Implementing e-portfolios in mathematics
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Implementing e-portfolios in mathematics education. Merilyn Taylor MSTE Faculty of Education. 2013. Purposes for the trial. Many New Zealand primary schools have been supported to introduce e-portfolios (MOE, 2011 ).

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Implementing e-portfolios in mathematics


Merilyn Taylor


Faculty of Education


Purposes for the trial
Purposes for the trial

Many New Zealand primary schools have been supported to introduce e-portfolios (MOE, 2011).

An opportunity for students to display mathematics learning in alternative ways.

To help demonstrate breadth of development of knowledge and skills and depth of critical thinking and application of ideas to mathematics teaching and learning mathematics (Frid & Sparrow, 2003).

To showcase learning in one “space” (Short, 2011).

Theoretical framework
Theoretical framework

Adult learning theory principles (Herrington & Oliver, 1995, Smith, Harvey & Chickie-Wolfe, 2007).

Mathematics education reform and sustainability principles (Coburn 2003, Drake & Sherin, 2006).

Development of “artifactual literacy” (Pahl, 2004).

The cohort
The cohort

TEMS 220-12C(NET) Mathematics Education 2

76 on-line distance teacher education students

Compulsory paper

One face-to-face session to set up each eportfolio

Course sustained with Moodle

Getting started
Getting started

Needed to support students to set up accounts.

Stipulated components of eportfolio, but simultaneously allowed individual flexibility.

One assessment designed specifically to encourge selection and evaluation of multi-media artifacts.

Ethics approval obtained.


Teachers are expected to be familiar with a range of technologies and teaching approaches but…

for mathematically anxious, or techno-shy, eportfolios potentially add another layer of concern.

Expecting consideration of an alternative conception of mathematics education.

Balancing requirements of a compulsory course with potential of exploring the use of an e-portfolio

I ntentional design of an assessment
Intentional design of an assessment

Students were expected to compile an “intentional collection” of artifacts for topic of measurement.

Apply criteria to justify inclusion of five chosen artifacts that could be developed, evaluated and/or adapted.

Recorded why each artifact was included and how it had impacted on personal perspectives of mathematics education.

Anlaysis of eportfolios
Anlaysis of eportfolios


In hindsight
In hindsight

Useful way to see overview of all work, not each assessment as discrete entity.

e-portfolio offers a way to provide formative feedback.

Flexible and personalised.

Greater scaffolding about sensible presentation is needed.

Looking ahead
Looking ahead

Suggest that this e-portfolio experience was isolated.

A more comprehensive approach with other learning areas could be worthwhile.

Potential for students to see connections across a range of subjects

Potential for peer/group work and assessment.

A later observation
A later observation

Comparing the “select, collect, reflect” assignment results to the teaching of a unit of mathematics….

students who were prepared to take risks with their selection of artifacts took that approach to teaching.