Digital Leading and Learning · ePortfolio

Developing a Growth Mindset in Our ePortfolio Course

After watching Carol Dweck’s speech about having a growth mindset and understanding the power of “yet” and “not yet,” we were inspired to promote the same ideas in our ePortfolio course. The entire purpose of our learning ePortfolios will be to help the students learn how to reflect on their growth and progress as learners, as well as to make connections and find the purpose of the information and knowledge they accrue in their classes. Because of this, assigning numerical grades would be difficult and would limit the students’ abilities to truly stretch out and reach their potentials. Teaching them how to view their growth, and then modeling that idea for them as facilitators, will be the most important factor in our class. During the course, students will be encouraged to continuously resubmit their reflections and their work so that they come to understand the idea of “yet.” If we assigned a grade immediately, students would feel as though they had no room to grow, so instead, they will be told “not yet” and will be able to improve and enhance their work. During the resubmission process, students will be given praise for their efforts and the process they use in creating each piece of the learning ePortfolio. We will promote both the growth mindset and the idea of “yet” and “not yet” throughout the entire course, beginning with a lesson on the ideas using the following resources.

We will show students this video of Dr. Carol Dweck explaining her theories about “yet” and “not yet” as well as the growth mindset. Dr. Dweck is a professor at Stanford University and is a leading researcher in motivation and success. She has earned prestigious awards which help add to her credibility on the subject of the power of using a growth mindset (Stanford Alumni, 2014).

Holmes Mindets

The graphic that Holmes (n.d.) created is perfect to reinforce the idea and expectations after viewing Dweck’s video. It clearly identifies how a growth mindset results in freedom and achievement instead of plateauing early . Hopefully this visual will display the benefits of a growth mindset over a fixed mindset and encourage students to seek challenges instead of avoiding them.

growth-mindset_-personal-accountability-and-reflection

Gerstein’s (2015) Piktochart will also be used in addition to the video as it too reflects Dweck’s work. We will use these questions throughout the course, but especially during peer and teacher conferences along with Dwek’s four steps mentioned below. This should help students stay on the growth mindset track and encourage the self-reflection needed for this mentality and the success of our ePortfolio course.

As the ePortfolio course begins, we will help model Carol Dweck’s (2010) four steps for the students and then ask them to follow the same steps. Because our course is about students recognizing and reflecting on their own growth, it will be important for them to complete the steps as well. To model them, we will highlight the example dialogue under each step on Carol Dweck’s website and include our example of how we got the ePortfolio course to run, highlighting how we faced the challenges with the growth mindset plan instead of giving up. Students will be asked to reflect on these ideas in an initial blog post. We will also use these steps during peer and teacher conferences to help students identify the steps they are currently on and how to continue toward the growth mindset.

Step 1. Learn to hear your fixed mindset “voice.”

Step 2. Recognize that you have a choice.

Step 3. Talk back to it with a growth mindset voice.

Step 4. Take the growth mindset action.

The growth mindset significantly influences our learning ePortfolio course. Fortunately, learning ePortfolios intrinsically support Dweck’s concept, because the ultimate goal of each is to give the students a greater sense of free will. Unlike many traditional courses that focus on assignment completion and preparation for standardized testing, the learning ePortfolio course focuses first and foremost on the student and their growth as a learner. As our course fosters each student’s desire to learn, they will undoubtedly have to welcome challenges, persist through adversity, use constructive criticism, and learn from others, all of which are key aspects of the growth mindset. From the beginning, our focus has been on student learning, and Carol Dweck’s growth mindset only helps us to reinforce this more specifically and authentically to ensure that we are creating a significant learning environment for our students.

References:

Dwek, C. (2010). How can you change from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset? Retrieved from Mindset website: http://mindsetonline.com/changeyourmindset/firststeps/index.html

Gerstein, J. (2015, September 4). Is “have a growth mindset” the new “just say no” [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://usergeneratededucation.wordpress.com/2015/09/04/is-have-a-growth-mindset-the-new-just-say-no/

Holmes, N. (n.d.). Nigel Holmes explanation graphics. Retrieved from http://nigelholmes.com/graphic/two-mindsets-stanford-magazine/

Stanford Alumni. (2014, October 9). Carol Dweck, “Developing a growth mindset” [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiiEeMN7vbQ

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