Identifying vocational student teachers’ competence using an ePortfolio

Anne-Maria Korhonen, Minna Lakkala, Marjaana Veermans

Abstract


The claim of advancing the use of Personal Learning Environments arose from the ideas of an ongoing learning process which lasts throughout a lifetime and informal learning being a meaningful part of the development of an individual’s expertise. In order to develop expertise, the following steps are necessary: first, one must explore the competences related to the profession; second, one must discover what these competencies and skills involve; and third, one must reflect on how to master the techniques involved. In addition to this kind of individual process, it is also important nowadays to acknowledge that demonstrating that one has achieved the necessary competences is important information for many audiences, such as workplaces, networks and employers. Nowadays, the most effective way to show one’s competence to a wider audience, as well as to review one’s skills oneself, is to create a digital record or portfolio (an ePortfolio). However, making an individual’s competence transparent in a digital format has proven complicated. This study focuses on exploring vocational student teachers’ competence through their ePortfolios, mainly using a theoretical framework of the pedagogical infrastructure design. The study reveals that there is a lot of variation in the quality of ePortfolios and therefore more scaffolding is needed to support student teachers in making their teacher competence visible through ePortfolios. The study advocates both creating a workspace ePortfolio as well as making competence transparent through a showcase ePortfolio.


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