Capacity of an Electronic Portfolio to Promote Professionalism, Collaboration and Accountability in Educational Leadership

Capacity of an Electronic Portfolio to Promote Professionalism, Collaboration and Accountability in Educational Leadership

Kathryn Dixon (Curtin University of Technology, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-106-3.ch022
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Abstract

This chapter is the result of an investigation into the capacity of an electronic portfolio (e-folio) to promote reflection and collaboration in a process of educational leadership. A cohort (n=11) of volunteer aspirant and current school leaders participated in the trial of an innovative software package designed to facilitate the creation of an electronic portfolio. The research has followed the development of the volunteer group as they underwent the process of constructing an e-folio, in an effort to understand the efficacy of an electronic portfolio as a tool for demonstrating self-reflection, analysis of personal leadership, and collaborative practice. The trial members recorded their reflections regarding their experiences as leaders into their portfolios using the parameters of the “Leadership Framework” as the conceptual guide. This chapter focuses on the results of a content analysis conducted on individual reflections, which found collaborative practice as a key performance indicator in the discharge of educational leadership responsibilities.
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Introduction

The Professional Portfolio

Pressure is increasing on Australian schools to respond to rapidly changing conditions brought about by improvements in technology and a shift in emphasis towards a more pluralistic and accountable approach to administration. School leaders are being asked to demonstrate how they are responding to these challenges and to demonstrate the ways in which they are improving their leadership to meet the enormous demands made upon them. Brown and Irby (1996) emphasised the complex, multifaceted responsibilities of school leadership, and studies by Joyce and Showers (1995) have demonstrated that educational leaders must develop continuously as professionals and instructional leaders to optimise learning conditions for student success. Each of their studies suggested that a professional portfolio created by educational leaders had the potential capacity to develop and showcase their skills and capture the complexity of their task.

A professional portfolio has a number of definitions depending on its use: “[...] a thoughtful, organized, and continuous collection of a variety of authentic products that document a professional’s progress, goals, efforts, attitudes, pedagogical practices, achievements, talents, interests, and development over time” (Winsor & Ellefson, 1995, p. 1).

According to Simmons (1996) and Wolf and Dietz (1998), there are three main functions of the portfolio: learning, assessment, and employment or professional presentation. The first two are more student-oriented, whilst the third is meant to demonstrate professional development, containing (for example) a resume and artefacts of best practice. The third type of portfolio includes a statement of teaching philosophy, letters of recommendation, awards, official documents, curriculum innovations, lesson plans, reflections, and personal evaluations (Hurst, Wilson, & Cramer, 1998).

A professional portfolio is an “organized collection of complex, performance-based evidence that indicates one’s growth, goals, and current knowledge and skills needed to be competent in a role or area of expertise” (Campbell, Melenyzer, Nettles, & Wyman, 2000, p. 151, cited in Heath, 2002). Heath, (2002) elaborates further that, a portfolio must be more than an organized collection of artefacts, but should also indicate areas of proposed future growth based upon assessments of past performance and current strengths. These assessments, says Heath, are made as a result of personal reflection both on personal performance and on the selection of artefacts on which reflections are based where “[...] the act of reflection, which is a critical element of portfolio content, further defines the professional portfolio as our own” (Heath, 2002 p. 19).

Creating a leadership portfolio according to Meadows and Dyall (1999, p. 3) is “[...] a culminating experience in the educational leadership program assisting prospective administrators in the areas of performance appraisal, professional growth, and career planning.”

According to Salend (2001), however a portfolio is organised or prescribed, professional leadership portfolios should be both process and product oriented with a focus on the collaborative and reflective process of the teaching and learning experience.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Collaboration: “Collaboration is an interactive process that engages two or more participants who work together to achieve outcomes they could not accomplish independently” (Salmons & Wilson, 2007).

Leadership/Educational Leadership: Educational leadership refers to a leader or leaders in an educational setting who demonstrate and enact moral purpose, understand and embrace change, build relationships, create and share knowledge, and create coherence in the education community for which they are responsible (Fullan, 2001).

Professionalism: The capacity of an individual to collaborate with key people or groups of people in identifying and solving problems, to communicate with empathy and understanding of different viewpoints, to have a holistic understanding of professional practice, and the capacity for self reflection (Elliot, 1991).

