Faculty Teaching Beliefs, Eportfolios, and Web 2.0 at the Crossroads

Faculty Teaching Beliefs, Eportfolios, and Web 2.0 at the Crossroads

Gary Brown (Portland State University, USA), YoonJung Cho (Oklahoma State University, USA) and Ashley Ater-Kranov (ABET, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0143-7.ch013

Abstract

The advent of open knowledge and open source and the ubiquity of the phenomenon identified as Web 2.0, as evidenced by the phenomenal growth of Facebook, Google, and hundreds of other open and social Internet applications, have ramifications for education. At the same time, educators have been slow to understand that it is how a technology is implemented, not the technology itself, that most influences learning. This article examines how ePortfolios are being and will be used, depending in large measure on the teaching beliefs that guide their implementation and the quality of learning that follows.
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Introduction

The advent of open knowledge and open source and the ubiquity of the phenomenon identified as Web 2.0, as evidenced by the phenomenal growth of Facebook, Google, and hundreds of other open and social Internet applications, have ramifications for education. Many educators are speculating on the implications of Web 2.0 for the future of education (Grush, 2008) while others argue that it is the future (Hargadon, 2008). Whether the impact is imminent or upon us, as Batson (2008) observes, “designing anything in Web 2.0 requires new thinking” (2008, p. 2).

At the same time, educators have been slow to understand that it is how we implement a technology, not the technology itself, that most influences learning. Yet research that focuses on discreet implementation variables rather than the technologies themselves are only incrementally gaining purchase in the literature and perhaps even less so in practice. It is in this context of technology, in the thinking that guides teaching practice, that the study reported here was conducted. In particular, and in collaboration with the Inter/National Coalition for Electronic Portfolio Research, the study reported here is focused on ePortfolios as a nexus application—nexus in that ePortfolios can be used as either an application for traditional or teacher-centered assessment management, or they can be used as a Web 2.0 learner or learning-centered generative, social, and integrating application. How ePortfolios are being and will be used depends in large measure on the teaching beliefs that guide their implementation and the quality of learning that follows. It is that range of application and the variation in the understanding of ePortfolios that make it a valuable lens for examining the relationship between faculty teaching beliefs, teaching practice, and educational innovations.

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