Using e portfolios for the professional development of teachers - copy
Using e-portfolios for the professional development of teachers Julie Hughes [email_address] The University of Wolverhampton Head of Department, Post-Compulsory Education ESCalate Academic Consultant HEA National Teaching Fellow 2005
The PGCE blog lifeboat – HMS Hardwork. Using the weblog as an online journal became a big part of our growth as reflective writers. Using the blog tool within the e-portfolio we could share thoughts, feelings, fears, anxieties and excitement and because it was a shared space we could see the value in the perceptions, thoughts and beliefs of others in the group. It was a space where we could feel safe from ridicule and criticism. We would share war stories from the frontlines of teaching and by discussing and commenting on other’s journeys as teachers we were becoming reflective writers and practitioners without even knowing it! Karim-Akhtar et al. PGCE group 2005/6
I think what I’ve noticed most is that they sort of carry on without us more if you know what I mean – whereas traditional teaching and learning is very much teacher at the centre , all information coming out through me but what often is seen to happen when using PebblePad is that they can talk to each other, they answer each other’s questions, they take threads of each other’s arguments – really oblivious to the fact that I might be there or might not be there. And this for Teacher Education is fantastic because what we see is reflection – it’s reflection in practice, reflection on action in action and it’s going on all the time – it’s crucial. (Maggie, Teacher Educator)
E-portfolio teacher and teacher educator – FD, PGCE and M level with teaching mentors - 2004 to now. Started with 15 students (2004) now working across teams, partners, stakeholders and professional bodies. 2010 /11 - 1400 students and 55 staff this year. E-portfolio mentor – supporting individuals and teams at local, regional and national levels - across disciplines. E-portfolio learner – used e-p for appraisal and CPD –attained QTLS in 2009 with an e-portfolio application. E-portfolio embedding. Curriculum development – revalidation and pedagogy shift. E-portfolio researcher – using e-portfolio to mentor and data-gather- using e-portfolio as a writing frame with both students and colleagues. INCEPR III – 10 US and Canadian HEIs and 2 UK HEIs E-portfolio consultant JISC & ESCalate Intro to me
Structure of today’s presentation <ul><li>Explore some of the framing/theorising of the work – pedagogy and e-learning; </li></ul><ul><li>Consider e-portfolios as tool and genre; </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate how tools such as PebblePad, and dialogic pedagogies, can support critical reflective practice in prospective teachers. </li></ul>
Stance <ul><li>Feminist methodologies are uneasy with the “dominant mode of representation within the social sciences in general” (MacLure 2003, p.99) and the boundaries between the research/er/ed. </li></ul><ul><li>The feminist project of “freeing the ‘voice’ of the subject and the politics of emancipation which this carries” (ibid, p.100) has encouraged research which prioritises the vernacular, storytelling , narrative and journals and field methods such as “ conversational interview styles , and forms of analysis and interpretation that intentionally curtail the authority of the academic researcher, such as self-reflexivity, collaborative interpretation or co-writing ” (ibid, p.100). </li></ul><ul><li>Research page An example webfolio from 2006 </li></ul>
Framing <ul><li>We do not 'store' experience as data, like a computer: we 'story' it (Winter 1989, p.213). </li></ul><ul><li>Our lives are 'steeped in stories.' (Winter et al. 1999, p.21). </li></ul><ul><li>"What is the use of a book," thought Alice, "without pictures or conversation ?" (Carroll (1865), p.1). </li></ul><ul><li>Barrett (2005, p.19) suggests that reflection and “the metaphor of portfolio as story” offer, “a powerful environment in which students can collect and organize the artifacts that result from engaging in these challenging, real-life tasks, and write reflections through which students draw meaning” (Barrett 2005, p.21). </li></ul>
<ul><li>Iterative learning – what does it feel like to be composing a professional self? </li></ul><ul><li>It’s like emptying a big jigsaw and building it slowly in pieces. Finding pieces of work that fit together and building from there and then maybe trying a different area afterwards. There's no logical, symmetrical or linear route but emphasis upon drawing out the best points and building upon them. </li></ul><ul><li>Claire, PGCE student </li></ul><ul><li>A web we weave, spiralling outwards with attachments becoming part of the fabric. </li></ul><ul><li>Elaine, PGCE student </li></ul>
