THE REFLECTIVE EPORTFOLIO AS A TOOL FOR ACTIVE LEARNING

ABSTRACT

The rapid evolution of technology and global competition that swept society in the past decades has contributed to an increasingly demanding world for more proficient, creative and innovative citizens. This same technology seduces and fascinates young students, yet it also alienates them from the classroom situation when the latter resists the changes of the outside world. More and more it is important to handle the preferences and skills of young students as regards technology, through pedagogical practices that make the teaching of contentsmore enticing, arousing at the same time the intellectual curiosity and the motivation to learn.

The present study is centered in exploring the ePortfolioand its contribute to an active and reflexive learning. By using a research-action dynamics, thereflective ePortfolio has been used as it is the one that best meets the needs of each student, allowing them to show evidence of learning growth and competences acquired over a period of time. The choice for building a reflective ePortfoliocame from the need for a learner-centered learning approach following a constructivist and socio-constructivist based methodology and focusing on an individualized, differentiated and inclusive pedagogy.

The Mahara platform, software designed to meet the adopted methodology and strategies, was used to implement the procedure. A case study was developed involving fourteen students and a teacher (the researcher in charge of the experiment) of a secondary school.

The results obtained show that the reflective ePortfolio, because of its characteristics as well as the learning approach it allows, comes (side by side with the classroom activities) as a tool able to contribute to (and enhance) the construction of knowledge as well as the development of competences, especially those transversal with the curriculum and, as a consequence, necessary to the construction of solid lifelong learning.

KEYWORDS: Teaching and learning system, Reflective ePortfolio, Active learning, Learner centered learning, Case study.