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'eLectrifying' ECE practicum: A pilot study on implementing ePortfolios for use in early childhood initial teacher education practicum assessment at Wintec


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Practicum ePortfolio Project Research Report.pdf

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A pilot project was conducted to implement the use of the Mahara ePortfolio system for practicum assessment and learning activities. Following the reconceptualisation and adaptation of the current assessment activities to the online system, data was collected from those involved. Students and lecturers were interviewed, students were given a questionnaire and formal and informal anecdotal evidence from students, lecturers and mentors was included.

The data was analysed in terms of five key research questions:
1. What are students’ perceptions of the ePortfolio system?
2. Does the use of Mahara strengthen the triadic relationship between student, mentor and visiting lecturer?
3. Do the ePortfolios make the assessment tasks authentic and relevant to students, industry and practicum experiences?
4. How are students using the technology?
5. How are lecturers using the supporting technology?

Findings indicate that students perceived the ePortfolio system itself in a mostly positive light, enabling flexibility and use of multimedia, but that lack of training hindered their confidence levels and made the assessment tasks ‘daunting’ and ‘time consuming’. Despite the issues surrounding training, students were able to explore, experiment and problem solve with different functions and tools, showing that the system is manageable for most students.

While improving student/lecturer/mentor relationships was a key reason for making the change to the online system, the pilot showed the system does have potential to do this but that more training for all three parties needs to happen in order for them to take full advantage of this feature. Mentors in particular struggled to use the system, which was due to a lack of training and possibly enthusiasm on the mentors’ behalf.

The adapted assessment tasks were seen by students as relevant to their practice and enabled them to use their own work for evidence and reflection.
The technology that lecturers used to support their interaction with the ePortfolio system were seen by the majority as inadequate and more consideration needs to be given to which ones to purchase for the next iteration of the project.

Recommendations for the next iteration of the project include more detailed training and more of a focus on including mentors.

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Uncontrolled Keywords: ePortfolio, Practicum, Mahara, Early Childhood Education, ECE
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1028 Education Research
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1139 Early childhood education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Schools > School of Education
Depositing User: Jeremy Briggs
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2013 03:36
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 03:14

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