Implementing Electronic Portfolios through Social Media Platforms

Friday, 1. March 2013

Most teacher training programs use some form of portfolio assessment. Electronic portfolio keeping provides an enhanced format in comparison to paper. Online portfolio containers are easy to use, free, and customizable. They enable users to search, retrieve, change, link, and organize narratives and artifacts efficiently. One of the most significant advantages of using social media-based portfolios is accessibility. Portfolios are available to users, peers, instructors, and public spectators from any computer at any time. Independent liberal arts schools of education can use social-media portfolios to reduce costs and enhance student competence. Simultaneously, there are numerous types of portfolio keeping activities, which make them useful for showing a broad spectrum of content for a variety of assessment and accreditation purposes.

Although implementing electronic portfolios using social media platforms will vary depending on individual need and institutional requirements, there are some common steps, specifically

1) defining purpose and scope,
2) selecting social media platforms through experimentation and testing,
3) constructing a model,
4) instructing on appropriate use,
5) and integrating questions and prompts to elicit quality portfolio entries.

Defining the purpose and scope of the portfolio is particularly important, especially since there is evidence to suggest that teacher candidates associate electronic portfolios with online diaries, specifically, as a platform for sharing inner-dialogue through descriptive writing.

During implementation, instructors and administrators simultaneously identify strategies for prompting high-quality portfolio entries. This activity depends on purpose, discipline, and context. However, some general strategies applicable to teacher education include

1) writing prompts in the form of questions or statements,
2) item analysis,
3) case analysis,
4) self-evaluation with supporting evidence,
5) and peer assessment.

Program administrators using social media portfolios should also train teacher candidates to follow digital citizenship principles and FERPA guidelines by eliminating the following kinds of content

1) personal information such mobile phone number and birth date,
2) student images and identifiable work samples,
3) school placement and mentor teacher name,
4) overly critical narratives, and
5) errors relating to mechanics (i.e. spelling and grammar).

Readers interested in learning more about implementing electronic portfolios using social media can read and view

Denton, D. W. & Wicks, D. (2013). Implementing electronic portfolios through social media
platforms: Steps and student perceptions. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks
17(1), 125-135.