You are here:

Reflection as the Foundation for E-Portfolios

, , The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, United States

AACE Award

Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, in Nashville, Tennessee, USA ISBN 978-1-880094-44-0 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA


Reflection as the Foundation for E-Portfolios Barbara B. Levin and Jean S. Camp University of North Carolina at Greensboro Reflection is a highly valued attribute of effective teachers (Henderson, 1996; Huberman, 1993; LaBoskey, 1995; Lyons, 1998; Ross, Johnson & Smith, 1992; Zeichner & Liston, 1987). Without the disposition to reflect on their performance, teachers are less likely to improve their practice or to be able to see the links between theory and practice. While some research states that only 20% of teachers are naturally reflective (LaBoskey, 1994), we believe that this habit of mind is so important that we must make an effort to teach all prospective teachers how to reflect. One way we do this is to use a model of reflection with our preservice teachers as they develop their teaching/technology portfolios. The state of North Carolina requires initially-licensed teachers to prepare a performance-based (PBL) product, or teaching portfolio, in order to obtain a professional teaching license. In an effort to prepare our preservice teachers so that they will be successful in developing their the PBL product, we begin teaching them a process for reflective writing using The Reflection Cycle (see Figure 1) during their teacher education program. Although we provide many opportunities for reflection, including response journals, electronic discussions, self-evaluations, and peer coaching, we also teach reflective writing while our teacher candidates are gathering evidence for their teaching/technology portfolios. This kind of thinking and writing is required in several components of our curriculum, but one of the places we focus on reflective thinking is in the preparation of technology portfolios that are required for initial licensure of every teacher in North Carolina. While some teacher education programs at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) require separate technology portfolios, most require teaching portfolios with technology integrated into them. Technology and teaching portfolios emphasize reflection and require descriptive, analytical, and transformative thinking about the evidence presented in these portfolios. Although our portfolios are organized around standards, including the ISTE NETS-T and the INTASC standards, our prospective teachers are asked to use The Reflection Cycle to justify how their artifacts meet each standard. The overall goal of this focus on reflection is to foster understanding of how technology will impact teaching and student learning. Recently we have begun the process of moving from print to electronic portfolios that integrate teaching and technology standards, following models developed by Helen Barrett of the University of Alaska. However, our version of e-portfolios continues to emphasize reflection and use of The Reflection Cycle. In fact, we spend as much time helping students learn to reflect on how they can use technology to promote student learning as we spend on refining their own technology competencies as professional educators. As our preservice teachers begin collecting evidence to demonstrate mastery of the NETS-T and INTASC standards they simultaneously learn and practice their reflective thinking and writing skills. The evaluation of their e-portfolios is based mainly on their success in using the Reflection Cycle to (a) describe each entry, (b) analyze why and how their evidence meets a particular standard, (c) appraise their evidence against their effectiveness for teaching and learning as well as against the goals, values, and philosophy of the standards, and (d) write transformative statements about how the evidence applies to their teaching practice and how they will do things differently in the future. We believe that the quality of our teaching/technology portfolios has improved over the five years that we have required them. Such improvement seems to be commensurate with the focus we have placed on integrating the reflective cycle into our professional courses. By the time our prospective teachers graduate, reflecting seems to be a natural process and, hopefully, is one habit of mind that they will continue not only throughout their induction period, but their teaching career. As we evaluate this year's portfolios we will continue to refine our efforts to support prospective teachers as they learn to reflect about their practice and about their students' learning. We feel that they have made progress during the past five years, but we will continue to strive to help our students develop into reflective practitioners. In our presentation we will describe the context and goals for focusing our preservice teachers on the reflective process as we help them develop teaching/technology portfolios. We will provide examples of refelctions from a model e-portfolio that follows The Reflection Cycle and explain how each part of this model can be used to teach reflective writing. We will also describe how our reflective teaching/technology portfolios are organized to meet all the NETS-T and INTASC standards. The audience will be able to view additional examples of reflective writing about sample artifacts embedded in a model e-portfolio: Figure 1. The Reflection Cycle Source: NC Department of Public Instruction


Levin, B. & Camp, J. (2002). Reflection as the Foundation for E-Portfolios. In D. Willis, J. Price & N. Davis (Eds.), Proceedings of SITE 2002--Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 572-576). Nashville, Tennessee, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved April 20, 2019 from .


View References & Citations Map


These references have been extracted automatically and may have some errors. If you see a mistake in the references above, please contact

View References & Citations Map

Cited By

  1. The electronic portfolio, a tool for reflection in action and the transformation of the student teacher.

    Nellie Zambrana, Lizzette Velázquez & Cynthia Lucena, University of Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico

    Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2003 (2003) pp. 3674–3679

These links are based on references which have been extracted automatically and may have some errors. If you see a mistake, please contact