Electronic Portfolios

Electronic Portfolios

Katherine C. Wieseman (Western State College of Colorado, USA)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 7
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch122
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Abstract

A view in teacher preparation increasingly reported in the literature is that electronic portfolios can present an educator’s achievement, competence, and/or professional growth, and serve as a tool promoting teacher reflection (Amber & Czech, 2002; Barrett, 2003; Geier, 2002; Milman, 1999; Mullen, 2002; Walker, 2000; Wright, Stallworth & Ray, 2002). As a result, more frequently are they being used as an assessment or evaluation tool to document and measure teacher quality in areas such as technological literacy, competence according to teaching standards, and/or eligibility for initial teacher licensure or credential (Bartlett, 2002; Borko, Michalec, Timmons, & Siddle, 1997; Lehman, O’Brien, & Seybold, 2002; Perry, Smith, Woods, McConney, 1998; Ring & Foti, 2003; Wieseman & Wenzlaff, 2004). Reasons cited in the literature for its increasing popularity in the field of teacher preparation (e.g., Bartlett, 2002; Geier, 2002; Mullen, 2002) include: a belief that learning to teach is a dynamic and learner-centered process; a belief that knowledge is socially constructed, situated, and dynamic; growing interest in performance-based assessment to show teacher quality; a need for concrete demonstrations of teaching qualifications to compete for teaching positions; accountability for teacher quality; and teacher education initiatives, including competition for U.S. Department of Education Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers for Technology (PT3) grants.
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An Overview Of Electronic Portfolios

A view in teacher preparation increasingly reported in the literature is that electronic portfolios can present an educator’s achievement, competence, and/or professional growth, and serve as a tool promoting teacher reflection (Amber & Czech, 2002; Barrett, 2003; Geier, 2002; Milman, 1999; Mullen, 2002; Walker, 2000; Wright, Stallworth & Ray, 2002). As a result, more frequently are they being used as an assessment or evaluation tool to document and measure teacher quality in areas such as technological literacy, competence according to teaching standards, and/or eligibility for initial teacher licensure or credential (Bartlett, 2002; Borko, Michalec, Timmons, & Siddle, 1997; Lehman, O’Brien, & Seybold, 2002; Perry, Smith, Woods, McConney, 1998; Ring & Foti, 2003; Wieseman & Wenzlaff, 2004). Reasons cited in the literature for its increasing popularity in the field of teacher preparation (e.g., Bartlett, 2002; Geier, 2002; Mullen, 2002) include: a belief that learning to teach is a dynamic and learner-centered process; a belief that knowledge is socially constructed, situated, and dynamic; growing interest in performance-based assessment to show teacher quality; a need for concrete demonstrations of teaching qualifications to compete for teaching positions; accountability for teacher quality; and teacher education initiatives, including competition for U.S. Department of Education Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers for Technology (PT3) grants.

The electronic portfolio has its origins in print media portfolios and performance-based work samples in K-16 schooling (Aschermann, 1999; Bartlett, 2002, 2003; Wright et al., 2002). In general, print and electronic portfolios are thought to: (1) provide a richer picture of performance than can be ascertained from traditional, objective forms of assessment; (2) help shift ownership and responsibility of learning to the learner; (3) foster an inquiry approach; and (4) permit assessment of the process, not just the product of learning (Barrett, 1999a; Graves & Sunstein, 1992; Wright et al., 2002). In the field of teacher education, a portfolio has been defined as a well-constructed, purposeful, and individualized collection of artifacts that captures the complexities of learning and teaching, and demonstrates the creator’s abilities, progress, achievement, and effort of what he/she can do (Barrett, 1999a; McKinney, 1998; Reis & Villaume, 2002; Walker, 2000). Wolf (1999) delineated three types of portfolios based on their purpose: learning portfolios aimed to emphasize self-assessment and ownership; assessment portfolios oriented toward evaluation of teacher performance for certification, licensure, or professional advancement; and employment portfolios designed to present qualifications and suitability for a professional position. Using purpose is also a way to classify electronic portfolios, which are stored and published in electronic formats. However, in the case of electronic portfolios, one is likely to find multiple storage formats used for learning and employment portfolios. Online databases and Web-based formats are used for assessment portfolios, which often are more standardized in their structure and organization.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Teacher Reflection: Thinking about professional work and self-evaluation done by an individual preparing for a teaching career or an educator.

Initial Teacher Licensure or Teacher Credential: State certification document of an individual who has qualified for the first time to enter public school teaching, according to the state’s requirements.

Performance-Based Assessment: Assessment (1) that requires a learner to integrate knowledge, and demonstrate understanding and/or skills through self-created products or action, and (2) in which the learner is clearly informed at the onset of the expectations for process and product quality (in the format of a task description and scoring rubric).

Online Database: Online assessment management system.

Electronic Work Sample: A performance-based work sample collected, saved, and stored in electronic format.

Electronic Portfolio: A portfolio collected, saved, and stored in electronic format.

Performance-Based Work Sample: A portfolio that uses a state’s teacher education standards as referents for the creator’s selection and use of artifacts.

Artifact: Evidence in a portfolio; a product that demonstrates an aspect of performance or a professional work that has been selected by the creator of a portfolio.

Portfolio: A well-constructed, purposeful. and individualized collection of artifacts which captures the complexities of learning and teaching, and demonstrates the creator’s abilities, progress, achievement, and effort of what he/she can do.

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