Electronic student portfolios: documenting learning in grade 2/3

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de Maere-Hipken, Karen
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 2002
Capturing, documenting, assessing, and highlighting the dynamic nature of learning has challenged educators for decades. Student portfolios offer flexible and versatile options in meeting these goals. Rapid advances in technology have permitted and indeed, enticed educators in the exploration of electronic portfolios. Technology such as computers, scanners, digital cameras, CD writers, and the World Wide Web have expanded the possibilities in documenting student growth and learning. My qualitative study focuses on using electronic portfolios in my grade 2/3 class at Blackie School. Four students were selected to participate, with equal representation from males, females, grade 2, and grade 3. The participants compiled electronic portfolios to document their learning and growth throughout the school's second reporting period. The creation of the electronic portfolios took place over a six-week period in March and April 2001. Data was collected from my journal, observations, student journals, student surveys, and parent surveys. From the data, two general conclusions emerged. Firstly, an electronic showcase portfolio or an electronic component within the traditional paper portfolio, may be more viable options for Division I (K-3) students. The time and challenges encountered in digitizing the volumes of paper samples necessary for an electronic process portfolio were enormous. Secondly, a robust computer network including a fileserver and peripherals are essential, as is technological support and training for educators. The computer system must be able to support the daily demands of the general school population in addition to supporting massive multimedia files created by electronic portfolios. Indeed, technology can be incorporated into student portfolios, offering new avenues in documenting student learning and growth. However, the extent and role of technology must be examined. This study revealed that, given the current setting at Blackie School, creating completely electronic student process portfolios for a full class of Division I students would not be a viable alternative at this time. This study documents our experiences with creating electronic student portfolios in grade 2/3. I hope that it will be of some assistance to other Division I educators in exploring and determining the role of technology in documenting student learning.
xi, 81 leaves ; 29 cm. --
Education, Primary -- Alberta , Portfolios in education