Google as a Free LMS: Presence versus Portfolio

I had argued earlier in #CE13 that we really need to think about developing a web presence and not a portfolio. As you know I am using Google Apps as a Free LMS for a writing intensive class I currently teach. I am focusing much of my work on modeling and teaching multimodal composition.

My students are developing a web presence (which they may choose to keep private). They have developed a blog, a Google+ account, and participate in our Modules on Google Sites. They create infographics using Glogster, classroom diagrams in Google Draw,review children’s literature on Wikispaces, and participate in book discussions using Google Hangouts on Air.

I realized though the web presence does not have the necessary reflection and curated documentation of growth necessary for portfolio assessment. Yet using Google as a free LMS is going to make the inclusion of portfolio assessment not only efficient but logical.

The students, by developing a web presence, already have collected their learning artifacts. I realized this when I scrolled through our Google+ Community. The students had all just uploaded a reading mini-lesson they could teach.It was the performance assessment for our reader’s workshop module. Sharing the videos on Google+ allowed for easy feedback and reflection.

I can not teach writing instruction without a focus on portfolio assessment methods. Nor can I teach multimodal composition without students developing portfolios of their own work. So I have decided to make my last module focus on the devlopment of a portfolio.

I hope to do this in Google+ (instead of a Google Site). This is where I am looking for help and feedback. I am thinking about having students develop a Page within Google+ at the end of the semester. I am thinking they could highlight blog posts they wrote, videos they created, and document their learning process. Do folks have any experience with developing Google+ Pages? What are the limitations? Are my ideas possible?

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