Reflection/Reflective Practice: “Reflection is a meaning making process that moves a learner form one experience into the next with deeper understanding of its relationships with and connections to other experiences and ideas. It is the thread that makes continuity of learning possible and ensures the progress of the individual and ultimately, society. It is a means to essentially moral ends. Reflection is a systematic, rigorous, disciplined way of thinking with its roots in scientific enquiry. Reflection needs to happen in community in interaction with others. Reflection requires attitudes that value the personal and intellectual growth of oneself and others” (Rodgers, 2002, p. 845).

Accountability: A commitment by educational leaders to excellence, effectiveness, quality teaching and learning, communication and high standards of achievement in the educational environment, and the engagement in self-examination reflection and analysis to maintain these qualities (WA Department of Education Accountability Framework, 2003).

Portfolio/Electronic Portfolio/E-Folio: A portfolio is “[...] a thoughtful, organized and continuous collection of a variety of authentic products that document a professional’s progress, goals, efforts attitudes, pedagogical practices, achievements, talents interests and developments over time” (Winsor & Ellefson, 1995, p. 1).

Complete Chapter List

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Dedication
Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Foreword
Michael Beyerlein
Preface
Janet Salmons, Lynn Wilson
Acknowledgment
Janet Salmons, Lynn Wilson
Chapter 1
Frances Deepwell
In this chapter, we consider two multi-institution, multinational education research projects in Europe that used a variety of technology to... Sample PDF
E-Research Collaboration, Conflict and Compromise
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Chapter 2
Susanne Croasdaile
In the world of education, many occasions necessitate interorganizational collaboration. Geographical distance and time constraints are challenges... Sample PDF
Inter-Organizational E-Collaboration in Education
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Chapter 3
Kumiko Aoki
This chapter discusses cultural differences in educational practices of the East and West. In East Asian countries, where Confucian philosophy has... Sample PDF
Cultural Issues in Global Collaborative Education
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Chapter 4
Ken Stevens
The Internet and an expanding range of technologies have enabled small schools in rural communities in Atlantic Canada to collaborate in addressing... Sample PDF
The Development of Collaborative Structures to Support Virtual Classes in Small Schools
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Chapter 5
Christine Marrett
Information communication technologies (ICTs) have facilitated institutional collaboration in distance education. Based on the study, Institutional... Sample PDF
Experiences in Collaboration in Distance Education from the Caribbean, Looking Beyond Electronic
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Chapter 6
Neli Maria Mengalli
This chapter presents the course School Management and Technologies, and what emerged from the discourses of subjects that make it possible to... Sample PDF
Collaboration and Networks: Basis for the Management Based on Knowledge in Education
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Chapter 7
Niki Lambropoulos, Panagiotis Kampylis, Sofia Papadimitriou, Marianna Vivitsou, Alexander Gkikas
Recent rapid technological advancement has influenced communication and information management. In addition, it has facilitated collaboration, an... Sample PDF
Hybrid Synergy for Virtual Knowledge Working
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Chapter 8
Chijioke J. Evoh
The purpose of this study is to examine the dynamics of collaborative partnership involving the private sector, government, and community groups in... Sample PDF
Collaborative Partnerships and the Application of ICTs in Secondary Education in South Africa
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Chapter 9
Sandra J. Chrystal
This chapter reports on two University of Southern California collaborations that partner business communication classes with not-for-profit... Sample PDF
Technology Leverages a Community University Collaboration
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Chapter 10
Tine Köhler, Michael Berry
Internationally distributed teams (IDTs) face challenges related to the team members’ diversity and geographic dispersion. However, research on IDTs... Sample PDF
Creating Synergy for Inter-Cultural Learning
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Chapter 11
Iris C. Fischlmayr
In this chapter, factors “really” influencing virtual multicultural team work shall be described and a training design used for students and company... Sample PDF
A Training Design for Behavioral Factors in Virtual Multicultural Teams
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Chapter 12
Jennifer V. Lock, Petrea Redmond
An international online collaborative learning experience was designed and implemented in preservice teacher education classes at the University of... Sample PDF
Working Collaboratively on the Digital Global Frontier
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Chapter 13
John D. Murphy
This chapter introduces Collaboration Engineering as an approach to developing more effective collaborative sessions for interdisciplinary teams.... Sample PDF
Engineering for Interdisciplinary Collaboration
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Chapter 14
Darren Lee Pullen
