22 SES 01 E, Assessment and Quality of Higher Education
“Good teaching” in higher education is a complex task. It builds on solid knowledge in the respective discipline. Moreover, faculty need to understand concepts and methods on teaching and learning in higher education. In recent years, the ability to reflect has been considered a key competency that teachers should acquire during training and implement in teaching throughout their professional lives (e.g., Hatton & Smith,1995). Thus, the concept of student’s centered teaching and learning and reflective practice is at the core of different faculty development programmes (Biggs & Tang, 2007).
For over 10 years, as part of the 10 ECTS programme delivered by the Centre for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education at Zürich University of Teacher Education to teachers of universities of applied sciences, participants have developed a reflective portfolio. In the portfolio they demonstrate a sound philosophy of teaching and learning as well as evidence competent teaching by compiling “artefacts” and reflections (Seldin, 1993; Bachmann, 2015).
This project aims at assessing the quality of reflection and the diversity of pedagogical views in the portfolios of the participants in a systematic way to see whether the programme goals are met. On this basis we aim to further develop effective interventions to foster a reflective attitude. Our paper will give insights in the results of the content analysis of portfolios as well as discuss the quality of the analysis and give first evidence on how to further develop the programme to foster reflexivity.
Towards a model for reflective practice analysis:
The theories that underlie reflective practices consider the teacher as a critical and reflective intellectual and understand teaching practice as a contextualized social and professional practice. The consideration of the reflective exercise in professional training can be traced from the ideas of Dewey (1989), Schön (1998), Guiroux (1991), Fosnot (1989), Zeichner (1997), Tardif (2005), Perrenoud (2010), Beauchamp (2015), etc., and in the university context from Brookfield (1987); Brockband and Mc Gill (2008), Barnett (1997) and Kreber (2015). They all agree that reflective practice is a systematic attitude with regards to analysis and assessment of the teachers’ practice to design new strategies that can positively influence their teaching.
Features of Reflection
There are four features of reflection that can variously be used to provide insight into teaching, which is a multi-faceted and complex activity (adapted from Diezmann and Watters, 2018).
The first feature is the components of reflection. Drawing on the work of Mezirow (1991), Kreber and Cranton (2000) proposed that reflection focuses on three components: content, process and premise.
The second feature is the scope of reflection. Watson and Wilcox’s (2000) framework for reflection developed for the process of reading can be adapted to help practitioners reflect on their experiences which can be a “quick reflection”, “zooming in”, or “zooming out”.
The third feature is the types of reflection. Van Manen (1991) proposes three levels of reflection, derived from Habermas (1971): technical, practical or critical reflection.
The final fourth feature is reflection through writing. Writing is advocated frequently as a means to stimulate reflection for example through narratives, journals and portfolios. Fund, Court & Kramarski (2002) confirm the gradual increase in complexity of reflection in written texts and the development of sophisticated cognitive-linguistic skills when writing argumentative texts (Jorba, Gómez & Prat, 2000): descriptive texts,personal texts,linking texts, and critical texts.
These four features of reflection should neither be considered as exhaustive nor discrete. However, they should provide some guidance into how to analyse portfolios and in return undertake systematic reflection about teaching.
The general objective of this study is twofold: 1) to better understand the concept of reflexivity, reflective practice and what constitutes a good reflective process in teaching practice, and 2) to better understand the reflective processes of our CAS participants as exposed in their portfolios with the overall aim to provide support to improve this process. More concretely, we pursue the following research objectives: • To adopt a concept of reflexivity and a model of reflexive practice to analyze portfolios of participants in a training. • To examine the components, scope and level of reflection taking place in portfolios. • To investigate the extent to which the feedback provided by instructors during the realization of the portfolio has been useful for addressing their objectives. • To make explicit a set of principles or guidelines on how to support CAS participants in the reflection process. The study examines the reflexive practices of academics’ portfolios utilizing methods of qualitative research to get a rich and deep insight into the phenomenon under study from the perspectives of the involved participants (Creswell, 2014). Research strategies will consist of participants’ portfolios analysis and individual and group semi-structured interviews. Specifically, five sources of data will be collected: 1. Semi-structured interviews conducted during the academic development program. 2. Group semi-structured interviews conducted at the end of the academic development program. 3. Participants’ productions: a reflexive portfolio. 4. Analysis of feedback provided to participants and rubrics used to assess the portfolios. Our overall population consists of the former participants of last academic development programme (Summer Promotion and Winter Promotion 2016 and of the special programme from the School of Engineering), as well as the current participants of the special programme from the School of Therapeutic Pedagogy and the Summer Promotion and Winter Promotion. Data analysis of interviews and documents will be carried out with MAXQDA.
