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Connection and Reflection: Using Electronic Portfolios to Support Comprehensive Teacher Education Programs
Unformatted Document Text:  artifacts that demonstrate their knowledge and growth (Hill, 2003). Electronic portfolios enable students to set goals for their future teaching careers as well as reflect upon and analyze their teaching practices. (Wright et al., 2002). Research has shown that students who have participated in creating electronic portfolios have had a positive experience. Wilson et al (2003) have found that students viewed their portfolios as a tool for employment. After creating an electronic portfolio, many students still viewed their portfolios as an edge over their competition for future employment, but also suggested that portfolios made them aware of their own teaching beliefs. In an earlier study at the same university, students reported feeling more comfortable with using technology as a result of creating the electronic portfolios. (Wright et al, 2002). Along with the many benefits of electronic portfolios, some concerns have been identified. Problems arose in the assessing of electronic portfolios because of inequalities among students in prior technological experience and as well as differences in the amount of support and feedback that individual students received (Hill, 2003). Feedback related to the structure of electronic portfolios revealed that some students desired more freedom for creativity while others desired more guidelines (Berg and Lind, 2003). There also appears to be a discrepancy in perception of the purpose of e-portfolios between students and faculty. Students tend to see the e-portfolios primarily as tool for employment while education faculty report seeing the main purpose of the portfolios as a tool for reflection that demonstrates their longitudinal growth as teachers (Wilson et al, 2003). c. Contribution: This proposal relates to Strand V: Discerning Quality in the following ways: • Electronic portfolios allow students to demonstrate the complexity of their development as reflective educators over an extended period of time by offering a more holistic understanding of their teaching abilities beyond that which can be measured by a test or other simple measure of assessment. • E-Portfolios allow for multiple forms of assessment data (artifacts from course experiences, power points, video clips of teaching in P-12 classrooms, digital photos, audio clips, etc) to be streamlined and showcased in a meaningful, cohesive format that becomes an additional assessment tool in and of itself. • Electronic portfolios provide a means for students and faculty to collaborate with multiple departments on campus as well as with the P-12 community by providing a showcase where students can highlight the connections they see among P-12 teaching experiences, professional standards and coursework in all areas (coursework related to pedagogy, coursework in content areas, and other general college requirements). The online (interactive) nature of electronic portfolios allows for active feedback from all of these communities. d. Relevance: Using Qualitative Data to Inform Policy and/or Practice: The use of e-portfolios allows teacher education candidates to utilize a variety of qualitative evidence to demonstrate their ongoing development as educators. Qualitative evidence commonly used in electronic portfolios includes anecdotal observations of students, digital pictures/video, reflections on professional standards, excerpts from papers/lesson plans that demonstrate pedagogical knowledge, etc. Such evidence can be evaluated in its original form (for example, as an assignment related to a specific course) and then in a broader context of its inclusion in an electronic portfolio where students showcase

Authors: Wereley, Megan. and Schmidt, Alison.
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artifacts that demonstrate their knowledge and growth (Hill, 2003). Electronic portfolios enable
students to set goals for their future teaching careers as well as reflect upon and analyze their
teaching practices. (Wright et al., 2002).
Research has shown that students who have participated in creating electronic portfolios have had
a positive experience. Wilson et al (2003) have found that students viewed their portfolios as a
tool for employment. After creating an electronic portfolio, many students still viewed their
portfolios as an edge over their competition for future employment, but also suggested that
portfolios made them aware of their own teaching beliefs. In an earlier study at the same
university, students reported feeling more comfortable with using technology as a result of
creating the electronic portfolios. (Wright et al, 2002).
Along with the many benefits of electronic portfolios, some concerns have been identified.
Problems arose in the assessing of electronic portfolios because of inequalities among students in
prior technological experience and as well as differences in the amount of support and feedback
that individual students received (Hill, 2003). Feedback related to the structure of electronic
portfolios revealed that some students desired more freedom for creativity while others desired
more guidelines (Berg and Lind, 2003). There also appears to be a discrepancy in perception of
the purpose of e-portfolios between students and faculty. Students tend to see the e-portfolios
primarily as tool for employment while education faculty report seeing the main purpose of the
portfolios as a tool for reflection that demonstrates their longitudinal growth as teachers (Wilson
et al, 2003).
c. Contribution:
This proposal relates to Strand V: Discerning Quality in the following ways:
Electronic portfolios allow students to demonstrate the complexity of their development
as reflective educators over an extended period of time by offering a more holistic
understanding of their teaching abilities beyond that which can be measured by a test or
other simple measure of assessment.
E-Portfolios allow for multiple forms of assessment data (artifacts from course
experiences, power points, video clips of teaching in P-12 classrooms, digital photos,
audio clips, etc) to be streamlined and showcased in a meaningful, cohesive format that
becomes an additional assessment tool in and of itself.
Electronic portfolios provide a means for students and faculty to collaborate with
multiple departments on campus as well as with the P-12 community by providing a
showcase where students can highlight the connections they see among P-12 teaching
experiences, professional standards and coursework in all areas (coursework related to
pedagogy, coursework in content areas, and other general college requirements). The
online (interactive) nature of electronic portfolios allows for active feedback from all of
these communities.
d. Relevance:
Using Qualitative Data to Inform Policy and/or Practice: The use of e-portfolios allows teacher
education candidates to utilize a variety of qualitative evidence to demonstrate their ongoing
development as educators. Qualitative evidence commonly used in electronic portfolios includes
anecdotal observations of students, digital pictures/video, reflections on professional standards,
excerpts from papers/lesson plans that demonstrate pedagogical knowledge, etc. Such evidence
can be evaluated in its original form (for example, as an assignment related to a specific course)
and then in a broader context of its inclusion in an electronic portfolio where students showcase


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