Promoting Paperless Portfolios As Assessment In Graduate Level TESOL Programs
Mary Avalos, Annis Shaver, University of Miami, United States
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), Waynesville, NC USA
Promoting Paperless Portfolios as Assessment in Graduate Level TESOL Programs Abstract The use of portfolios as a means of authentic assessment and evaluation has become increasingly popular and common in undergraduate as well as graduate programs (Tellez, 1996). Graduate programs often make use of portfolios in place of traditional comprehensive exams as a means of a final student evaluation. As technology becomes the norm in all areas of education, such evaluation portfolios are becoming paperless. A growing body of recent research indicates that paperless portfolios in graduate programs have distinct advantages over other conventional forms of assessment, such as the traditional portfolio or comprehensive exam (Jackson, 2000; Swain & Ring, 2000). Benefits of electronic portfolio assessment are demonstrated both in terms of authentic student evaluation and in students' ongoing use of technology in their practical and professional endeavors. This presentation describes an electronic portfolio evaluation being developed for teachers in a graduate level TESOL program. While the concept of the paperless portfolio is based in the literature, the design is innovative. The context for this qualitative study is a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Master's degree program at a large university in the United States, whose participants include beginning and veteran teachers. This presentation includes a description of the components of the electronic portfolio based on core course work, the ESL Standards for Pre-K-12 Students (TESOL, 1997), Preprofessional Competencies for Teachers of the Twenty-First Century (Florida Education Standards Commission, (2000), and National Board Certification Standards (National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, 2001). These components are created and assembled by the program participants during the year-long program of study for the Master's Degree. The skills acquired by participants will be beneficial in promoting technological expertise. An innovative twist to this portfolio is the integration of the components across the curriculum. Faculty members have collaborated to design portfolio components that integrate the objectives of several classes. Working together, they have also re-designed class projects in order to support these components. They have worked to ensure that each exercise will be a truly authentic and valuable assessment of TESOL pedagogical practices. One component, for example, is a case study that integrates language assessment with knowledge of linguistic subsystems, knowledge of second language acquisition, and knowledge of TESOL theories and practices. Other distinguishing features of this innovative electronic assessment include video clips of the students teaching, and student-designed internet-integrated curricula. To summarize, this presentation will showcase the innovative, integrated components of this TESOL Master's Degree electronic portfolio. This presentation exhibits the usefulness of the paperless portfolio as an authentic, visual future reference for prospective employers. Finally, this presentation displays how the electronic portfolio assessment augments students' technological expertise, preparing them for the challenges of teaching diverse students in an increasingly high-tech classroom.
Avalos, M. & Shaver, A. (2002). Promoting Paperless Portfolios As Assessment In Graduate Level TESOL Programs. In D. Willis, J. Price & N. Davis (Eds.), Proceedings of SITE 2002--Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 589-590). Nashville, Tennessee, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).