INCREASING UNDERGRADUATE’S ENGAGEMENT THROUGH REFLECTIONS IN ELECTRONIC PORTFOLIOS
1 Universidad de Zaragoza (SPAIN)
2 Universidad de Valencia (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 14th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2022
Location: Palma, Spain
In recent years, electronic portfolios (e-portfolios) have gained importance in the context of formative assessment in undergraduates, were students document their own learning process and connect it through different stages over time. E-portfolios support productive learning and enable formative assessment through continuous feedback, which permits students to self-regulate their own learning process. However, there are many criticisms to e-portfolios and students’ reflections, as most of the evidence to date is based on anecdotes, satisfaction questionnaires or qualitative data from individual interviews. Since the 19-20 academic year we have been implementing the e-portfolio as the main element of instruction in two subjects of the Psychology Degree, namely Developmental Psychology II and Educational Psychology. We have previously reported changes in motivation levels (Blanco-Gandía et al., 2020) and perceived self-efficacy (López-Crespo et al., 2021) in undergraduate students. More and more, research is beginning to focus on student perceptions of the real value that e-portfolios have on their learning process. It is necessary to measure in a quantitative form if e-portfolios might change students’ attitude to their own learning process with new methodologies. Thus, the main aim of the present study was to implement the e-portfolio methodology on the MaharaZar platform in the two aforementioned subjects of the Psychology degree and to evaluate the changes produced in the student's engagement levels.
This project was carried out in the courses of Developmental Psychology II and Educational Psychology during 2 academic years (20-21 and 21-22), both pertaining to the second year of the Degree in Psychology, which follow a flipped-classroom organization. Engagement was evaluated at the beginning and at the end of the course with the adaptation of the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES-S; Schaufeli et al., 2006) to the academic field.
The statistical analyses showed a significant increase in engagement levels at the end of the academic year compared with the beginning of the subjects, which might be related to the new implementation of the e-portfolio methodology.
Preliminary results on engagement with e-portfolios in MaharaZar are promising, what invites us to promote its use on the university network and in different university degrees. It is still necessary to control certain important variables, such as the fact that the tasks really stimulate the students’ interest to make good reflections about what they learn in classes. Interest in the subject plays a key role on engagement. Another key is to have constant student-teacher feedback in order to make this learning process grow and give it continuity.
Keywords: E-portfolios, University students, academic engagement, formative assessment.