Communication technology, which is not constrained by geographical boundaries, has increasingly resulted in faster and more efficient ways to... Sample PDF
Back to Basics: Electronic Collaboration in the Education Sector
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Chapter 15
Elizabeth DePoy
This chapter presents and analyzes the scholarly basis and empirical work that resulted in the development of Techscape, the application of... Sample PDF
Designing University Techscapes
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Chapter 16
Kathy Lynch, Aleksej Heinze, Eljse Scott
The barriers to global collaboration of yesteryear include country boundaries and time zones. Today, however, in a world where communication is... Sample PDF
Scholarly Collaboration Across Time Zones
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Chapter 17
Christine Aikens Wolfe, Cheryl North-Coleman, Shari Wallis Williams, Denise Amos, Glorianne Bradshaw, Toby Emert
A group of National Writing Project teachers from around the nation attended a Professional Writing Retreat in Santa Fe in 2004 and continued their... Sample PDF
Stepping into the Role of Professional Writer
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Chapter 18
Garry G. Burnett
This chapter introduces Media Synchronicity Theory as a means to examine the influence of technology use on the relationship between a... Sample PDF
Collective Identity and Learning in a Virtual Team
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Chapter 19
Janet Salmons
Social constructivism is an established educational theory based on the principle that learners and teachers co-construct knowledge through social... Sample PDF
E-Social Constructivism and Collaborative E-Learning
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Chapter 20
Jeffrey Mok
Technological artifacts such as computers and mobile electronic devices have dramatically increased our learning interactions with machines. Coupled... Sample PDF
Social and Distributed Cognition in Collaborative Learning Contexts
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Chapter 21
Qing Li
Increasingly, educators in a range of venues and institutions (e.g., K-12 schools, post secondary institutions, training facilities) are being... Sample PDF
Modeling the Model for Distributed Learning
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Chapter 22
Kathryn Dixon
This chapter is the result of an investigation into the capacity of an electronic portfolio (e-folio) to promote reflection and collaboration in a... Sample PDF
Capacity of an Electronic Portfolio to Promote Professionalism, Collaboration and Accountability in Educational Leadership
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Chapter 23
Robert J. Redmon Jr.
Departmental e-mail reflection groups promise to help resolve two of the most pressing problems facing the teaching profession, finding time for... Sample PDF
E-Mail Reflection Groups as Collaborative Action Research
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Chapter 24
Janet L. Holland
This chapter reports on a mixed study dealing with the impact of integrating student peer mentor facilitators into online discussions in an effort... Sample PDF
Integrating Student Peer Mentoring Online
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Chapter 25
Rosemarie Reynolds, Michael T. Brannick
This study examined the effect of computer-based videoconferencing and text-based chat on mentoring relationships, and compared the findings to... Sample PDF
Outcomes of Computer Mentoring
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Chapter 26
Linda L. Larson, Paul Boyd-Batstone, Carole Cox
When teachers integrate online discussions into courses, they are faced with the challenge of deciding how to evaluate the postings. This chapter... Sample PDF
Rubric to Determine a Quality Online Discussion Posting
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Chapter 27
Andre L. Araujo
Recent advances in Web-based technologies along with investments in international outsourcing and offshore locations have unquestionably increased... Sample PDF
Instrumental and Social Influences on Adoption of Collaborative Technologies in Global Virtual Teams
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Chapter 28
Kenneth David Strang
Logically, it makes sense that organizations can be successful if their employees collaborate effectively, in a synergistic manner. Economically... Sample PDF
Collaborative Synergy and Leadership in E-Business
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Chapter 29
Gilliean Lee
Recent industry and business trends can be described as shorter life cycle, increased speed to market, customizability, and a wide variety (rather... Sample PDF
Overview on Information Systems and Tools for Collaborative Enterprise: Business Impacts and Managerial Issues
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Chapter 30
Apivut Chakuthip, Yvonne Brunetto, Rod Farr-Wharton, Sheryl Ramsay
This chapter uses the structural and relational dimension of Social Capital Theory as the lens for examining the factors affecting a Small and... Sample PDF
Trust, Social Networks and Electronic Commerce Adoption
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Chapter 31
Bolanle A. Olaniran
Trust and relational development represents a critical challenge in online collaboration groups. Often the problem is attributed to several factors... Sample PDF
A Proposition for Developing Trust and Relational Synergy in International e-Collaborative Groups
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Chapter 32
Peter Rittgen
The increasing complexity of products and services encourages more and more companies to form collaborative networks. As these companies are... Sample PDF
