Assessing teacher preparedness using electronic portfolios and conventional methods
George John Achrazoglou, The University of Iowa, United States
The University of Iowa . Awarded
Electronic portfolios are rapidly gaining use as a method of choice for demonstrating that teachers or prospective teachers comply in practice with professional performance standards. There is also, by some, a strong desire to rate (score) portfolios using a simple scale such as a 1-to-5 (or F-to-A) scale. The main purpose of this study was to explore the relationships of such scores to traditionally generated scores.
The following data were considered for a sample of thirty elementary education students upon completion of the teacher preparation program: overall grade point average, ratings of three major sections of electronic portfolios, ratings of teaching effectiveness as determined by direct observations of teaching, and ratings of letters of recommendation. Data analysis was focused on what relationships might exist between these research variables. Also, seventeen students were interviewed by the investigator.
The primary findings are the following: (1) Students are enthusiastic and unanimous in their insistence that building electronic portfolios is educationally valuable toward their being better classroom teachers. (2) Portfolio ratings correlated negatively or not at all to ratings of teaching effectiveness based on field observations. (3) There is strong hint that ratings of portfolios correlate positively with grade point averages (correlation coefficient 0.30 with p = 0.11). (4) As one might expect, ratings of teaching effectiveness based on field observations correlated positively with ratings of letters of reference.
Motivated by the findings offered above, also included in this study is a discussion of the problem of inferring teacher “performances” from portfolio entries. Are portfolio entries reliable indicators of performances? Given the swiftness with which the use of electronic portfolios is being implemented on such assumption, there is urgency to this question.
Achrazoglou, G.J. Assessing teacher preparedness using electronic portfolios and conventional methods. Ph.D. thesis, The University of Iowa.
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