Given the high level of heterogeneity of our participants (from junior to expert teachers, from lecturers to professors, from a broad range of disciplines and backgrounds), the approach of our analysis is concentrating on reflective processes across disciplines. One of the main expected outcomes is a reflective assessment tool. The developed model is being represented in form of a tool containing the aforementioned components, level and scope of reflectivity. The tool is used to analyse a sample of teachers’ portfolios. After a pilot testing, we apply the tool to a meaningful sample of academics’ work to assess the level of reflective practice, as well as to identify the difficulties or gaps that participants show in their reflective accounts (for example, in the planning of the implementation of the active learning method, in the description of the teaching philosophy, or in the transfer of learnt skills into new situations). Results of this assessment will improve the quality of support offered to participants during the process of developing their own portfolio. The presentation at the conference will yield more information on our model and tool and the results after the pilot implementation. Additionally, we expect to trigger fruitful discussions among the participants that contribute to the further development of the experience.
-Bachmann, H. (2015). Hochschuldidaktik mit Wirkung: Evidenzbasierte Hochschuldidaktik - eine Evaluationsstudie. Bielefeld: UVW. -Beauchamp, C. (2015). Reflection in teacher education: issues emerging from a review of current literature. Reflective Practice, 16(1), 123-141. doi:10.1080/14623943.2014.982525. -Biggs, J. & Tang, C. (2007). Teaching for quality learning at university. What the student does. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill. -Brockbank, A. & MacGill, I. (2008). El aprendizaje reflexivo en la educación superior. Madrid: Morata. -Brookfield, S. (1987). Developing critical thinkers. Milton Keynes: Open University Press. -Carr, W. & Kemmis, S. (1986). Becoming critical: Education, knowledge and action research. Philadelphia: Falmer Press. -Dewey, J. (1993). ¿Cómo pensamos? Barcelona: Paidós. -Diezmann, C.M. & Watters, J.J. (2018). Structuring Reflection as a Tool in Qualitative Evaluation. http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fss/events/hecu3/documents/diezmann_watters.doc. -Domingo, A. & Gómez Serés, V. (2013) La práctica reflexiva. Bases, modelos e instrumentos. Madrid: Narcea ediciones. -Felten, P. (2013). Principles of Good Practice in SoTL. Teaching and Learning Inquiry: The ISSOTL Journal 1(1), 121-125. Indiana University Press. -Fosnot, C. (1989). Enquiring Teachers, Enquiring Learners: A Constructivist Approach to Teaching. Nueva York: Teacher College Press. -Fund, Z. Court, D., & Kramarski, B. (2002). Construction and application of an evaluative tool to assess reflection in teacher-training courses. Assessment and evaluation in higher education, 27(6), 485-499. -Giroux, H.A. (1991). Los profesores como intelectuales: Hacia una pedagogía crítica del aprendizaje. Barcelona: Paidós. -Häcker, T. (2008). Vielfalt der Portfoliobegriffe – Annäherung an ein schwer fassbares Konzept. In I. Brunner, T. Häcker und F. Winter (Hrsg.), Das Handbuch Portfolioarbeit – Konzepte – Anregungen – Erfahrungen aus Schule und Lehrerbildung (S. 33–39). 2. Auf-lage. Seelze-Velber: Kallmeyer. -Hatton, N., & Smith, D. (1995). Reflection in teacher education: Towards definition and implementation. Teaching and teacher education, 11(1), 33-49. -Jorba, J., Gómez, I., y Prat, A. (2000). Hablar y escribir para aprender. Madrid: Síntesis. -Kuhn, D. (1993). Science as argument: Implications for teaching and learning scientific thinking. Science Education, 73, 319-337. -Perreneud, P. (2010). Desarrollar la práctica reflexiva en el oficio de enseñar. Barcelona: Graó. -Schön, D. (1998). El profesional reflexivo. Cómo piensan los profesionales cuando actúan. Barcelona: Paidós. -Seldin, P. (1993). Successful Use of Teaching Portfolios. Bolton: Anker Publishing. -Szczyrba, B. (Hrsg.). (2012). Das Lehrportfolio: Entwicklung, Dokumentation und Nachweis von Lehrkompetenz an Hochschulen (Vol. 14). LIT Verlag Münster.
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