Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Examining the effects of reflective rubrics in the e-portfolio peer review process on pre-service teachers' ability to integrate academic coursework and field experiences
by Bouwmeester, Maaike, Ph.D., New York University, 2011, 242; 3478271
Abstract (Summary)

This study investigated how teacher education students and their instructors experienced an e-portfolio initiative that incorporated scaffolded reflective activities designed to foster deeper integration between academic coursework and field experiences. A secondary objective of the study was to examine how structured peer and instructor feedback on the students' reflective writing contributed to the development of deeper levels of reflection. To date, little research has been done on how specific scaffolds and feedback structures already available in many e-portfolio platforms can be used to promote deeper reflective practice– highly sought-after learning outcome in teacher education programs.

This qualitative study was conducted within an education methods course over one semester. The study included case studies of six pre-service teachers completing their Masters degrees in a science education program within a large university. Students were assigned weekly reflective writing assignments intended to help them integrate concepts, ideas, and theories from their coursework with learning gained from field experiences. Students also built out an e-portfolio in which they included their reflective writing. The e-portfolio environment included two scaffolds designed to support deeper reflection and promote integration. One scaffold was a reflective rubric designed to support thinking and writing strategies; the other was peer and instructor feedback using the reflective rubric to structure their feedback.

The study made both a theoretical and practical contribution to the study of reflection and integration of academic course work and field experience. On the theoretical side, a comprehensive analysis- supported by data and structured around a theoretical framework- explored the relationship between reflection and integration. Four factors were found to influence students' ability to integrate learning through reflection: topic relevance, reinforcement of connections, student disposition, and instructor style. The study also provided practical insights into how e-portfolio software that included embedded supports and peer feedback processes could be structured to optimize learning. The broader implications of this study may help inform the current debate about teacher education quality and teacher effectiveness.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Shuchat-Shaw, Francine
Commitee: McDonald, Joseph P., Milne, Catherine E.
School: New York University
Department: Administration, Leadership, and Technology
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 73/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Adult education, Teacher education, Educational technology
Keywords: Adult education, E-portfolios, Integration, Peer feedback, Preservice teachers, Reflection, Teacher education
Publication Number: 3478271
ISBN: 978-1-124-95701-2
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