CJLT 34.3 Abrami

Encouraging self-regulated learning through electronic portfolios

Philip C. Abrami, C. Anne Wade, Vanitha Pillay, Ofra Aslan, Eva M. Bures, Caitlin Bentley

Authors

Philip C. Abrami is with the Centre for the Study of Learning & Performance, Concordia University, Canada. Correspondence regarding this article can be sent to: abrami@education.concordia.ca

C. Anne Wade, Vanitha Pillay, Ofra Aslan, Eva M. Bures, and Caitlin Bentley, are also with the Centre for the Study of Learning & Performance, Concordia University, Canada.

Abstract: At the Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance (CSLP) at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, we have developed the Electronic Portfolio Encouraging Active Reflective Learning Software (ePEARL) to promote student self-regulation and enhance student core competencies. This paper summarizes the literature on electronic portfolios (EPs), describes ePEARL, and documents our research findings to date including analyses of teacher and student reactions. Participants in this study were 62 school teachers, mostly from elementary schools, and their students (approximately 1200) from seven urban and rural English school boards across Quebec. Student and teacher post-test questionnaire responses suggested that the use of portfolios, and the learning processes they support, were positively viewed and learned well enough to be emerging skills among students. Contrariwise, teachers commented that teaching SRL strategies was new and thus required a change in teaching strategies, strategies that they were not yet accustomed to. Focus groups also revealed the challenges of using portfolios to teach children to self-regulate. And finally, the analysis of student portfolios evidenced only small amounts of student work or high levels of student self-regulation.

Résumé : Au Centre d’études sur l’apprentissage et la performance (CEAP) de l’Université Concordia à Montréal, Québec, nous avons conçu le logiciel de portfolio électronique réflexif pour l’apprentissage des élèves (PERLE) afin d’encourager l’apprentissage autorégulé chez les élèves et d’accroître leurs compétences de base. Cet article présente un résumé de la documentation sur les portfolios électroniques, une description de PERLE, ainsi que nos résultats de recherche documentés à ce jour, y compris des analyses des réponses des enseignants et des élèves. Les participants à cette étude se composaient de 62 enseignants, la plupart dans des écoles primaires, et de leurs élèves (environ 1200) provenant de sept commissions scolaires anglophones urbaines et rurales du Québec. Les réponses des élèves et des enseignants au posttest suggèrent que les portfolios et les processus d’apprentissage qu’ils soutiennent ont été perçus de manière positive et qu’ils ont été suffisamment assimilés pour se traduire par de nouvelles compétences chez les élèves. En revanche, les enseignants ont mentionné qu’enseigner les stratégies d’apprentissage autorégulé était nouveau et que cela exigeait de modifier leurs stratégies d’enseignement pour en adopter d’autres auxquelles ils n’étaient pas encore habitués. Les groupes de discussion ont également fait ressortir les défis liés à l’utilisation des portfolios dans le but d’apprendre l’autorégulation aux enfants. Enfin, l’analyse des portfolios des élèves a révélé que seulement une petite portion des travaux d’élèves démontrait des niveaux élevés d’autorégulation.

Encouraging self-regulated learning through electronic portfolios

If we are to revolutionize and dramatically enhance education, it will require engaging students and getting them to think meaningfully and strategically about learning, especially the learning of core competencies such as literacy skills. Students must become active learners capable of dealing with complex problems in innovative and imaginative ways. Student-centered learning is an approach towards achieving this vision and technology can play an important role as a powerful tool in promoting educational change. But how? Among the most interesting and exciting new developments are electronic portfolios, not only because they act as multimedia containers for students and teachers but also because they support student self-regulation and core educational competencies, especially literacy skills.

In Canada, like many industrialized countries, more than 20% of primary-school students have to repeat a grade before going on to secondary school and 70% of those – drop out of high school (Statistics Canada, 2001). Furthermore, rates of functional literacy among Canadian sixteen year olds on the PISA/OECD (2003) measures shows approximately 25% of our youth are functionally illiterate. In a 2007 report on the state of learning in Canada, the Canadian Council of Learning elaborated on the importance of literacy skills and the challenges of dramatically improving our nation’s literacy skills.

