10 SES 02 B, Supporting Teacher Reflection through New Technologies
The use of digital tools to enhance the quality of education has become increasingly important in Europe and elsewhere. In the case of Ireland, there is a real commitment to exploring ways in which digital tools such as ePortfolios can enhance teaching and learning across the continuum of education (Brown et.al., 2017). At a policy level in Ireland, the Digital Strategy for Schools (Department of Education, 2015) outlines a range of engagements with ePortfolios including the provision of continuous professional development (CPD) through various sectoral support services such as Junior Cycle for Teachers (JCT) and the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST). Online professional learning opportunities to enhance teachers, understanding of ePortfolios are also available to registered teachers in Ireland through teachercpd.ie. Research on the use of mobile technology in initial teacher education is limited. However, in today’s rapidly changing academic environment, increasing numbers of institutions are realising the potential of ePortfolios as a tool for students to construct and manage their own learning experience. A study by Jisc (2008) suggests that ePortfolios provide the link between learners’ social and personal experiences and their academic and work-related aspirations. According to Jenson & Treuer (2014) the e-portfolio is a tool for documenting and managing one’s own learning over a lifetime in ways that foster deep and continuous learning. Thanaraj (2012) noted the lack of research on student perceptions of ePortfolios and considered it important that the student perspective of ePortfolios is investigated. This project seeks to include the student teacher voice in the creation of an ePortfolio framework that will encourage and enable providers of initial teacher education programmes to incorporate ePortfolios into their programmes/modules, to empower students in their own learning, to allow for more authentic forms of assessment and to foster a student-centred approach to learning.
This mixed-methods case study will involve student teachers and their co-operating teachers from partner schools. Ethical approval was granted by the Research Ethics Committee at UCD. A purposive sample will be selected from an open call to students who have a willing co-operating (host) teacher and interest in developing resources, tutorial videos and ePortfolios using the Microsoft ecosystem. Participants’ learning logs will be analysed and comparison made between traditional and multi-media modes of recording reflections. Questionnaires regarding digital competences will be designed using the Digital Learning Framework (DES, 2017) and administered before and after training and development in the Microsoft ecosystem. Focus groups will be conducted using the value creation story framework (Wenger et. al., 2011).
According to Sahlberg (2012) ‘ITE is probably the single most important factor in having a well-performing public education system’ (p. 5). Teacher education programmes in top-performing countries emphasise the significance of preparing teachers in structured, appropriate and supportive clinical settings (OECD, 2011). Aware of the need to provide for effective school-university partnerships, the Teaching Council (2011) in Ireland has called for the development of ‘new and innovative school placement models… developed using a partnership approach, whereby HEIs and schools actively collaborate in the organisation of the school placement’ (p.15). It is expected that this research will glean insights into how learning and pedagogical knowledge development of student teachers can be supported by the development of ePortfolios while on school placement in collaboration with cooperating (host) teachers. Donnelly and O’Keefe (2013) recommend facilitating peer support between students to encourage the formation of communities of ePortfolio students who can discuss ePortfolio-related issues together. One of the expected outcomes of this evaluation is to provide a framework for this kind of collaboration to emerge by providing a mechanism for engaging student teachers in meaningful and collaborative reflective practice (Harford and MacRuairc, 2008). In addition it is also expected that this research will not only inform the implementation of ePortfolios as an integral part of the Professional Master of Education programme in the School of Education UCD, but it will inform national and international policy on the implementation of ePortfolios in Initial Teacher Education.
Brown, M., McNamara, G., O’Hara, J., O’Brien, S., Poole, P., and Burns, D. 2017. Evaluation of the PDST ePortfolio initiative: Formative Assessment using ePortfolios. Dublin: (EQI) Centre for Evaluation, Quality and Inspection. Burden, K., & Hopkins, P. (2016). Barriers and challenges facing pre-service teachers use of mobile technologies for teaching and learning. International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning (IJMBL), 8(2), 1-20. doi:10.4018/IJMBL.2016040101. DES (2015). Digital Strategy for Schools 2015 to 2020. Government of Ireland, Dublin. DES (2017). The Digital Learning Framework for Post-Primary Schools. Government of Ireland, Dublin. Donnelly, R. & O’Keefe, M. (2013) ‘Exploration of ePortfolios for Adding Value and Deepening Student Learning in Contemporary Higher Education’, International Journal of ePortfolio, 3(1), pp.1-11. Retrieved from http://www.theijep.com/pdf/ijep92.pdf Harford, J and MacRuairc, G. (2008) 'Engaging Student Teachers in Meaningful Reflective Practice'. Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Journal of Teaching and Studies, vol. 24, issue 7, 1884–1892. Leggatt, S. (2016). Overcoming the barriers of distance: Using mobile technology to facilitate moderation and best practice in initial teacher training. Journal of further and Higher Education, 40(3), 432-446. doi:10.1080/0309877X.2014.984597. Jenson, J. and Treuer, P. (2014) ‘Defining the E-Portfolio: What It Is and Why It Matters.’, Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 46(2), pp.50-57. Jisc (2008) Effective Practice with e-Portfolios, Supporting 21st century learning. Retrieved from http://www.webarchive.org.uk/wayback/archive/20140615090512/ Marshal, K. and MacNair, V. 2005. e-portfolios: reflection, collaboration and sustainability in early teacher education [Online]. Available from: http://bit.do/mmc2005 [Accessed 15 July 2017]. Sahlberg, P.(2012). Report of the International Review Panel on the Structure of Initial Teacher Education Provision in Ireland: Government of Ireland, Dublin. Thanaraj, A. (2012) ‘Student engagement with e-portfolios: purpose, benefits and problems.’, Practitioner Research in Higher Education, 6(2), pp.24-40. Retrieved from http://18.104.22.168/ojs/index.php/prhe/article/viewFile/128/216 Teaching Council (2011). Initial Teacher Education: Criteria and Guidelines for Programme Providers. Wenger, E., Trayner, B., and de Laat, M. (2011) Promoting and assessing value creation in communities and networks: a conceptual framework. Rapport 18, Ruud de Moor Centrum, Open University of the Netherlands.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
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Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
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