Action Research Plan

   Gaining College and Career Readiness skills by utilizing Eportfolios

ePortfolios are student-owned, dynamic digital workspaces wherein students can capture their learning and their ideas, access their collection of work, reflect on their learning, share it, set goals, seek feedback and showcase their learning and achievements. (1)

I. Focus Topic of Action Research

My action research topic is how the use of these eportfolios can help our students with college and career readiness. The High School campus that I work at focuses heavily on college readiness. These eportfolios will give the students endless opportunities. Eportfolios would benefit my campus specifically, because they will help students take accountability and ownership of their education. Learners will also be able to build useful connections and participate in communicating more effectively. They are also used as evidence of learning and ways to measure growth.  

A. Context

Educators are responsible for preparing students with knowledge and skills that will help them excel in the real world and in their future. These Eportfolios can assist students with executing their personal and educational goals. They will be able to manage and reflect upon their learning and growth with an eportfolio. I am a 9th grade English I teacher, and my plan is to incorporate the Eportfolios into my classroom. My students will develop, create and update their Eportfolios throughout the school year.

B. Key Concepts

1.  Technology Education/Training

2. Student Growth and Achievement

3. Critical Thinking Skills

4.Reflecting upon work

5. Building Connections

II. Purpose of Study

  1. Student Achievement

Incorporating Eportfolios in the classroom will benefit my students. This will be a beneficial resource for my 10th graders, and other high school students on my campus. Students will be able to use the E-Portfolios to monitor their growth and progress over time in all of their classes. The E-portfolios are easily accessible through computers, tablets or smartphones. E- portfolios will also help students gain a deeper understanding of learning and critical thinking skills. The E-portfolios are an innovative tool, because they help create a student-centered learning environment. It also  keeps students engaged and helps teachers meet the students’ needs in real time. The evidence of learning is visible and students are able to access their accomplishments and assess the areas they need to improve in. E-portfolios allow teachers to gain a holistic view of  how students are learning over time in school, they also encourage communication, track performance, and they can use them as a tool for planning. 

2. College and Career Readiness

College and Career Readiness is an essential tool for  high school students. 

III. Fundamental Research Question

  1. Primary Question

 Q1: To what degree will Eportfolios help prepare students for college and their future careers?

Eportfolios are made to increase potential. “Tell me about yourself” is one of the most common first questions in a job interview, especially for those who are new college graduates. When potential employers ask this question, it generally means, “Give me an overview of who you are, professionally speaking.” In the modern employment environment, being able to direct the interviewer to an efficiently curated, online resume as part of the answer can mean the difference between the short or long resume stack. An ePortfolio provides a highly successful approach to creating such a professional presence, and thereby higher selection potential for an employment interview. For college graduates, ePortfolios have proven to be effective vehicles when used to showcase higher education experiences and skills to outside audiences. In doing so, they provide a professional presence for the new graduate who is seeking not only a job, but also a career (Cambridge, 2010). 

Q2: To what extent will Eportfolios connect academics with actual work place experience and growth?

 A common challenge faced by most undergraduates, however, is creating a personal narrative that effectively connects their academic experiences with their post-graduation goals (Graves & Epstein, 2011).

Without an effective personal narrative, students are limited in their ability to communicate with a professional audience and their preparedness for assuming the responsibilities of the position they desire to obtain. The discrepancy between the learning provided for students, and their ability to make connections between their experiences and goals, led HDFS to adopt the ePortfolio as a tool for guiding students’ professional development.( Cordie,Sailors, Barlow, and Kush 2019).

 IV.  Research Design and Data Collection (Qualitative)

  1. Overview

Most of the information that I will collect will be researched using qualitative because the work and assignments that our students take part in requires their voice. They have to explain concepts and reflect upon their work. Students will have to explain in detail, their thoughts and “why” they responded as such.Students work is also very authentic and their individualized responses can be used as a tool for growth.

I will be collecting data in the form of:

A. Surveys (done on Google Forms)

B. Observations

C. Google Docs for tracking data

  1. I will also be organizing and conducting individual and  small group interviews. Small groups will provide me the opportunity to hear authentic feedback from my students. It will also allow me to thoroughly describe the benefits of eportfolios to my students. It will be important for me to get their “buy in” and “trust” during the eportfolio process.
  2. I will also use Google Forms. Google forms is always a valid resource to collect information and data from people. I will also be creating quizzes on Google Forms to collect data.

