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Online Assessment Final Exam
Our Story
Course Description
Assessment Tools
Exam Professor
Our Story
Additional References
References for Balanced Literacy
Course Outline



Our Story is a web site where users can generate personal content in the form of blogging, photo sharing, and digital storytelling combined. An interactive visual timeline, collaborative e-mail requests, privacy controls, and a library of interview prompts are all included features.  The content that is created on Our Story can then be preserved online, saved on a hard drive, printed in books, or saved on CD/DVD.  Unlike other social networking sites such as My Space, Our Story encourages collaborative story telling and a deeper level of sharing.




       Ease of navigation

       Privacy-you choose who you share your timeline and story with through e-mail invitations

       Can create a timeline that includes, photos, stories, videos, notes, letters

       Links to Yahoo image search for ease in finding photos



       User can share information and gather comments

       Prompts are provided to start the story process

       Can interview family and friends





*         Public access could create security problems if students are unaware of audience

*         Public access means the focus is not primarily educational/professional

Application of Our Story for this course:


There are three main reasons why I selected a versatile tool like Our Story for this course.  First of all it is an easy tool to use for an icebreaker. Research shows that one of the key elements in an online course is establishing a sense of community and making the participants come alive for each other without the physical cues of the face to face classroom.  The interview section of Our Story provides an easy format for creating an interview. If students are not comfortable writing their own questions for a classmate, the included questions provide a good basis.  Furthermore the site contains an easy to use story section where the results of the interview process can quickly be posted, accompanied by photos if the students wish.  Because the site transfers all the information into a timeline format the icebreaker is automatically included in the course work.


Secondly, Our Story allows for collaboration. Any student can ask for additional comments, information, photos, or virtually any kind of content to be contributed by classmates.  Again this becomes part of the student’s record in the class through the timeline.


The final reason for choosing Our Story is that it can provide a template where students can use all the options of graphics and text to create their own professional e-learning portfolio with a timeline of ongoing activities. Such a portfolio provides a working model of authentic assessment. It can provide evidence for both summative assessment and formative assessment. The student’s actual applications of content are included thus making the content itself authentic. Because the portfolio is then open to public view, the feedback that results is also authentic, real world feedback.  The value of this type of assessment is that is definitely decreases the opportunity for plagiarism while focusing on the synthesis and application levels of Bloom’s taxonomy. Additionally, the student gains another tool that can be used with future students in a literacy class.





Our Story







Spring 2007
Patricia Hutton