Supporting Inter-Business Collaboration via Contract Negotiation and Enactment
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Chapter 33
Larry R. Irons
This chapter reviews research in distributed work, relating it to the way organizations manage collaboration between home-based customer support... Sample PDF
The Limits of Anytime, Anywhere Customer Support
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Chapter 34
Tobias Müller-Prothmann
Collaboration is a constitutional element of any organization. To conceptualize the organization as an evolving system of interactions means to put... Sample PDF
KMmaster® for Collaboration and Knowledge Management
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Chapter 35
Steven Jeddeloh
This essay explores ultimate team performance as experienced by veteran airline pilots working together with a common purpose. The research... Sample PDF
Ultimate Performance in a Highly Functioning Team
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Chapter 36
Theresa Rich
This case study presents the work done to develop and execute the global vision for a 24/7 matrix organization within a major multinational... Sample PDF
Globalizing a Function within a Company
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Chapter 37
R. Todd Stephens
This chapter examines the elements of the new Web 2.0 technology base and reviews the lessons learned when implementing these technologies.... Sample PDF
Integrating Web 2.0 Technologies within the Enterprise
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Chapter 38
Mairi Stewart Kershaw
This chapter details one project, “Linking for a Change” (LFC), connecting schools and public/social sector providers of education for sustainable... Sample PDF
An Evaluation of ‘Linking for a Change'
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Chapter 39
Lynn Wilson
Environmental sustainability and global climate change issues intensify the need for collaborations between scientists and policymakers. Working in... Sample PDF
Collaboration in the Service of Knowledge Co-Creation for Environmental Outcomes, Science and Public Policy
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Chapter 40
Diego Liberati
In current economic and scientific scenarios, interactions and organization models tend to be more and more oriented to flexibility of... Sample PDF
Networked Experiments in Global E-Science
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Chapter 41
Jeroen Wolbers, Peter Groenewegen, Pieter Wagenaar
The implementation of GMS (Integrated Emergency room System) in the Netherlands has had a tumultuous record. A direct consequence of the... Sample PDF
ICT to Facilitate Emergency Response in The Netherlands
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Chapter 42
Elena Corradini
This chapter discusses a project for the implementation of a digital repository in a specific context, namely a small Italian town. The latest... Sample PDF
Enhancing Collective Memory with a Community Repository
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Chapter 43
Simon Milne
This chapter examines the development and associated outcomes of two government funded projects designed to support small tourism enterprise (STE)... Sample PDF
ICT and Tourism Enterprise Collaboration in Rural New Zealand
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Chapter 44
Rubye Braye, Eric Evans
This chapter originated as a reflection of the communication between U.S. facilitators and a Rwandan host as they ecollaborated in planning... Sample PDF
2007 Leadership and Human Resources Training in Rwanda
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Chapter 45
James L. Smith
This chapter reveals the common theme three rural Minnesota communities used in their collaboration efforts in to install and deliver broadband... Sample PDF
Collaboration through Municipal Motivators
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Chapter 46
Keith Baker
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is often seen as a vehicle for organizational reform. However, the established literature on... Sample PDF
Understanding the Dialectic Relationship between Intraand Inter-Organizational Cooperation
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Chapter 47
Rakesh Biswas, Jayanthy Maniam, Edwin Wen Huo Lee, Shashikiran Umakanth, Premalatha Gopal Das
This is an illustrative process description of a collaborative project utilizing a multidisciplinary approach. The requirement for collaboration... Sample PDF
Electronic Collaboration Toward Social Health Outcomes
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Chapter 48
Beverly-Jean Daniel, April Boyington Wall
This chapter presents a case study of the process of employing technology in a project involving the development and presentation of a unique... Sample PDF
Technology Enhanced Collaborative Leadership Development
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Chapter 49
Lisa Faithorn, Baruch S. Blumberg
Complex social, economic, political and environmental challenges as well as new research areas that cut across disciplinary, institutional and... Sample PDF
Lessons Learned from the NASA Astrobiology Institute
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Chapter 50
Lynn Wilson, Janet Salmons
The concluding chapter offers the editors’ insights into the book chapters’ combined contribution. Using the editors’ Collaborative Integration... Sample PDF
Online Collaborative Integration and Recommendations for Future Research
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About the Editors
About the Contributors