Lamar University (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2012 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Pages: 844-851
ISBN: 978-84-616-0763-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 19-21 November, 2012
Location: Madrid, Spain
The purpose of this study was to investigate master’s program content related to construction of electronic portfolios in an online Educational Technology Leadership (ETL) master’s program and potential transference of concepts to PK-12 instruction. The overarching research question was: How has the participation of an ETL master’s candidate in an e-portfolio process contributed to the implementation of e-portfolio practices with PK-12 students? Assumptions were written to analyze quantitative data and sub-research questions guided the qualitative investigation.

A mixed methods, explanatory sequential design, sometimes referred to as a two-phase model (Creswell & Plano Clark , 2011), was the methodology selected for this study. The process involved collecting quantitative data followed by collecting qualitative information to better enlighten and explain the quantitative data results (Creswell, 2012). The researchers captured quantitative survey data in the first phase, and qualitative data in the second phase which included examining masters’ graduate electronic portfolios and responses to a series of open-ended questions regarding early implementation of e-portfolios in PK-12 classrooms.

Qualitative data was collected in two ways. The research team analyzed 60 master’s graduate electronic portfolios and examined 50 feedback responses to open-ended questions regarding implementation of electronic portfolios in PK-12 classrooms. The feedback data were gathered electronically in the form of email and synchronous conferences with graduates who completed the master’s program in similar timeframes to that of the 217 ETL graduates who responded to the survey.

The quantitative survey data results indicated the research population supported the use of digital portfolios for assessment. However, the survey responses indicated the use of paper portfolios were used more frequently than the use of digital portfolios in PK-12. The graduate electronic portfolios were created as a Web 2.0 based repository to share course projects, writing, and reflections about learning. The research team was interested in how graduates were supporting the use of Web 2.0 with PK-12 teachers. The data analysis revealed that candidates value the use of electronic portfolios to support learning and assessment. The identified stages of implementation and barriers described by Barrett (2005) were evident in candidates’ responses.

Based on the research findings, recommendations for future study included additional data collection related to the increased use of the reflective e-portfolio process in PK-12 core curricula areas. Additionally, researchers may be interested in use of reflective e-portfolio practice related to informal assessments within project and scenario-based learning environments. Further studies on the increased ownership of students for personal self-assessment might be beneficial to administrators and teachers.

Barrett (2005) indicated reflection e-portfolio assessment beyond standardizing testing will continue to grow and give more meaningful and richer pictures that can help students understand their own learning and provide documentation that shows growth. The teacher's role at this level is not only to provide feedback on students' work, but also to validate students' self-assessment of their work. Furthermore, use of Web 2.0 tools in the reflective e-portfolio processes adds value and reveals a depth of knowledge to student learning.
E-portfolios, educational technology, PK-12.