V. Literature Review Focus

          My literature review will be centered around the success and benefits of Eportfolios. I will include data, journal articles, and personal experiences. I will also include my plan and goals.

Here is the link to my Literature Review

Timeline

  • September 2021

    Phase I

    Share my plan and proposal with my team. Allow input and suggestions from my fellow English Department colleagues. Make room for questions, discussions and feedback. 

    • Share my Folder with my team and encourage them to share any ideas they may have that would benefit my proposal.
    • Ensure that there is enough technology available on campus.
  • November  2021

    Phase II

    Schedule a good time and day to present my plan and my proposal with the administrators on my campus. I will Present my plan to them the same month. 

    • Get permission from admin to Implement my “Pilot” plan with my students and colleagues
    • Discuss my schedule and timeline with administrators.
  • January  2022

    Implement the “Pilot” version of my plan on my students. This will be great practice and a great way to get student feedback. We will create our portfolios together. 

    • Review Online Etiquette
    • Create and review norms 
    • Choose our templates, themes and layouts
    • Discuss the What, Why and How? (Benefits of having an E–portfolio)
    • Begin blogging, uploading assignments and creating a student centered environment
    • Create Twitter Accounts that give us a space to communicate and collaborate
  • March 2022  through June 2022

    Phase III

    Involve other contents in my grade level with the E-portfolio process. Share links and collaborate with team members and show them the benefits of E-portfolios. Allow students to upload assignments from other contents on their E-portfolio. Encourage them to use them on a daily basis. Utilize the E-portfolios for performance tracking, lesson planning and evidence of growth.

    • Choose days to train colleagues on my team 
    • Seek funding from Dept Chair for after school trainings that would have to take place
    • Have students adding assignment and reflecting on past and current work
    • Students will share their accomplishments
    • Create assignments for students on their E-portfolio (Journals, Blogs and Reflections)
    • Create expectations for Students on E-portfolios ( Responding to other students’ posts, uploading photos and etc…
  • June- July 2022

    Share E-portfolio journey with the Director of Instruction on campus. Ask for approval to incorporate E-portfolios into lesson plans across curriculums at our campus.

    • Plan to have a unit embedded in the lesson plan that collaborates English coursework with E-Portfolios
    • Ensure that the appropriate  amount of technology will be available on campus
    • Check the laptop availability for the upcoming school year, to ensure students will have the resources they need to create E-portfolios.
  • August and September 2022

    Phase IV

    E-portfolio plans should be approved and utilized on campus

Reflection

While my Action Research Plan is complete, I am still aware that my planning for eportfolios in the classroom is not “yet” finished. In order to be innovative and proactive, I have to make sure every small detail is planned and organized. I am constantly preparing myself to show my campus, the benefits of eportfolios in the classroom. I currently teach high school students. If students are able to obtain a growth mindset in their high school career, they will be more prepared for the real world.

The only was that I will see if my plan is effective is by researching and pulling active data from my students. I am prepared to do this with Google Forms and Google Docs. I will also by interviewing my students. Tracking data is extremely important in my plan

After each course, I always find myself reflecting on my growth and how far I have come since I began the DLL program. I have been able to implement some of my learning in my own classroom. I have utilized so many different digital platforms in my class to engage and support the growth of my students this past year. I have also shared information with my colleagues on new concepts and ways to incorporate more technology in the classroom. I aspire to have a technology driven and innovative classroom. Being born in the Millenial age, I was raised in the dawn of technology, right when it began to flourish. We experienced the beginning of technology all the way to where it is now. I want to take my classroom to a higher level, where their are no limits to what we can do.

                                                                   Resources

Borko H., Michalec P., Timmons M., Siddle J. Student teaching portfolios: a tool for    promoting reflective practice. J. Teach. Educ. 1997;48(5):345–357. [Google Scholar

Cambridge, D. (2010). ePortfolios for lifelong learning and assessment. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Graves, N., & Epstein, M. (2011). ePortfolio: A tool for constructing a narrative professional identity. 

Business Communication Quarterly, 74(3), 342- 346. doi:10.1177/1080569911414555

Leslie Cordie, Jamie Sailors, Becky Barlow, and John S. Kush (2019.) Constructing a Professional 

         Identity: Connecting College and Career Through ePortfolios

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