Costs and Benefits of Electronic Portfolios in Teacher Education: Faculty Perspectives

Summer 2008

Source: Journal of Computing in Teacher Education, Volume 24, Number 4, Summer ‏ 2008

Publisher: Department of curriculum and Instruction Center for Technology in Learning and Teaching.

This descriptive study investigated the benefits and costs of using electronic portfolios (EPs) in preservice teacher education. Grounded within change theory, the study examined the perspectives of faculty in six programs in which EPs have been used on a large scale for two or more years.

Benefits identified include increased opportunities for students to reflect and learn, better student understanding of teaching standards, better faculty access for assessing student work, increased faculty communication with students, and improved tracking of student performance for purposes of accreditation and program improvement.

The costs or disadvantages include issues pertaining to the amount of time and effort expended and to the lack of compatibility with faculty members’ beliefs, values, and needs. Overall, the authors conclude that faculty satisfaction with EPs appears strongly associated with their values for student-centered teacher education and in some cases, their willingness to sacrifice individual preferences to accomplish program goals.

Updated: Jul. 14, 2008