Currently, school is too often a place that disengages learners, which fails to encourage honest self-assessment, and where learning and evaluation are not meaningful acts of improvement but detached and punitive symbols of failure. One way to meet this challenge appears to lie in the use of electronic portfolios (EPs) that can be designed to support the process of students’ self-regulated learning and the improvement of reading writing, and other literacy skills. Self-regulation refers to a set of behaviours that are used to guide, monitor and evaluate the success of one’s own learning. Students who are self-regulated are meta-cognitively, motivationally, and behaviourally active participants in their own learning process (Zimmerman, 2000, 1989) and thus succeed in academic learning (Rogers & Swan, 2004).

According to Abrami and Barrett (2005), an electronic portfolio (EP) is a digital container capable of storing visual and auditory content including text, images, video and sound. EPs may also be learning tools not only because they organize content but also because they are designed to support a variety of pedagogical processes and assessment purposes. Historically speaking, EPs are the Information Age’s version of the artist’s portfolio in the sense that they not only summarize an artist’s creative achievements but also illustrate the process of reaching those achievements. An artist, architect, or engineer who displays her portfolio of work allows the viewer to form a direct impression of that work without having to rely on the judgments of others. EPs tell a story both literally and figuratively by keeping a temporal and structural record of events.

EPs have three broad purposes: process, showcase, and assessment. EPs may be designed as process portfolios supporting how users learn through embedded structures and strategies. A process EP can be defined as a purposeful collection of student work that tells the story of a student’s effort, progress and/or achievement in one or more areas (Arter & Spandel, 1992; MacIsaac & Jackson, 1994). Process portfolios are personal learning management tools. They are meant to encourage individual improvement, personal growth and development, and a commitment to life-long learning. The authors are especially interested in the use of EPs as process portfolios to support learning.

Process EPs are gaining in popularity for multiple reasons. They provide multimedia display and assessment possibilities for school and work contexts allowing the use of a variety of tools to demonstrate and develop understanding—especially advantageous for at-risk children whose competencies may be better reflected through these authentic tasks. At the same time, by engaging these learners, their deficiencies in core competencies may be overcome. Process EPs may scaffold attempts at knowledge construction by supporting reflection, refinement, conferencing and other processes of self-regulation, important skills for lifelong learning and learning how to learn. They are superior for cataloguing and organizing learning materials, better illustrating the process of learner development. And they provide remote access encouraging anywhere, anytime learning and easier input from peers, parents, and educators, letting them provide feedback through a single electronic container.

According to Wade, Abrami and Sclater (2005; see also Abrami et al., 2006), EPs are linked to a student’s ability to self-regulate their learning and to enhance their meaningful learning of important educational skills and abilities, especially literacy skills. A main feature of self-regulated learning is metacognition. Metacognition refers to the awareness, knowledge and control of cognition. The three processes that make up meta-cognitive self-regulation are planning, monitoring, and regulating. Other aspects of self-regulated learning include time-management, regulating one’s own physical and social environment, and the ability to control one’s effort and attention. Proponents of socio-cognitive models emphasize that to develop effective self-regulated learning strategies, “students need to be involved in complex meaningful tasks, choosing the products and processes that will be evaluated, modifying tasks and assessment criteria to attain an optimal challenge, obtaining support from peers, and evaluating their own work” (Perry, 1998, p.716).

When students use portfolios, they assume more responsibility for their learning, better understand their strengths and limitations, and learn to set goals (Hillyer & Ley, 1996). One study with pre-service teachers noted that using EPs helped them “engage in meta-cognitive activities while developing their philosophies” (Avramidou & Zembal-Saul, 2003, p. 437). Azevedo (2005) also noted in his research on using hypermedia as a meta-cognitive tool for enhancing student learning that, “our findings provide the empirical basis for the design of technology-based learning environments as meta-cognitive tools to foster students’ learning of conceptually challenging science topics” (p. 206). Zellers and Mudrey (2007) also suggest that their study on EPs in a community college setting indicates that “electronic portfolios can be an effective tool for increasing student metacognition” (p. 428). In short, educators believe that portfolios allow students to think critically, and become active, independent and self-regulated learners (Blackburn & Hakel, 2006; Mills-Courts & Amiran, 1991; Perry, 1998; Riedeinger 2006; Vucko, 2003).

