E-Portfolios and Learning Management Systems: A New Blend for Learning in Teacher Education

E-Portfolios and Learning Management Systems: A New Blend for Learning in Teacher Education

Angelia Reid-Griffin (University of North Carolina at Wilmington, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9438-3.ch014

Abstract

The chapter explores the way technologies in higher education are providing teacher education candidates a new view of learning. An explanation of how e-portfolios are becoming more common tools for students to reflect on their practices and showcase course artifacts for future applications. The chapter highlights selected learning management systems (LMS), Blackboard and Canvas, and describes how their e-portfolio features aids the reflective practices of students in a teacher education program. Examples of e-portfolio artifacts are provided using these systems. Discussion on how they compare with other e-portfolio resources, Digication and Taskstream, is included to help guide programs to the best tool for their programs. By exploring how these e-portfolio technologies are currently being used in a teacher education course, this chapter provides insight to viewing teacher development for other teacher education courses and programs through more consistent and intentional use of e-portfolios.
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Introduction

In teacher education and higher education institutions, the requirement of candidates submitting a performance or personal e-portfolios also called electronic portfolios has become commonplace. Wilhelm, Puckett, Beisser, Wishart, Merideth and Sivakumaran (2006), stated in their research, teacher preparation programs have used portfolios to support the growth and development of beginning teacher educators. The standards based reform, that is present in many of today’s teacher education programs indicate the perfect fit that the electronic portfolio has in determining the professional growth of teacher education candidates as they complete these programs. Finding an e-portfolio platform that is best-suited for these programs remains a challenge for many teacher education programs and teacher educators as they seek the most user-friendly tool for producing high-quality e-Portfolio artifacts.

The use of e-portfolios has evolved over the past decade in terms of its use in higher education, specifically teacher education programs. Early in its development e-portfolio were simply used as electronic storage mechanisms for students work samples, images and projects. The e-portfolio product shared by the students were assessed for achievement of learning outcomes in a course or program. Now with the growing number of e-portfolio platforms and commercial programs available, students are not only able to create standard personal e-portfolios for their courses and programs but also career products that allow for personal branding of their work samples, learning experiences and career experiences. Many e-portfolio tools have added a layer to assist with more systematic evaluation of e-portfolios which is helpful for higher education institutions. The purpose of this chapter is to examine e-portfolio platforms that are being used in higher education, specifically teacher education programs to link students’ teaching and learning, assessment and personal development. Highlighting the new role of e-portfolios in higher education. They are no longer just for storing work samples and reflections but now serve as an active learning tool (Wang & Wang, 2012).

This chapter will also explore how two learning management system platforms, Blackboard and Canvas have expanded their e-portfolio features to allow teacher education and other higher education students to produce high quality e-portfolio artifacts and personally branded career portfolio. The chapter will also examine Digication and Taskstream, commercial e-portfolio platforms that also have been adopted in many higher education institutions to improve assessment of learning objectives of courses and programs as well as increase retention (Eynon, Gambino, & Török, 2014; Jones & Leverenz, 2017). Learning management systems, Blackboard and Canvas have joined other commercial e-portfolio platforms in providing users a step-by-step approach to creating organizational and personal portfolios. Higher education programs, specifically teacher education programs, now have more options for students to demonstrate their achievement of program learning outcomes while offering a holistic approach to learning. The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) has promoted the use of e-portfolios in higher education and indicate its abilities to “allow faculty and other educational professionals to help students organize their learning; preserve the variety of forms in which their learning occurs; and reflect upon their learning. They also enable the assessment of level of mastery for a broad set of Essential Learning Outcomes (ELOs)” (Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2018, “ePortfolios,” para. 1).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Technology: Any device or tool or application that is used to complete a task, retrieve information, or create a product.

Web-Based Portfolio: Another term to describe an electronic portfolio that utilizes the web (internet-based resources) for work samples and personal artifacts.

edTPA: The education teacher preparation assessment instrument that has been adopted by many teacher education/teacher preparation programs; submissions are generally through an electronic portfolio system.

E-Portfolio or Electronic Portfolio: An electronic collection of personal works or artifacts to reflect one’s learning and preparation for career.

CAEP or Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation: The accrediting organization for teacher educator preparation in the United States; provides the standards for all teacher education programs to provide equity and excellence for P-12 learners.

Teacher Education: A training program or preparation offered at a college or university for persons wishing to teach in K-12 schools.

LMS or Learning Management System: A software application used by numerous educational institutions to store, operate, report and deliver online courses, trainings, workshops or professional development.

Personal Artifact: A collection of students’ instructional work designed and developed in a course.

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