Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

First Advisor

Fatih Ari

Abstract

The ambition of this action research was to evaluate the impact of ePortfolios with a reflection on transferable skills on high school students' perceptions of college and career readiness concerning their high school ELA coursework. Nationwide, studies have revealed that high school students do not consider themselves college and career ready after high school. About 55% of high school students feel that high school is not preparing them for their futures. At the research site, an urban high school in northeastern Georgia, students often complained about their perceived disconnection between classwork and the value of these assignments beyond high school; students made frequent remarks about ELA assignments like, “I’ll never have to do this after high school.” Because of these concerns, the researcher implemented an ePortfolio with a reflection on transferable skills as an intervention to help students reflect on the transferable skills practiced within high school coursework and its value in their future endeavors in college or a career.

This study focused on three research questions: (a) how and in what ways does implementing an ePortfolio with a reflection on transferable skills in a high school English language arts classroom impact students' perceptions of college and career readiness, (b) how does implementing an ePortfolio with a reflection on transferable skills impact student engagement in a high school English language arts classroom, and (c) what are students' perceptions about using an ePortfolio with a reflection on transferable skills in an English language arts classroom. The entire reflective ePortfolio vi study was conducted over eight weeks, but the reflective ePortfolio was implemented over four weeks, with 20 high school student-participants from a 10th-grade world literature course. To measure high school students' perceptions and experiences during the intervention, students responded to the research-created College and Career Readiness Scale (pre survey and post survey), Student Engagement Questionnaire (pre survey and post survey), and ePortfolio Experience Survey (post survey). This quantitative data collection was analyzed, and the results were triangulated with the findings from the qualitative research, which were the ePortfolio reflections and student interviews. After reviewing, cyclic coding, and categorizing of the students’ words within the reflections and interviews, this mixed-methods action research provided valuable information on the impact of ePortfolios with a reflection on transferable skills in an English language arts classroom.

Findings from both the quantitative and qualitative data revealed that the ePortfolio with a reflection on transferable skills positively affected high school students’ perceptions of college and career readiness in their high school. Furthermore, the results indicated that students’ engagement increased and that students’ experiences with reflective ePortfolios were positive overall.

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