and being able to reflect on one’s own work, one’s own resources and one’s own learning.
When students begin reflecting on what they have learned and write down, their thoughts e.g. about classroom instructions, their professional practice or their project works, it makes some of the processes visible, that otherwise take place unconsciously. This is a way of reinforcing their ability to ask the right questions about their own learning processes and their ability to answer them; this strengthens both the ability and the desire to relate to one’s own learning objectives and to goals in general.
There are challenges connected to this model. One challenge is how to prevent students from stopping writing down (or otherwise documenting) reflections. Our experiences so far show, that it takes a long time making the reflecting and documenting routines sustainable, continuous and persistent. It takes consciousness and awareness to fertilize the inner motivation, which in Next Move resulted in a “layer” between backstage and frontstage. The layer is collaboration, meaning: meeting, sharing, responding, questioning, sparring etc. The collaboration is aiming to prevent the process from getting lonely and based on one’s own discipline to stick to a theoretical based model and method.
In Next Move the methods of how to work with portfolio, vary significantly from Sweden to The Netherlands to Denmark. The specialist about this topic in RAMA, Cecilia Krill, has given workshops in Next Move, and is author to the book Portfolio i praksis, published in 2017 in Denmark. She also made the compendium Portfolio as a learning framework in entrepreneurship education – portfolio method in theory and practice at RAMA, which can be found in The Manual of Methods.
During the existence of Next Move, there has been a galloping development on the digital arena, the internet and the possibilities in form of tools and formats. It has been
challenging to agree on one form, content and platform for the portfolio. Furthermore, we met students with numerous very personal and very different ideas, visions and good reasons for making a website. This made that, after more than two years of research of different models, we came to the result of a liberal approach to the personal public websites and the requirements relating thereto.