Zimmerman and Tsikalas’ (2005) review of computer-based learning environments (CBLEs) designed to support self-regulated learning (SRL) provides a framework for development of a tool to support the three cyclical phases of SRL: forethought, performance and self-reflection. While the various processes involved in self-regulation have been discussed, the lessons of other partially SRL-supportive CBLEs has enabled us to plan for effective SRL-supportive design of ePEARL.

The three cyclical phases of self-regulation include both meta-cognitive and motivational components, providing the foundation for better sustainability of learning and skill development.

  • The forethought phase includes task analysis (goal setting and strategic planning) and self-motivation beliefs (self-efficacy, outcome expectations, intrinsic interest/value and goal orientation). Tasks involved in the forethought phase are: set outcome goals, set process goals, document goal values, plan strategies, and set up learning log.
  • The next phase, the performance phase, includes self-control (self-instruction, imagery, attention focusing and task strategies) and self-observation (self-recording and self-experimentation). Tasks involved in the performance phase are: creation of work, and learning log entries.
  • Finally, the self-reflection phase includes self-judgment (self-evaluation and casual attribution) and self-reaction (self-satisfaction/affect and adaptive-defensive responses). Tasks involved in the self-reflection phase are: reflection on work, reflection on process, and awareness of new goal opportunities.

Unfortunately, evidence to date on the impacts of EPs on learning and achievement and other outcomes is sparse. Carney (2005) states:

Electronic portfolios show promise for enhancing learning, but if we fail to critically evaluate our uses of the device, we may find that they will go the way of Papert’s Logo turtles and become yet another educational fad—an innovation poorly understood and often implemented in ways contrary to its theoretical underpinnings. (p. 4)

Zeichner and Wray (2001) concluded similarly: “Despite the current popularity of teaching portfolios, there have been very few systematic studies of the nature and consequences of their use for either assessment or development purposes” (p. 615). Most recently, Barrett (2007) noted in her study of an electronic portfolio software being used in schools in the United States that, “The empirical research is very limited and focuses more on the development of teaching portfolios than on K-12 student portfolios” (p. 436). Therefore, our research is designed to study the impact of EPs on teaching and learning processes, especially those related to self-regulation.

About ePEARL

The CSLP, in collaboration with our partner LEARN, has developed web-based, student-centered EP software entitled ePEARL that is designed to support the above-mentioned phases of self-regulation (see Figure 1). Developed in PHP using a MySQL database, three levels of ePEARL have been designed for use in early elementary (Level 1), late elementary (Level 2) and secondary schools (Level 3). Features available include: Personalizing the portfolio; setting general or task-specific goals; creating new work via a text editor and/or recorder or linking to work created elsewhere; reflecting on work; sharing work; obtaining feedback from teachers, peers and parents; editing work and saving revisions as a new version; and sending work to a presentation portfolio for archiving and exporting.

ePearl's model: Planning Reflecting

Figure1. ePEARL’S model

ePEARL’s Home page (Figure 2) provides the opportunity for a student to personalize their portfolio environment, set their general goals for a term or year, and obtain peer, parent and teacher feedback on their entire portfolio.

Level 2 homepage

level 2 homepage

Figure 2. ePEARL: Level 2 home page

The Work Space screen guides students through the creation process, allowing enough flexibility for truly creative work and just enough scaffolding to keep students on the right track. The Work Space offers a text editor and an audio recorder for the creation of work. Readings, music pieces, or oral presentations may be recorded. The software also offers the ability to attach work completed using other software, so it can accommodate any kind of digital work a student creates, including scanned images or photographs of paper-based work.

Before work is created, students are encouraged to set their goals for this work, and may attach learning logs, evaluation rubrics and study plans to keep track of their learning process as it takes place. After the creation of work, sharing with peers or teachers is supported so that students may solicit feedback on drafts of work. Students may also reflect on their performance and strategies, and to use these to adjust their goals for the next work. The Work Space template is similar to that of the Portfolio entries so that information is easily transferred from one environment to the other.

The Portfolio environment (Figure 3) is where students collect their selected artifacts—created either from the Work Space or from outside of the tool.

figure 3

Figure 3. ePEARL’s portfolio environment

The selection process allows students to reflect on why they feel a work belongs in their portfolio, its relationship to other work, and on their own advancements. Self-regulation is also supported when students create new goals for future work or modify learning behaviour based on their reflections on a particular piece they have collected. Sharing with peers and parents is encouraged and teachers have automatic access to view all of their students' ePEARLs.

