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High school teachers' perceptions of ePortfolios and classroom practice: A single-case study

Jerelyn M Pimentel, Johnson & Wales University


Rhode Island’s proficiency-based high school diploma system requires high school graduates to demonstrate proficiency in standard-based content and applied learning skills through at least two performance assessment measures (RIDE, 2003). To meet these requirements, 12 of Rhode Island’s 39 school districts are using ePortfolios as one of their performance assessment measures (Gehring, 2006). Consequently, classroom teachers in ePortfolio school districts must confront issues associated with changing their classroom practice as a result of implementation of ePortfolios. Several points were emphasized as a result of teacher perceptions, which include the power of the ePortfolio in guiding teachers’ instructional decisions and re-designing assessments to meet the requirements of content and criteria standards, evaluation instruments, and institutional expectations, while making challenges intellectually interesting and of value to students (Wiggins, 1998). The purpose of this research study was to evaluate how classroom teachers in N = 3 targeted high schools in suburban Rhode Island districts have changed their classroom practice as a result of implementing an ePortfolio assessment system. A three-phase, sequential, mixed-methods single-case study research design with a classroom teacher survey, key informant interviews, and focus groups was used to gather data. Classroom teachers (N = 198) and educational administrators (N = 7) from N = 3 high schools were asked to participate in this study. The use of descriptive statistics, factorial ANOVA, and thematic analysis of the focus group, and key informant transcripts assisted the researcher in prioritizing and reporting important outcomes. Each data collection method informed the next; thus all sources of evidence were reviewed sequentially. The statistical and substantive significance of findings were useful in examining how teachers perceive the use of ePortfolios assessment changes their classroom practice, which may allow findings to be generalized to other school districts that are more proximally similar to the Study Site (Trochim, 2006). Analysis of the results showed that the (N = 198) teachers had various factors, such as portfolio tasks, student reflection, content area, leadership initiative, teaching experience, and professional development as significant factors on their guiding instructional practice (p < .01). Teachers with the greatest exposure to ePortfolio assessment perceive that classroom practice has been impacted by promoting constructivist pedagogy. Results of this study will be presented to ePortfolio assessment system decision makers in this district and to a variety of professional organizations in Rhode Island.

Subject Area

School administration|Educational technology|Curriculum development

Recommended Citation

Pimentel, Jerelyn M, "High school teachers' perceptions of ePortfolios and classroom practice: A single-case study" (2010). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI3397946.