Concordia University

http://www.concordia.ca/content/concordia/en/research/learning-performance/tools/learning-toolkit/epearl/researchers.html

Researchers

For almost a decade, CSLP researchers have examined the impact of ePEARL on learning, focusing on:

  • Measuring the effect of electronic portfolio use on such important learning outcomes as literacy and self regulated learning skills;
  • Identifying the quality and quantify of electronic portfolio use in order to improve the tool and create teacher professional developments materials;
  • Learning about factors that inhibit or contribute to the use of electronic portfolios in Canadian classrooms.
ePEARL and Self Regulating Learning

In 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 school years, two major studies were conducted in three Canadian provinces involving 35 teachers and 618 students in Grades 4 to 6.  Classrooms in which teachers of English Language Arts systematically supported regular and appropriate use of ePEARL were compared with control classes, who did not use ePEARL.

The comparison of pre and post scores showed significant and important improvements in ePEARL students’ writing skills on a standardized literacy measure (Canadian Achievement Test-4th ed.) and self-reported metacognitive skills. More specifically, students using ePEARL had significantly larger gains in writing content and content management including word choice, sentence structure and conventions of print. As well, they reported higher levels of specific self-regulation skills including setting process goals, selecting strategies appropriate for completing a task, and using comments from teachers and peers and self-observations to improve their work (see Table 1 below).

  Effect size Percentile advantage

Study 1, grades 4-6 (n=296)

Writing skills (CAT-4)
Writing: Content +0.13 5
Writing: Content Management +0.33 13
Self-regulation skills (self-reports)
Setting goals +0.42 16
Identifying strategies +0.43 17
Using feedback +0.47 18

Study 2, grades 4-6 (n=322)

Writing skills (CAT-4)
Writing: Content +0.20 8
Writing: Content Management + 0.14 6
Self-regulation skills (self-reports)
Setting goals +0.28 11
Identifying strategies +0.28 11
Self Observation +0.23 9

Table 1: Impact of ePEARL Use


ePEARL and Literacy

The CSLP has also examined the impact of a combined use of ePEARL and ABRACADABRA, the centre’s interactive, multi-media literacy software on early elementary students’ reading comprehension skills. In the 2010–2011 and 2011–2012 school years, we conducted studies with 26 Grade 1 and 2 teachers and their 517 students from six English school boards in Quebec, Canada. The findings showed that in classrooms where both ePEARL and ABRA were systematically used, students significantly outperformed students in non-software using control classes in terms of reading and written expression as measured by standardized tests. In particular, ePEARL and ABRA students demonstrated important gains over their peers in vocabulary skills, reading comprehension and writing skills including conventions, linguistics, and content

Implications of Findings for Classroom Practice

Our research findings provide valuable insights into integrating technologies in the classroom. For example, as a knowledge tool, ePEARL needs to be fully embedded into classroom instruction rather than merely added to it. It is essential to ensure that the classrooms and schools have sufficient technical infrastructure to support the use of knowledge tools like ePEARL and ABRA. Teachers and students must also have consistent access to functioning computers that are regularly maintained.

As well, teachers must feel that there is positive support from the administration to invest the time in learning to teach with a tool like ePEARL. Teacher training also needs to focus not just on how to use the tool, but also on why using educational technology is appropriate and important pedagogically. This is particularly true when a tool, such as ePEARL, has a focus on student-centred learning and requires teachers to accept classroom practices that go beyond didactic forms of instruction. Finally, schools need to create a culture that values experimentation, improvement, and evidence-based practices.

Below are quotes from teachers that provide insight into how they have used ePEARL for creative, evaluative and informative purposes:

I've used it as a guiding tool for my teaching this year. I'm really-- I love the learning cycle and its helped me to become a better teacher because I've used the prompts to make sure I'm setting the criteria, making sure they know what makes a good job, and so we use it often, just out of context, not necessarily going online, but the language, and the whole process.

