Using Note Links to get Organized

This year I am working with a new portfolios system. My students still have individual accounts but at my new school (Opal Charter School) we are also using grouped accounts. Each graduating class is grouped together under one account. This grouped account is where each child has a formal, presentation portfolio. The school is using this presentation portfolio as a way to move away from very large narrative report cards. The school has set up a list of almost 20 portfolio entries for each student. These portfolio entires are based on the learning goals the school has created for students. The list of required entries contains everything from reading evaluations, to writing samples, to photographs that show a student working with an artistic material they are skilled with.

Another big change with the group account portfolios is that they are much more teacher created. Whereas in the past (in my previous school) the work of uploading portfolio artifacts rested mostly on the shoulders of my students, at Opal the teachers have a responsibility for uploading student work.

With 29 students and a long list of required artifacts I was finding it difficult to keep track of what items I had uploaded and what students still needed artifacts. I was using a paper spreadsheet but that kept getting misplaced. At the same time my teaching partner wanted to upload work into accounts or at least see what each person had accomplished.

To make this whole process easier I decided to use the Link To Note feature found in the desktop version of Evernote and create a link-able table or spreadsheet.

I created a new note in the graduating classes notebook (below you see the 4th grade graduating class. I replaced their names for generic ones for this posting). In the note, which I titled 2013 Portfolio Checklist, I created a table. This table has all the students names vertically and all the required artifacts for the year horizontally.
I then went to each students notebook, opened up the notes I wanted to add to the table individually, copied them as a link, and pasted them into the table. In the picture below you can see each artifact in green. I just tap on the green artifact title and I go directly to the students artifact.
This is a great strategy for those teachers who want to really stay organized with their students portfolios and have easy and quick access to them. This only works, however, if you have group account portfolios not individual ones. You can't create a link to a portfolio or artifact outside of the account.
While going back and creating this table takes some time (its a lot of pasting) it well worth it in the long run. Now I have one place where I can quickly access all my students work. It is a hyper linked table of contents for my students work.
This kind of process could also be used for individual accounts. A note could be created that was called Final Portfolio Presentations and a student could make a table of contents of all their best work. In that way, they could more easily access their artifacts when they did a presentation.

A portion of my Required Student Artifacts table




5 responses to “Using Note Links to get Organized

  1. I really love this! I am looking at implementing a Digital Portfolio element at my school. I recently wrote about their potential application in an article for PLP Voices: and on my own blog:
    We are looking at Evernote as well as Google Drive (although I personally am an Evernote junkie). Thanks for sharing this information!

  2. Thanks for your inspirational blog and eBook! At my school this year we are jumping in and giving reporting using our ePortfolios a try. I was wondering if you would mind sharing your full 2013 Portfolio Checklist with me?

    • Hi Sarah,

      This year I am not a classroom teacher, so I haven’t been involved in e-portfolios on the ground floor. However, I am happy to send you things from the past. I’m not sure what you are asking for when you ask for my 2013 Portfolio Checklist. Are you asking for the things that are included in the students portfolios?


      • Hi Rob,
        Thanks for being willing to share with me! Yes, I am wondering if you would share the list of things that are included in the student’s portfolios. Just another quick question too, what grade were you teaching when you wrote the post above?
        Thanks again,

      • Hi Sarah

        Sorry for taking so long to respond. I was teaching a 3rd/4th grade class at the time of this posting. Unfortunately I don’t have access to that list that I
        created for each student any more . However I can give you a general idea. The pieces were based around the Habits of Mind. It was determined at the beginning of the year how many of each type of piece (based on subject (3 finished math pieces, three final writing pieces, an experiment, two snapshots

        of reading levels, examples of art as well more subjective artifacts like “the child in nature, the child solving a conflict, the child working on something they are passionate about). The artifacts were tagged with the Habit of Mind they reflected.

        I hope this is helpful. If you really want the list I can track it down for you.

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