Using e-portfolios to support trainee Design and Technology teachers in developing their subject knowledge

Alison Hardy
Nottingham Trent University, UK

Jamie Tinney
Nottingham Trent University, UK

Sarah Davies
Nottingham Trent University, UK

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Ingår i: PATT 26 Conference; Technology Education in the 21st Century; Stockholm; Sweden; 26-30 June; 2012

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 73:24, s. 201-210

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Publicerad: 2012-06-18

ISBN: 978-91-7519-849-1

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


Stefani; Mason & Pegler (2007) reflect that the underlying pedagogy with e-portfolios is based on ’constructivist educational principles’. Our emphasis in this research was for the e-portfolio to be a student led development process rather than teacher/lecturer led; with the student creating their own resource of their knowledge and understanding; reflecting on their progress and identifying their own learning needs and understanding. Online technologies; sometimes referred to as ’web 2.0’ tools; such as blogs; e-portfolios and wikis allow learners and educators to learn more; create more and communicate better.

Students in the second year of an undergraduate teacher training programme are beginning to think of their future careers as design and technology teachers; developing their awareness of what sort of teacher they want to be and what skills they want to develop. To support the students they are asked to evidence their growing range of skills; knowledge and understanding in particular areas of Design and Technology education through the use of an e-portfolio.

As future design and technology teachers; the students were encouraged to make a start at building up their own online learning resources. This will hopefully lead to a growing body of knowledge that they can draw on in their subsequent careers. At the same time; and for purposes of assessment; it provides evidence of their learning. A significant reason for using e-portfolios is to enable the students to share information outside the constraints of time and place; i.e. asynchronous learning.

Asking students to develop an e-portfolio presented them with an alternative way of recording their learning. Learning was gained from their experiences even if their experiences were regarded as failures; such as ruining a sand-cast aluminium part (the process; background information and the student’s reflections were recorded). The expectation was that students would find this an easier medium to evidence their learning rather than through a folder with notes and diagrams.

It is hoped that students will continue to use their e-portfiolios long after the end of the assignment period or learn from their experiences to create new and better personal e-portfolios. It is anticipated that these e-portfolios will accompany the students well into their teaching careers continuous education (Attwell; 2007) allowing them to build up useful resources and ideas.

This case study gives some direction towards improving the effectiveness of using e-portfolios in developing trainee teachers’ subject skills and their use of online learning resources.


E-portfolios; web 2.0 technology; constructing knowledge; assessment; knowledge organisation and congruent teaching


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