Welcome to my E-portfolio
I would like to start my e-portfolio by breaking a convention in writing. I shall therefore start with the conclusion: The MDE program has been an awarding journey for me and I recommend it to anyone who has an interest in teaching and learning through distance education.
MDE being a significant phase in my educational evolution, I do not see it as a means for moving into a higher paying job but into the realm of great ideas, ideas of substantial value that I have discovered, explored and attempted to apply in my coursework albeit in small scales.
This e-portfolio is primarily a reflection and presentation tool that maps my progress and professional development against the MDE program competencies and was developed to partially fulfill the graduation requirements of the Program.
I am indebted to many scholars including my professors and colleagues that initiated a transformation in me and helped me maintain a process of continuous improvement. I owe many thanks to Dr. Bob Spencer for his invaluable comments and suggestions throughout the development of this e-portfolio. I also would like to thank BCIT BCGEU Career and Skills Development Fund committee for sponsoring my courses at AU. Last but not least, I would like to express my appreciation to Edith for her patience and support during the entire period of my study. Thus, I dedicate this graduate degree to her with much love and gratitude.
I conceive of mastering a profession as a continuum, not through a series of schooling that terminate after completing a vocational school or college program. Upon attaining my baccalaureate degree, I have therefore attempted to become proficient in what I do through semi-structured self-learning, upgrading courses and other professional development activities.
My method of continuous learning can be characterized by an ever changing, moving interest which encompasses an array of fields. This notion of assorted interests that has been the impetus to my learning journey resulted in the so-called mile wide but an inch deep knowledge and set of skills over the years. While I do not deny the benefits of this lower order learning, I realized that I could channel my energy into a specific discipline thus I entered the graduate school at AU.
Looking back, I read 100-plus journal articles and learned from 24 textbooks in 11 courses that are chronologically listed below:
- MDDE 601: Introduction to Distance Education and Training | Dr. Debra Hoven
- MDDE 603: Foundations of Instructional Design: Systems Analysis and Learning Theory | Dr. Rick Kenny
- MDDE 602: Research Methods in Distance Education | Dr. Cynthia Blodgett
- MDDE 611: Foundations of Adult Education | Dr. Tara Gibb
- MDDE 605: Planning and Management in Distance Education and Training | Dr. Terry Anderson
- MDDE 604: Instructional Design and Program Evaluation in Distance Education | Dr. Griff Richards
- MDDE 610: Intro to D.E. Technologies | Dr. Jon Baggaley
- MDDE 701: Advanced Research Methods | Dr. Tom Jones
- MDDE 702: Research Proposal Writing | Dr. Tom Jones
- MDDE 617: Program Evaluation in Distance Education | Dr. Mary Kennedy
- MDDE 621: Online Teaching in Distance Education and Training | Dr. Krista Francis-Poscente
Reflective Overview of the Program
The first courses were extremely difficult where I had to adjust to a new and frightening world fraught with academic challenges. The Moodle learning management system was all new to me, my professors set high standards and demanded a scholarly discourse. Even more challenging was my first formal introduction to the social sciences. I quickly learned the Moodle user interface however the latter challenges remained to be a cycle of continuous struggle each time I started a new course.
My MDE coursework has been crystallised within a few theoretical frameworks and ideas of essential significance that were introduced by both classical and contemporary thinkers; most notably Systems Theory, Wealth of Networks and Diffusion of Innovations. Learning from these has become an axial force that moves me forward and, for the purpose of this e-portfolio, hopefully to the desired direction set by the MDE Program.
Transformation From Within
Throughout the MDE program, I have monitored my progress by carefully reading my professors' feedback and insightful comments to my coursework including assignments, postings on the discussion boards and web-based conferences. This process taught me how to provide professional but friendly, concise yet detailed input to pinpoint the shortcomings of student's work while acknowledging and praising the highlights. It is also through this process that I began to develop critical thinking skills in social contexts.
Reflective Overview of the E-portfolio
Barrett (2000) asserts that an e-portfolio without reflection is just a multimedia presentation or a fancy electronic resume or a digital scrapbook. In holding this view, my reflections involved a recursive cycle of critical analyses.
In preparation for this process, I first created a directory for each of the competencies and then reviewed my coursework. Every time I found a related assignment or forum discussion, I copied the artefacts to their corresponding directory. In the next stage, I selected about 10 artefacts that I thought demonstrated my acquisition of core competencies. The third stage involved jotting down my reflections on the short-listed artefacts, revisiting my artefacts collection, finding and selecting other artefacts, and repeating the cycle again.
I have found reflecting on the courses and assignments quite empowering and writing in the reflective mode challenging. I understand that the development of an e-portfolio as a capstone project is like drawing a cognitive map, constructing a superstructure of reflections and knowledge building. The body of knowledge presented in this e-portfolio is intricately intertwined with the information contained in the text books and the one-to-one, and one-to-many interactions transmitted on the Internet.
When we attend courses no matter how small or big an undertaking they may be, oftentimes we leave with a sense of excitement, empowered by new knowledge, energized by new skills and eager to apply some of what we have learned to our own teaching contexts. The MDE experience has been no different and I have included some of my future plans in Artefact 2, Artefact 3 and Artefact 5.
- Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
My name is Serhat Beyenir and I am an instructor at the Power Engineering Group of British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) where I maintain web-based online courses and tutor distance education learners. I also teach Boiler Simulator, Computer Technology 1 and 2, and Engineering Lab courses in the Power and Process Engineering program. Prior to joining the Power Engineering Group, I have taught marine engineering at BCIT's Marine Campus and worked on various types of ocean-going ships.
- Web-based distance education,
- Open source technologies for education,
- Training engineers with computer simulators,
- Use of technology in the classroom.