A New Approach to University Teaching? Rethinking teaching in 2001 <ul><li>(t)here has to be a common understanding of the nature of learning at the university level, an acceptance that teachers must become reflective practitioners, and an intention by university management to create the conditions that foster and reward this rather different approach. </li></ul><ul><li>Without a change in approach, new technology will not serve universities in meeting the challenge of mass higher education and lifelong learning for the knowledge society. The digital age will find its own ways of managing without us. </li></ul><ul><li>Laurillard (2002 p.22) developed from 2001 presentation </li></ul>
Culture shift? <ul><li>New digital technologies and multimedia are transforming how we teach and learn. They are transforming our classrooms from spaces of delivery to spaces of active inquiry and authorship . New digital media are empowering students to become researchers, oral historians, and cultural theorists in their own right. Whether constructing their own life stories or interpreting the life stories of others , the digital format transforms students’ capacity to synthesize, interpret, theorize, and create new cultural and historical knowledge. In this way, digital formats potentially democratise learning and produce critical subjects and authors (Weis et al . 2002, p.153). </li></ul>
In teaching and learning currently, we tend to use technology to support traditional modes of teaching...We scarcely have the infrastructure , the training , the habits , or the access to new technology to be optimising its use just yet. (Laurillard 2007) Are you using technology for telling (information push) or for talking?
E-learning theory – nascent discipline We must acknowledge that pedagogy needs to be ‘ re-done’ at the same time as it needs to be ‘ re-thought.’ (Beetham and Sharpe, 2007) Learners cannot therefore be treated as bundle of disparate needs: they are actors not factors, in the learning situation. (Beetham, 2007) We need ‘a dialogue between theory and practice, as well as between learning and teaching’ (Beetham & Sharpe 2007, p.3)
E-learning is often talked about as a ‘trojan mouse’, which teachers let into their practice without realizing that it will require them to rethink not just how they use the particular hardware or software, but all of what they do. (Sharpe and Oliver 2007) We are witnessing ‘ a new model of education , rather than a new model of learning’ as ‘our understanding of e-learning matures, so our appreciation of the importance of theory deepens…we see how learning can be socially situated in a way never previously possible’. (Mayes and de Freitas 2007, p.13) Give pedagogy back to the teachers . (Laurillard 2007)
Pedagogy shift - (e)-portfolio ways of being <ul><li>When teachers began developing portfolios over a decade ago, we knew what we were about – with process writing and collaborative pedagogies and, not least, portfolios – was pretty ambitious; it was, in fact, nothing short of changing the face of American education. (Yancey & Weiser 1997, p.1) </li></ul><ul><li>Baume (1999, 2003 p.4) conceptualised the developmental portfolio as, “a compost heap…something refined over time, enriched by addition, reduction and turning over .“ </li></ul><ul><li>Messy, non-linear – getting your hands dirty! </li></ul>
Rollercoaster – the pedagogical being is fragile...it is brittle, liable to shatter suddenly’ (Barnett, 2007 p.29) – the ‘teacher’ being.
Story and metaphor <ul><li>A story is an attempt to create order and security out of a chaotic world . But for our experiences to develop us - socially, psychologically and spiritually - our world must be made to appear strange. We, and our students, must be encouraged to examine our story making processes critically : to create and recreate fresh accounts of our lives from different perspectives, different points of view, and to elicit and listen to the responses of peers. </li></ul><ul><li>(Doyle 2004 in Bolton 2005, p.3) </li></ul>
A will to learn and pedagogy for uncertain times? (Barnett 2007) <ul><li>Students/( read teachers also) must come into a felt relationship with uncertainty in a space which supports a “will to learn” (Barnett 2007, p.1). </li></ul><ul><li>The main pedagogic task is </li></ul><ul><li>simple to state and near impossible to achieve. It is that of releasing students that they come into themselves, in relation to their curricula challenges. They become beings-for-themselves… They have their own will to learn . ” </li></ul><ul><li>Barnett’s vision (2007, p.7) for HE for the contemporary world inhabits a vocabulary “that includes terms such as excitement, passion, self-confidence, journey, travel, will, energy, being and becoming.” </li></ul>
What might a blended learning community look/feel like? What the Foundation Degree students say – and not surprisingly what the teachers say too.
