Photographic evidence of learning and the cloud

I have used photographic evidence along with other measures to provide assessment insight into SC 130 Physical science.

Learning in the field of physical science, scientific understanding, is constructed out of interactions among a peer group using tools that measure the physical world as guided by the structures designed by the instructor. I would argue that this image provides evidence that this is occurring in the course. Indirect evidence, but when triangulated with laboratory reports and course tests, valuable evidence.

I think the photographic evidence is even more relevant when we look at articulation of courses via student learning outcomes. A college can produce student learning outcome outlines, but how to prove to other colleges that the student's are actually learning the material? That the course is "real"? Item analysis of test items aligned to the outline and sample student lab reports are part of the "picture" in physical science, but photographic evidence is intuitively powerful for people. I argue that one can "see" learning happening in this image and the images that follow.

I use photographic evidence in both my ethnobotany and my physical science course.

Of late I have been moving these pictures into the cloud - specifically onto this very blog. Pages such as photo pages from a recent simple optics lab and a speed of sound lab
are now simply a blogged.

Links integrated into locally held web pages provide the "glue" that webs together the network of pages on different servers.

For photographic pages my key tools include the Graphic Image Manipulation Program for balancing, cropping, resizing, and compression control. To catalog and post images I use Picasa. Picasa includes integration with Blogger, providing both cataloging and posting services.

Blogging the photographic web pages has effectively forced me to include more text, better descriptions, and simultaneously the Picasa "four picture" post limit reduces the number of images I post. I am forced to be choosier, with the result being a better edited, more tightly and carefully constructed photo evidence page.


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