I found that the way the template was set up, as far as getting the students to share what the criteria was for their work and to get them to reflect on their work, that really channeled me in my teaching. I found you really had to force yourself in every lesson to think about "Okay, we really need to think about the end in mind."

That whole deliberate "here are the steps of learning"-- I was never that deliberate. I made way too many assumptions of what they understood in that process. So that has very much changed the way I approach all of our things now. Like setting the goals, strategies, and criteria-- Yeah, you talk maybe about it, but it was never that deliberate and that's where the changes are coming. So yes, very much it's changed my approach.


Learning Toolkit Software: Authorship and Acknowledgement Guidelines

Download the Authorship and Acknowledgement Guidelines.  


Abrami, P. C., Bures, E., Idan, E., Meyer, E., Venkatesh, V., & Wade, A. (2013). Electronic portfolio encouraging active and reflective learning (ePEARL). In R. Azevedo & V. Aleven (Eds.), International handbook of metacognition and learning technologies (pp. 503-515). New York: Springer Science + Business Media.

Abrami, P.C., Savage, R.S., Deleveaux, G., Wade, A., Meyer, E. & Lebel, C. (2010). The Learning Toolkit: The design, development, testing and dissemination of evidence-based educational software In P. Zemliansky & D.M. Wilcox (Eds.), Design and implementation of educational games: Theoretical and practical perspectives (pp. 168-187). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. . doi: 10.4018/978-1-61520-781-7.ch012

Abrami, P. C., Wade, A., Pillay, V., Aslan, O., Bures, E. M., & Bentley, C. (2007, October). Encouraging self-regulated learning through electronic portfolios. In Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), E-Learn 2007: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, & Higher Education [Compact disc]. Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

Davidson, A.-L., Lysenko, L., Bures, E., Abrami, P. C., Wade, A., & Idan, E. (2013). Le design, le développement et líimplantation díun portfolio électronique pour appuyer la formation initiale des enseignants et favoriser leur professionnalisation. In T. Karsenti, S. Collin & G. Dumouchel (Eds.), Actes du Colloque scientifique international sur les TIC en éducation : bilan, enjeux actuels et perspectives futures (pp. 555-560). Montreal, QC: Centre de recherche interuniversitaire sur la formation et la profession enseignante.

Idan, E., Abrami, P. C., Wade, A., & Meyer, E. (2011, March). Designing for the development of self-regulation: A web-based electronic portfolio for adult learners. In the International Technology, Education and Development (INTED) conference proceedings (5th ed.). Valencia, Spain: INTED.

Lebel, C., Abrami, P. C., Wade, A., & Meyer, E. (2011, May*). ePEARL: An electronic portfolio encouraging self-regulation In the proceedings of the sixth colloquium of le Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en technologies d'apprentissage (CIRTA). Quebec, QC: CIRTA (*addition to original proceedings published in 2009, November). Available at Link

Lysenko, L., Bures, E., Idan, E., Wade, A., Abrami, P. C., & Meyer, E. (2012, October). An electronic portfolio for teachers: Design and preliminary assessment. In the proceedings of the 17th Annual E-Learn World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, & Higher Education (pp. 1133-1142). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

Meyer, E., Wade, A., Pillay, V., Idan, E., & Abrami, P. C. (2010). Using electronic portfolios to foster communication in K-12 classrooms. In C. Black (ed.) The dynamic classroom: Engaging students in higher education (pp.125-133). Atwood Publishing : Madison, WI.

Venkatesh, V., Bures, E., Davidson, A.-L., Wade, A., Lysenko, L., & Abrami, P. C. (2013). Electronic portfolio encouraging active and reflective learning: A case study in improving academic self-regulation through innovative use of educational technologies. In A. D. Ritzhaupt & S. Kumar (Eds.), Cases on educational technology implementation for facilitating learning (pp. 341-376). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. Available: http://www.igi-global.com/book/cases-educational-technology-implementation-facilitating/72158

Wade, A., Abrami, P.C., Meyer, E. & White, B. (2008). ePEARL: Supporting learning using electronic portfolios. In F. Costa & M. Laranjeiro (Eds.), e-Portfolio in educaton. Practices and reflections (pp.83-93). Portugal: Assoçiao de Professores de Sintra.

