A study of secondary teachers' implementation of an electronic portfolio initiative
Anna Marie Viggiano, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, United States
University of Hawai'i at Manoa . Awarded
This qualitative case study examined implementation of the ePortfolio, developed by the Hawai'i Department of Education as a system to store formative and summative assessment supporting standards-based education. The focus of the study examined factors increasing teacher willingness, confidence and knowledge in implementation of electronic portfolios. The study also examined the professional development necessary to increase teacher confidence and knowledge of the pedagogy involved in their use. Research methodology combined questionnaires, observations, and interviews to document four secondary teachers' implementation of the ePortfolio. Additional questionnaires, interviews and observations with another small sample of teachers and principals, were collected to support the case study.
This study revealed teachers are more likely to implement electronic portfolios if they receive training in the technology, are given adequate support, and have available computers for students to use. Teachers valued the ePortfolio for use with students but were not using the ePortfolio as an assessment tool either to inform instruction or increase student achievement; therefore, professional development needed to go beyond technology to include pedagogy, including reflection and assessment, to fully realize the potential of the ePortfolio. Even when teachers and principals believe facilitating the ePortfolio is part of the teacher's job, the time and resources required can overwhelm teachers and cause them to hesitate in the implementation of electronic portfolios.
Teachers studied and questionnaires received indicate that the ePortfolio will continue to be implemented because of the need for a Personal Transition Plan for each graduating senior by 2010.
Research recommends that the ePortfolio can reach its full potential through teacher feedback to improve implementation. Schools can continue to work in isolation with varying degrees of success, or the state can give support. The state needs to have a process in place, such as focus group meetings, to receive suggestions and continue to upgrade the database to meet consumer needs. The goal of the Hawai'i Department of Education should be to increase the ePortfolio capability to demonstrate student achievement and college and/or work readiness.
Viggiano, A.M. A study of secondary teachers' implementation of an electronic portfolio initiative. Ph.D. thesis, University of Hawai'i at Manoa.
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