In addition, there are both prose and multimedia support materials for teachers and students to develop a better understanding of the what, why and how of the process of self-regulation using the learning process supported by ePEARL. Embedded within ePEARL, the professional development just-in-time materials support the demonstration and modeling of student-centred skills and instruction, explanation of those skills, and elaboration of skills through additional support material.

Phase I Research Project

Over the past six years, the CSLP has worked with school boards to help integrate use of ePEARL (and previous versions of the software entitled e-portfolio). Building on this experience, in 2006–2007, the CSLP was involved in a collaborative, province-wide project involving LEARN, and school board administrators/teachers from English school boards.

Research goals

Phase I of this project addresses the question whether the use of ePEARL enhances both teaching strategies, via targeted professional development, and learning processes via an environment that supports self-regulated learning. Phase I is a precursor to Phase II, a larger, more rigorous, and definitive exploration of ePEARL’s efficacy in promoting students’ literacy achievement and self-regulation.

Methodology

The methodology describes the conduct of Phase I of the research including the development of tools and techniques for assessment.

Participants

Participants in this study were 62 school teachers, mostly from elementary schools, and their students (approximately 1200) from seven urban and rural English school boards across Quebec. All teachers received one day of training on the use of ePEARL from CSLP staff and follow-up training and in-class observations during the school year. At the conclusion of the school year, participating teachers were invited to a “Show and Share” day where they were encouraged to present their experiences using ePEARL. Informed consent was obtained from students’ parents following Canada’s Tri-Council Policy on the ethical treatment of research participants.

Design

The design of Phase I was a one-group pretest-posttest design. Teacher questionnaire data were collected in Fall, 2006 prior to training and prior to the use of ePEARL in classrooms. Teacher questionnaire data were collected again in Spring, 2007 after ePEARL was used for (some part of) the school year. Student questionnaires plus teacher and student focus groups data were collected in Spring, 2007 only. A sample of student portfolios (N = 66) were also analysed.

Instrumentation

Abrami, Aslan and Nicolaidu (2007) developed the Teaching and Learning Strategies Questionnaire (TLSQ) as a way for teachers to describe their use of self-regulation strategies and portfolio processes in their classrooms. This instrument was developed based on Zimmerman’s (2000) research and an analysis of recent literature on self-regulated learning processes. The TLSQ contains several open-ended and 73 close-ended Likert scale questions, the latter divided into four sections: students’ learning strategies, approach to teaching, portfolio use, and technology experience. This instrument was piloted in the field during this phase of the research and several open-ended questions were added for use in Phase II of this study. Abrami and Aslan (2007) also developed the Student Learning Strategies Questionnaire (SLSQ) as a way to triangulate the data from the TLSQ and further validate the occurrence of self-regulation processes and portfolio use in classroom. The SLSQ contains several open-ended questions and 19 close-ended Likert scale questions designed to match the learning strategies questions asked of teachers. Current versions of the TLSQ and SLSQ can be found in Appendices A and B, respectively.

Teacher focus groups were conducted that prompted participants to discuss their experiences with: learning goals; learning strategies; motivation; collaboration and feedback; work space and portfolio environments; support and professional development; and technical difficulties. A scoring rubric (Bures Abrami & Bentley, 2007) was also developed and pilot tested for analysing students’ portfolios. It contains six major sections: degree of ePEARL use; writing ability; comprehension ability; self-regulation strategies; presentation skills; and student progress. Key facets of the scoring rubric can be found in Appendix C.

Results and Discussion

At the beginning of the school year, we asked participating teachers to use ePEARL about three hours per week or about 12 hours per month with their students. Overall, teachers (N = 21) reported use which was less than we hoped: 30% reported using ePEARL 1-4 hours per month; 50% reported using it 5-8 hours; 5% reported using it 9-12 hours; and only 10% reported using it 13 hours or more.

We statistically analysed pretest to posttest differences on the TLSQ. We found a few positive effects (two-tailed t-test, df = 16, p < .10) which included: students identifying strategies for achieving their goals; students documenting the processes they used when working on tasks; teaching students to identify strategies for achieving their goals; students using portfolios to demonstrate their strengths; students using portfolios to identify areas needing improvement. These are fewer positive differences than we hoped for but the results may be limited by our small sample size and low statistical power, even though we set a liberal alpha value for significance testing.

