E-Portfolios as a Tool to Assess and Promote Student Teachers' Learning and Development

Project Number
OER 06/11 ZMM

Project Duration
November 2011 - March 2016


The use of electronic portfolios or e-portfolios in teacher education has attracted considerable attention in recent years. The purpose of this study is to explore and understand the role of e-portfolios as a tool in assessing and promoting student teachers’ learning and growth. It focuses specifically on the areas of student teachers’ understanding and awareness of standards and competencies needed for the 21st century, their levels of reflection on development and achievement, and the construction of teacher identities. This research is timely since the use of e-portfolios in initial teacher education programmes is one of the central thrusts of the TE21 model at NIE. The introduction of e-portfolios is a move in a new direction and approach to the assessment and validation of graduates’ achievement of the Graduand Teacher Competencies (GTCs), and is aimed at developing the reflective teacher. The assessment focuses on the development of student teachers from the start of their candidature in NIE through to the end of the practicum. By specifying the standards and competencies, e-portfolios support the concept of learning as a continuum and continues with life-long professional education and experience. They clarify where the schools need to take over in continuing to build these competencies as teachers progress through their careers and articulate what further professional development teachers need after graduating from NIE. Thus, e-portfolios provide an effective venue to track and assess student teacher outcomes and support student teachers’ growth and development by aligning the GTCs with the professional standards set by MOE. The implementation of e-portfolios in teacher education programs often have multiple goals. In our context, we identified three major areas wherein e-portfolios show the potential value for student teacher learning and development: (a) documenting and enhancing understanding and awareness of competencies and standards; (b) developing reflective thinking; and (c) helping student teachers construct a professional identity. In this study, we will examine both the product of e-portfolios and the processes of its construction from a Vygotskian perspective. The findings will be valuable in informing future institutions in the large-scale implementation of e-portfolios in teacher education.

Research Themes

Funding Source

Related Links
ReEd Vol 3 (2011): e-Portfolio Makes Learning Meaningful

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