Evaluating the E-portfolio as a Pedagogical Tool for Initial Teacher Education

Project Number
OER 04/11 CK

Project Duration
November 2011 - September 2015

Status
Completed

Abstract
At the NIE, student teachers are equipped with an understanding of general and domain-related pedagogies, as well as the relevant classroom management and teaching skills. The taught program is followed by Practicum experience, whereby participants acquire the understanding and skills necessary for teaching effectively in varied classroom situations. In spite of the rigour of the initial training program, some of student teachers experience difficulties in establishing the theory-practice link. Furthermore, there is no means of capturing the extent to which student teachers are able to integrate their learning from the various courses offered, and of gathering evidence for the attainment of their teaching competencies. Finally, there was a need to provide a common channel of communication and sharing for both staff and students within the institution. To address these issues, the use of e-portfolio was explored. From an educational perspective, the e-portfolio allows learners to combine diverse forms of digital outputs into a systematic, transferable and web-ready format. It supports the constructivist approach to learning by encouraging a learner-centered rather than a course-centered view of learning through the provision of a platform for learners to record, share and reflect upon their goals, their work and achievements, thus taking greater ownership of their own learning. Thus, the e-portfolio has the advantage of providing a holistic view of the user’s development through time since it can be reframed and presented in different ways to fulfill different objectives. In addition, the e-portfolio enables social interaction between users and viewers, allowing comments and feedback from peers, parents, administrators and employers. A Free Open Source platform provided by Google Site, is currently being prepared for the PGDE program. The participating student teachers will use the platform for the entire duration of their one-year program. They will be guided on the use of the e-portfolio to chart their learning and practice of teaching. The study aims to investigate (i) the appropriateness of the platform used, (ii) the effectiveness of the eportfolio as a pedagogical device and, (iii) student teachers’ motivation in doing e-portfolio. The findings of the study will inform users, administrators and service providers of some of the key requisites of an effective eportfolio platform.

Funding Source
NIE

Related Projects