We also examined the posttest mean scores on both the TLSQ and SLSQ for student learning strategies. The mean scores for both teachers and students on all the items were positive, ranging from 3.19 to 4.29 for teachers (N = 21) and 3.65 to 4.32 for students (N = 150). Setting goals, developing strategies for learning, using feedback, and so on were described as part of the routine in those classrooms in which we collected data.

The focus group data provided us with some rich qualitative information that added greater dimension to the quantitative results. Analysis of the focus groups revealed the need for teachers to introduce processes involved in self-regulated learning and challenges inherent in teaching students learning goals, learning strategies, and collaboration and feedback. For example, not all teachers reported that students were aware of their learning strategies. In addition, teachers felt that learning goals were especially difficult to teach to very young students. Some teachers reported that students wanted to receive and provide feedback mostly with their friends instead of other classmates. Otherwise, teachers generally valued the self-regulating processes explicit in ePEARL while students were very positive toward certain aspects of the tool, especially the customization features. Finally, teachers discussed their need for extensive support from school staff and administrators.

In level 1, teachers mainly felt that learning goals were difficult to teach and to introduce to very young students. Conceptually, students were not always ready for this. Teachers at this level used brainstorming to share or create a list of learning goals. Although student reflection was also a challenge, teachers saw the value in having students reflect, noting that to have students think about what they did is sometimes difficult, but it opens the door for learning about themselves. As previously mentioned, not all teachers understood ‘reflection’ in the same way, thus many teachers expressed the need to get all teachers at the same level, in terms of these crucial concepts.

In level 2, teachers used different techniques to teach learning goals: modelling from teachers and more capable peers; reviewing goals and strategies that have worked in the past; using a rubric to show students what they need to do; conferencing one-on-one with the teacher to help the child develop a better picture of themselves as a learner, as students have difficulty being self-reflective at a young age; and using concrete examples to illustrate objectives in specific subject areas (e.g., a French teacher in level 2 identified “improving in French” as a common goal for his students).

When discussing learning strategies, it was perceived that many only teach strategy monitoring implicitly. This means that teachers notify students when they are getting off task, but do not explicitly teach them how to monitor their strategies in terms of what they are doing well or doing poorly. In some cases teachers do not provide the opportunity for their students to evaluate their own work beyond revising drafts. Some teachers reported that their students were aware of their learning strategies, yet others disagreed. Also, they expressed that students developed avoidant strategies when it came to providing feedback and comments. They told a joke or laughed instead of facing the truth. Everyone agreed that this is a process that needs to occur consistently over time, as students need continuity in exercising these skills if they are to become proficient at using them naturally and with ease.

In terms of teaching students to link their reflections to their goals, teachers would encourage students to look back at their goals while reflecting along with reviewing their reflections in previous work. In line with the notion of “competencies” within the Quebec Education Plan, teachers reported that they could see their teaching had an impact on their students’ goal-setting abilities if their skills carried over to ‘real life’ experiences. Teachers also reported that students enjoyed using the software, especially the customization feature. They loved the personal aspect of ePEARL as this allowed them to identify with the tool, and take ownership over their portfolio. The use of technology was often seen as a reward.

Analysis of student portfolios (N = 66) did not reveal widespread or extensive use of the tool. The majority of the portfolio pieces were reading responses, stories and poems, language arts presentations, social science or science projects, and music and art projects. Teachers tended to use ePEARL either to collect work or to teach self-regulated learning but not both. Furthermore, there was limited presence of self-regulated learning strategies, such as goal setting, monitoring progress, self-reflection and teacher feedback. However, on occasion, there were teachers who implemented EPs extensively; in these cases, teachers used ePEARL in both creative and practical ways. As a result, student portfolios in the classroom of these teachers were often richer, and demonstrated that students can learn self-regulation skills in order to improve their work and become better learners.

The TLSQ and SLSQ appear to be useful instruments for measuring self-regulation and portfolio processes in classrooms, especially when used on combination with other measures (e.g., teacher and student interviews, portfolio scoring rubrics). In Phase II, we plan to factor analyses the SLSQ and further validate the instruments. We are also considering re-wording items to make them more readily comprehensible for young students.

