Assessing pre-service English language teachers' learning using e-portfolios: benefits, challenges and competencies gained

Resource type
Journal Article
Assessing pre-service English language teachers' learning using e-portfolios: benefits, challenges and competencies gained
Assessment in learning is always of interest to practitioners, academics and researchers, and is always evolving with new implications. Alternative forms of assessment such as e-portfolios have gained recognition in documenting students' learning, as it is synchronous with both product and process. Vast amount of literature narrates the relative advantages of e-portfolios across disciplines, institutions, and applications. In Malaysia, such alternative assessment practices are less explored so far in teacher education. In this study, 55 pre-service TESOL teachers from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) are required to create and maintain a personal e-portfolio. The aim of the study is to ascertain the future teachers' practices with e-portfolios in their learning and to determine if these practices lead to teaching competencies. In addition, the study also aims to identify the benefits and challenges of using an e-portfolio as a tool for learning and self-assessment. Findings indicate that participants are appreciative of e-portfolios, as their performance and achievements are traced over time. It is also found that e-portfolios function as a monitoring tool, which helps the teachers recognize their learning and identify their strengths and weaknesses. Challenges are also noted, which include validity and reliability, interrupted Internet connection, negative attitudes participants, time constraints, workload and ethical issues. In terms of teacher competencies, it is found that six competencies emerge from the teachers' practices of e-portfolios--(1) developing understanding of an effective teacher's role; (2) developing teaching approaches/activities; (3) improving linguistic abilities; (4) comprehending content knowledge; (5) gaining ICT skills and; (6) the realization of the need to change mindsets. (Contains 2 tables and 1 figure.)
Computers & Education
May 2012
0360-1315, 0360-1315
Loc. in Archive
964181150; EJ955344
Publisher: Elsevier, 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800 Cam URL:
Kabilan, M. K., & Khan, M. A. (2012). Assessing pre-service English language teachers’ learning using e-portfolios: benefits, challenges and competencies gained. Computers & Education, 58(4), 1007–1020.