DigiSpace,  ePortfolio,  Equity and Inclusion,  Professional Development,  Student Academic Success

2020 Professional Development

Because of the pandemic, 2020 brought me more opportunities to learn and grow. Below are the highlights of experiences and texts that have helped me to reconsider my ideas and behaviors and to develop as a professional and as a person. Although this year was a strain in many ways, I made the most of “found” time — rather than commuting for hours a day, I spent more time reading and attending online conferences and workshops. As a part-time employee, I strive to balance my professional development with my supervisory and administrative duties, so some of the activities and reading I did was on my own time. I was also fortunate to be selected as a CETL Teaching Scholar and led a faculty learning community, which spurred much of my professional growth around ePortfolio pedagogy.

  • The books How to be an Anti-Racist and Between the World and Me, Stacey Abrams’ presentation at UNE in January 2019, Robin DeAngelo’s lecture based on her book White Fragility, and the Equity and Diversity workshops in the fall of 2020 have helped me to better understand America’s systemic racism and its effects. Most importantly, I am starting to understand ways to see racist structures and try to disrupt the norms to work toward social justice. (July 2020 reflection is linked here.)
  • Green Dot training and reading Conversations with RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life, Love, Liberty, and Law (Jeffrey Rosen) have also helped me to focus on the importance of establishing norms that support the health and well-being of all people in our society. The past few years have taught me that more than ever, I must actively work to establish a safe and inclusive space for students, staff, and community, particularly of groups who are not protected by law or are more likely to be silenced by norms. Offering help when I witness signs of trouble and reshaping norms changes our culture and eventually the structures (such as laws) that create inequality on a larger scale.
  • iGen (Jean Twenge) has informed some of my choices as well as my understanding of the needs of Generation Z, or iGen. I have always been interested in exploring the ways technology impacts thinking and behaviors, so this book was an all-around interesting read for me (see reflection from June 2020). Thinking, Fast and Slow (Daniel Kahneman) has not captured my attention to the same degree, but I think it will be helpful as I continue to work with students and grow the ePortfolio initiative. I also find it has some useful ways of testing my own thinking as I continue to explore my own biases and sometimes faulty reasoning.
  • In terms of professional development that was more focused on ePortfolio, I reread High-Impact ePortfolio Practice by Brett Eynon and Laura M. Gambino as part of my Faculty Learning Community work. I created a site for our FLC and linked resources for future reference and exploration. I also attended several workshops during the annual Association of Authentic, Experiential, and Evidence-Based Learning (AEEBL) conference in July, 2020. I found this especially helpful as I considered UNE’s ePortfolio initiative in the context of other ePortfolio programs, as I learned about challenges and successes of ePortfolio programs in America as well as Australia and Ireland.
  • Although I did not get the opportunity to present on a panel at the International Writing Across the Curriculum conference as planned, I still hope to do so in 2021.

As I look ahead to 2021, I expect to continue to read and listen to better understand others’ perspectives. I also hope to build on the enormous growth in the use of ePortfolio in the Nursing program as well as in pockets of experimentation around the University.

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