The portfolio scoring rubric continues to evolve. The advantages of authentic assessment also create challenges to accuracy and truthfulness. Without a common theme and without a similar time and effort expenditure on task, especially within the portfolio environment, judgments about both literacy development and self-regulatory processes are difficult to achieve confidently and consistently. Analyses that are too fine-grained may be especially problematic.

In addition to the research conducted, we developed pedagogical support materials in order to provide teachers with resources that would help them more effectively use the self-regulated learning tools embedded in ePEARL. These resources included job aids on customizing the portfolio and creating a new artifact, rubric templates, and instructional videos that can be viewed individually or with the entire class. The instructional videos are approximately two minutes long and each highlights one aspect of the SRL process: planning, doing, or reflecting. To support work in the first phase of the SRL cycle, videos were created on the following topics: overview of the planning phase, creating general goals, creating task goals, and identifying strategies for goals. For the “doing” phase, there is one overview video that encourages students to follow their plan by referring to their task goals and strategies as they complete an assignment. For the final phase, “reflecting,” there are four videos: overview of the reflection phase, reflecting on works in progress, reflecting on completed works, and providing feedback. We also embedded help throughout the software that provides examples and prompt questions to assist anyone having difficulty understanding the objectives of the steps in ePEARL that they are working on. These tools were designed to enhance teaching strategies and provide ongoing professional development for teachers using ePEARL.

Conclusion

Using only student and teacher posttest questionnaire responses as a guide, one might conclude that the use of EPs, and the learning processes they support, were positively viewed and learned well enough to be emerging skills among students. But other evidence suggests otherwise. There were few statistically significant changes from pretest to posttest after teachers used ePEARL for a year. In addition, most teachers used ePEARL infrequently, with the majority of teachers limiting class use to less than the 12 hours per month we had asked for. The focus groups findings suggested that access to technology might have been a contributing factor. In addition, teachers commented that teaching SRL strategies was new and thus required a change in teaching strategies, strategies that they were not yet accustomed to. The focus groups also revealed the challenges of using portfolios to teach children to self-regulate. And finally, the analysis of student portfolios did not reveal portfolios that evidenced a large amount of student work or high levels of student self-regulation.

We made large efforts to engage teachers and other educators in the design of ePEARL and we are convinced that it is not a technically difficult tool to use. Nevertheless, we know that access to technology prevents some teachers and their students from using it more extensively. The pedagogical principles of self-regulation that underlie the tool are a different matter from technical issues. It is clear we need to go further in providing pedagogical training and support to teachers and their students. In this regard, multimedia support materials have been developed and will be integrated throughout ePEARL to provide ‘just-in-time’ support for both teachers and students.

Beginning in Fall, 2007, we conducted a longitudinal investigation (Phase II) using a non-equivalent pretest-posttest quasi-experimental design focusing on changes in student self-regulation and literacy skills improvement. Preliminary results are promising (Meyer, Abrami & Wade, in preparation).

While teachers and their students see great promise in the use of EPs for learning, there is much that remains to be done to insure this promise is realized. To teach the skills of self-regulation within an EP environment requires commitment, purpose and strategies on the part of teachers and students. It requires both “will” and “skill”. The effective use of EPs isn’t just about the destination but also about the journey—for teachers, students, and researchers. Stay tuned.

References

Abrami, P. C., & Aslan, O. (2007). The Student Learning Strategies Questionnaire. Montreal, QC: Centre for the Study of Learning & Performance, Concordia University.

Abrami, P. C., Aslan, O., & Nicolaidu, I. (2007). The Teaching and Learning Strategies Questionnaire. Montreal, QC: Centre for the Study of Learning & Performance, Concordia University.

Abrami, P. C., & Barrett, H. (2005). Directions for research and development on electronic portfolios. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 31(3), 1-15.

Abrami, P. C., Savage, R., Wade, A., Hipps, G., & Lopez, M. (2006). Using technology to assist children learning to read and write. In T. Willoughby & E. Wood (Eds.) Children’s Learning in a Digital World. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing.

Arter, J. A., & Spandel, V. (1992). Using portfolios of student work in instruction & assessment. Educational Measurement: Issues & Practice, 11(1), 36-44.

