?I am trying to practice good teaching?: Reconceptualizing eportfolios for professional development in vocational higher education

12 Jun 2017

Teaching portfolios have become increasingly important to university teachers.Portfolio requirements for the appointment or promotion of academic staff recognizethat the assessment of teaching practice requires more depth and detail than acandidate?s academic CV generally affords. The focus of this study is the electronicteaching portfolios, developed for purposes of promotion, in a vocational highereducation context. Data were obtained from candidates? eportfolios, from precourse andend-of-course surveys, as well as from eportfolio assessors? formative and summativefeedback. The analysis of the data reveals tensions arising from portfolio building in theparticular context of vocational higher education. The nature of the vocational fieldimpacts not only on teaching and learning practice, but on how academic staff chooseto present their practice in an eportfolio. The paper argues that the constraints andenablements of context, including the disciplinary context, as well as the possibilitiesand limitations of agency, will strongly influence the purposes of eportfolio developmentand the extent to which university teachers can exercise agency in the creation of aneportfolio in a ?high stakes? context. The findings can help university appointments andpromotions committees, as well as educational developers, to better understand theseenablements and constraints in order to inform policy and implementation.