Creative spaces <ul><li>The will to live in creative spaces and their associated temporal rhythms require positive courage; the courage to live in the future and take on tasks that have to be uncertain as to their outcomes (Barnett 2010, p.81). </li></ul><ul><li>The focus upon the journey (the process) rather than upon arrival (the end product) as Richardson and St. Pierre (2005, p.966-7) identify that, ‘in the story (or stories) of becoming, we have a good chance of deconstructing the underlying academic ideology – that being a something… is better than becoming’. </li></ul>
E-portfolios as sites for storytelling and creativity
What is an e-portfolio? Well it’s... <ul><li>A systematic and organized collection of evidence used by the teacher and the student to monitor the growth of the student's knowledge, skills, and attitudes. (Cole et al ., 2000) </li></ul><ul><li>What is produced when persons collect, select, reflectively interpret, and/or present their own evidence to support their assertions about what they have learned, know, and can or should do. (Cambridge & Cambridge 2003) </li></ul><ul><li>Emerging consensus (JISC 2008, p.6) </li></ul><ul><li>process and product – digital ringbinder and learning landscape - inherent contradiction? </li></ul><ul><li>a genre and a set of practices supported by a set of technologies. (Cambridge 2008) </li></ul>
Wider contexts <ul><li>Europe – EIfEL - European Institute for E-Learning </li></ul><ul><li>US – AEEBL -The Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning (est. 2009) </li></ul><ul><li>Australia – AeP . 2 – Australian ePortfolio Project </li></ul><ul><li>International examples – JISC infonet </li></ul>
<ul><li>E-portfolio-based learning (JISC 2008) </li></ul><ul><li>Behind any product, or presentation, lie rich and complex processes of planning, synthesising, sharing, discussing, reflecting, giving, receiving and responding to feedback. These processes – referred to here as ‘ e-portfolio-based learning ’ – are the focus of increasing attention, since the process of learning can be as important as the end product. </li></ul><ul><li>The use of ...e-portfolios... can promote more profound forms of learning which can improve understanding of the self and the curriculum , engage and motivate learners – individually and as part of a community of practice, personalise learning and promote reflective practice </li></ul><ul><li>(JISC 2008, p5) </li></ul>
JISC 2008, p.11 A dialogue-based pedagogy and model of/for reflective learning. Talking not telling.
Education as dialogue – reflexive learning conversations with self and others <ul><li>Dialogue is: </li></ul><ul><li>collective, reciprocal, supportive, cumulative and purposeful. </li></ul><ul><li>A meeting of minds and ideas as well as voices; and it is therefore mediated through text, internet and computer screen as well as through face-to-face interaction. </li></ul><ul><li>(Alexander 2006a p15 & b in Coffield, 2008). </li></ul><ul><li>Creating the conditions for dialogue – PGCE pre-course webfolio and blog </li></ul>
Professional development of teachers – reflective practice <ul><li>...through reflection, we understand curriculum pluralized: as lived, as delivered, as experienced: it is in the intersection of these curricula that identities are formed: students exert the most authority in that intersection since they are the ones who inhabit the place; learning more about that place is a goal of reflection used for educational purposes. </li></ul><ul><li>(Yancey 1998, p.202) </li></ul>
Our e-portfolio system, pebblePAD. What does it feel/look like? E-portfolio-based learning is a set of practices and processes that may occur in other spaces – this presentation’s focus is process not product.
Personalising – making it mine Being able to personalise the appearance has a huge impact on student ownership and engagement.
Not just an eportfolio? This is where the debate about what an e-portfolio is gets interesting - this system supports a set of practices which are very much about process, review, dialogue and reflection.
Being an eportfolio teacher . Using technology for teaching – but information push – still old wine in a new bottle? It’s vital to model and value the practices. I’m not asking students to do engage in something that I don’t do myself.
PGCE - Blogging from induction using prompts and writing frames – individual blogs – supporting talkback and dialogic addressivity (Lillis, 2001). Blog writing as warm up/rehearsal, writing patches , cumulative and developmental. This approach to writing as ‘everyday’ and habitual has been received very positively – but you will need to examine your own teaching and feedback practices.