Avramidou, L., & Zembal-Saul, C. (2003). Exploring the influence of web-based portfolio development on learning to teach elementary science. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education 11(3), 415-442.

Azevedo, R. (2005) Using hypermedia as a meta-cognitive tool for enhancing student learning? The role of self-regulated learning. Educational Psychologist 40(4), 199-209.

Barrett, H. (2007) Researching electronic portfolios and learner engagement: The REFLECT Initiative. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy 50(6), 436-449.

Blackburn, J., & Hakel, M. (2006) Enhancing self-regulation and goal orientation with ePortfolios. In A. Jafari & C. Kaufman (Eds.) Handbook of Research on ePortfolios (pp.83-89). Hershey, PA: Idea Group Reference.

Bures, E., Abrami, P. C., & Bentley, C. (2007). Assessing electronic portfolios: Now that we have them, what can we do with them? In Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE) (Ed.), E-Learn 2007: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, & Higher Education [Compact disc]. Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

Canadian Council on Learning (2007). State of learning in Canada: No time for complacency. Report on Learning in Canada. Ottawa, Ontario.

Carney, J. (2005). What kind of electronic portfolio research do we need? Paper presented at the SITE 2conference. Available: http://it.wce.wwu.edu/ carney/Presentations/presentations.html

Hillyer, J., & Ley, T. C. (1996). Portfolios and second graders’ self-assessments of their development as writers. Reading Improvement, 133, 148-159.

MacIsaac, D., & Jackson, L. (1994). Assessment processes and outcomes: Portfolio construction. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education. 62, 63-72.

Meyer, E., Abrami, P. C., & Wade, A. (in preparation). The impact of electronic portfolios on student writing and self-regulation. Montreal, QC: Centre for the Study of Learning & Performance, Concordia University.

Mills-Courts K., & Amiran M. R. (1991). Metacognition and the use of portfolios. In P. Belanoff and M. Dickson (Eds.) Portfolio: Process and product. Portsmouth: Boynton/Cook Publishers Heinemann.

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Riedinger, B. (2006) Mining for meaning: Teaching students how to reflect. In A. Jafari & C. Kaufman (Eds.) Handbook of Research on ePortfolios (pp.90-101). Hershey, PA.: Idea Group Reference.

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Vucko, S. (2003) Going beyond I like it in a portfolio context: Scaffolding the development of six Grade Two learner’s reflections. Unpublished Master’s Thesis. Department of Education, Concordia University, Montreal, QC.

Wade, A., Abrami, P. C., & Sclater, J. (2005). An electronic portfolio for learning. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology. 31(3), 33-50.

Zeichner, K., & Wray, S., (2001). The teacher portfolio in U.S. teacher education programs: What we know and what we need to know. Teaching and Teacher Education, 17, 613-621.

Zellers, M., & Mudrey, R. (2007) Electronic portfolios and metacognition: A phenomenological examination of the implementation of e-Portfolios from the instructors’ perspective. International Journal of Instructional Media 34(4), 419-430.

Zimmerman, B, J. (1989). A social cognitive view of self-regulated academic learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 81, 329-339

Zimmerman, B. J. (2000). Attaining self-regulation: a social cognitive perspective. In M. Boekaerts & P. R. Pintrich (Eds.). Handbook of self-regulation (pp. 13–39). New York: Academic Press.

Zimmerman, B. J., & Tsikalas, K. E. (2005). Can computer-based learning environments (CBLEs) be used as self-regulatory tools to enhance learning? Educational Psychologist, 40(4), 267-271.

 

Appendix A: The Teaching and Learning Strategies Questionnaire (TLSQ) (Abrami, P. C., Aslan, O., & Nicolaidou, I., 2007)

Section I: Personal Information

  • Name:_______________________________________________
  • Gender: M__ F___
  • School: ______________________________________________
  • Years of teaching experience: ___________________
  • Teaching position: Grade_____ Cycle_____ Specialization______

INSTRUCTIONS

This questionnaire has five sections and consists of five printed pages. Please √ the most appropriate response when answering the questions.