Encouraging talkback to feedback – decentring feedback addressivity – making going backwards as a way to conceptualise development explicit. You need to consider your own online voices and literacies – what is appropriate in these spaces?
FD first writing/ PDP (personal development planning) activity in week 1 – a structured blog entry with prompts. Encouraging reflections on the personal and the professional. It’s vital to provide prompts and scaffolding for these PDP activities – reflection is hard to do and it needs nurturing and support to be meaningful and developmental.
Early action planning – Sam FD 2006 dreams of becoming a teacher – starting from her strengths Constant theme – spiky confidence profiles and the fear of the ‘academic’
Creating the conditions and expectations for dialogue – rapid, supportive tutor feedback – questioning for growth. Establish the netiquette, roles and expectations – this is not a synchronous space.
Action planning as assumption hunting (Brookfield) – Nadia PGCE 2006 Conceptualising PDP activity as a verb not a noun – being aware of deficit models and the potential for really great content.
Blogging as conversation and critique – deepening PDP reflections upon self as a learner. Rethinking blogs as critical incident sharing – situated learning.
Using individual blogs to share workplace successes. Integrative Learning (Cambridge 2007) FD bringing the outside in – not just the academic – Lucia’s lived curriculum – moving beyond the delivered and experienced. (Yancey 1998) Have you thought about how much extra time you’ll need in the shift to e-portfolio-based learning? Dialogue/talk-based ePDP needs time and effort – and a relationship. Blending = instead of NOT as well as?
Blogs referenced as powerful spaces to support learning and reflection. FD summative assignment submitted as eportfolio in 2006. Sowing seeds – where now for Amy? If students can do this in year 1, semester 1 – what else is possible?
Amy January 2009 Preparation for dissertation. E-portfolio as notebook, as study, as writing and organisation aid. Independent Study assignment Publication 2011
Breaking down boundaries – self as legitimate subject for reflection – powerful stories of becoming Developing sense of self as HE student through group working and presentations – making formative assessment explicitly developmental
<ul><li>I’ve learnt: </li></ul><ul><li>Start with the curriculum and your pedagogic values </li></ul><ul><li>Think about what you might want to use an e-portfolio system for – you might want it to simply be a digital repository or you might want it to be a site for rich personalised learning and multimedia expressions – it can be all things on this spectrum. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask yourself </li></ul><ul><li>How might the student experience be enhanced by using some of these tools and practices? </li></ul><ul><li>How manageable is this? </li></ul><ul><li>What support can I and my students access? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there whole team-buy in and management support for this approach? </li></ul><ul><li>Who can I ask in the e-portfolio community so that I don’t reinvent the wheel? </li></ul>
Eportfolio as iterative writing and learning tool – e-portfolio-based learning Using templates will scaffold and make the evidence explicit for the reader/assessor. Encourage personalisation and hypertext – but with an awareness of audience
Amy webfolio image Amy as learner, as beginning teacher, as part of an artist collective – ongoing into her CPD as part of her professional formation.
In the second semester we began to share our critical incidents via Pebble Pad. This has proved much more beneficial to me because it meant that I could compose myself , think about the incident and then tell my story. I found the distance to be liberating because I could subdue the feelings of inferiority I had when listening to my peers. I could write down my experiences in my own time, set at my own pace, rather than at the set time given in the face to face discussions. There is always a danger however that this can allow for reflections to be censoring tools, uncritical “expressions of what we feel comfortable with, or would like to be.” (Bolton, 2005, p. 2) Perhaps this is why I preferred the use of PebblePad because it meant that I could censor my feelings. I definitely was guilty of this to begin with, but as I have grown in confidence, I have understood the need to be as honest with myself as I can. Yet I am aware that this is still a narrative which I have created with an audience in mind. Amy PGCE student
Transformative potential? Blending the PDP – digitising f2f activities. Creativity supported and encouraged. Eportfolio as the link to support integrative and iterative learning. Archive and collation focus – a PDP pool to draw on. An e-portfolio way of learning and being – LaGuardia Community College Collect, select, reflect, connect. Maggie it’s reflection in practice, reflection on action in action and it’s going on all the time ...
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