Section II: Students’ Learning Strategies

A. Strongly disagree B. Disagree C. Undecided D. Agree E. Strongly agree

 

Section III: Approach to Teaching

A. Strongly disagree B. Disagree C. Undecided D. Agree E. Strongly agree

approach to teaching survey tool

 

Section IV: Portfolio Use

In my class, over a month, students work with portfolios:

0 hours_____ 1-4 hours______ 5-8 hours_____ 9-12 hours_____ 13 hours or more_____

If you answered 0 hours, please move to section V (p.5).

Years of experience with paper based portfolios_____

Years of experience with computer based portfolios (digital) _____

Please name the digital portfolio you use_____________

Section IV: Portfolio Use (cont.)

A. Strongly disagree B. Disagree C. Undecided D. Agree E. Strongly agree

Portfolio use survey

Section VI: ePEARL Use

Describe what you liked about using ePEARL.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Describe what you did not like about using ePEARL.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Did using ePEARL help you teach your students how to goal set and/or how to reflect? Please explain.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Did using ePEARL improve your students’ literacy skills? Please explain.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Did using ePearl facilitate collaborative learning?

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Would you use ePearl again next year? Why?

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Thank you very much for taking the time to complete the questionnaire.

Appendix B: The Student Learning Strategies Questionnaire (Abrami, P.C., & Aslan, O. (2007)

PERSONAL INFORMATION

Name: _________________________________________________

Gender: Boy_______ Girl_________

School: _______________________________ Grade_____

INSTRUCTIONS

Please circle the most appropriate response when answering the questions.

In my class…

I set my own learning goals (I decide what I need to learn).

Strongly Disagree

Disagree Undecided Strongly Agree Agree

 

I set my own process goals (I list what I need to do to achieve my learning goals).

Strongly Disagree

Disagree Undecided Strongly Agree Agree

I identify strategies for achieving my goals.

Strongly Disagree

Disagree Undecided Strongly Agree Agree

I revise my goals when necessary.

Strongly Disagree

Disagree Undecided Strongly Agree Agree

I am motivated to learn.

Strongly Disagree

Disagree Undecided Strongly Agree Agree

I explain what I need to do when I get an assignment.

Strongly Disagree

Disagree Undecided Strongly Agree Agree

I list the strategies I’m using when I work on assignments.

Strongly Disagree

Disagree Undecided Strongly Agree Agree

I check my progress towards achieving my goals.

Strongly Disagree

Disagree Undecided Strongly Agree Agree

I modify (correct) my actions on my own to achieve my goals.

Strongly Disagree

Disagree Undecided Strongly Agree Agree

I modify (correct) strategies that are not helping me achieve my goals.

Strongly Disagree

Disagree Undecided Strongly Agree Agree

Strongly Disagree

Disagree Undecided Strongly Agree Agree

I use comments from my teacher to improve on my work.

Strongly

Strongly Disagree

Disagree Undecided Strongly Agree Agree

I use comments from my classmate to improve on my work.

Strongly Disagree

Disagree Undecided Strongly Agree Agree

I use comments from my family to improve on my work.

Strongly Disagree

Disagree Undecided Strongly Agree Agree

I revise versions of my work to improve them.

Strongly Disagree

Disagree Undecided Strongly Agree Agree

I reflect on the strategies I used to achieve my goals.

Strongly Disagree

Disagree Undecided Strongly Agree Agree

I evaluate my own work (I look at my work to see if it is good or needs improvement).

Strongly Disagree

Disagree Undecided Strongly Agree Agree

Strongly Disagree

Disagree Undecided Strongly Agree Agree

I make connections between the amount of time I spend on my work, and my achievement.

Strongly Disagree

Disagree Undecided Strongly Agree Agree

I work well with other students.

Strongly Disagree

Disagree Undecided Strongly Agree Agree

SECTION 2: ePEARL USE

Please answer this section ONLY if you have used the ePearl software in your class

I liked using ePearl in my class because...

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I did not like using ePearl in my class because…

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

ePearl helped me learn how to…

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

I would like to use ePearl again next year because…

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

I do not want to use ePearl again next year because…

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

What I liked the most about using ePearl is…

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

What I liked the least about ePearl is…

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

Thank you again for your collaboration!

Appendix C: Scoring Rubric for Electronic Process Portfolios (Bures, Abrami & Bentley, 2007)

An overview of the criteria and categories are shown here, as well as the descriptors for level 5 (Great).

scoring rubric

 



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