Wade, A., Sclater, J., Abrami, P.C., Therrien, M., & Severgine, V. (2005). Using e-portfolios to support learning. In S. Pierre (Ed.), DIVA. Innovations et tendances en technologies de formation et d'apprentissage (pp.499-520) Montreal: Presses Internationales Polytechnique.

Abrami, P. C., & Barrett, H. (2005). Directions for research and development on electronic portfolios. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 31(3), 1-15. http://www.cjlt.ca/index.php/cjlt/article/view/92/86

Abrami, P. C., Venkatesh, V., Meyer, E., & Wade, A. (2013). Using electronic portfolios to foster literacy and self regulated learning skills in elementary students. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(4), 1188-1209. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0032448

Abrami,P. C., Wade, A., Pillay, V., Aslan, O., Bures,E., & Bentley C. (2008) Encouraging self-segulated learning through electronic portfolios. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology. 34(3), 93-117. http://www.cjlt.ca/index.php/cjlt/article/view/507/238

Bures, E. M., Abrami, P. C., & Schmid, R. F. (2010). Fostering quality online dialogue: Does labeling help? Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 21(2), 187-213. http://www.editlib.org/p/29424.

Bures, E. M., Abrami, P. C., & Schmid, R. F. (2010). Exploring whether students' use of labelling depends upon the type of online activity. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 5(1), 103-116. doi: 10.1007/s11412-009-9079-3

Bures, E., Barclay, A., Abrami, P. C., & Meyer, E. (2013). The reality of assessing authentic electronic portfolios: Can electronic portfolios serve as a form of standardized assessment to measure literacy and self-regulated learning at the elementary level? Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 39(4). Retrieved from http://www.cjlt.ca/index.php/cjlt/article/view/646/374

Bures, E. M., Schmid, R. F., & Abrami, P. C. (2009). "Developing a perspective", "Inter-connecting" and "Bringing it together": Who chooses to use a labelling feature in online conversations in a graduate course? Educational Media International, 46(4), 317-334. doi: 10.1080/09523980903387571

Meyer, E. (ed.) (2009) Electronic portfolios and digital identity [Special issue]. Canadian Journal on Learning and Technology. 34(3).

Meyer, E., Abrami, P. C., Wade, A., Aslan, O. & Deault, L. (2010). Improving literacy and metacognition with electronic portfolios: Teaching and learning with ePEARL. Computers & Education, 55 (1), 84-91. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2009.12.005

Meyer, E., Abrami, P. C., Wade, A., & Scherzer, R. (2011). Electronic portfolios in the classroom: Factors impacting teachers’ integration of new technologies and new pedagogies. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 20(2), 191-207.doi: 10.1080/1475939X.2011.588415

Meyer, E., Wade, A., & Abrami, P. C. (2013). Teaching with electronic portfolios to foster 21st century literacies. Learning Landscapes, 6(2), 265-282. Retrieved from http://www.learninglandscapes.ca/current-issue

Upitis, R., Abrami, P. C., Brook, J., Troop, M., & Varela, W. (2012). Learning to play a musical instrument with a digital portfolio tool. Journal of Instructional Pedagogies, 9, 1-15. Retrieved from http://www.aabri.com/manuscripts/121209.pdf

Upitis, R., Abrami, P. C., & Patteson, A. (2010). Developing ecological habits of mind: Approaching environmental issues through electronic portfolios and the arts. Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies, 8(1), 68-98. http://pi.library.yorku.ca/ojs/index.php/jcacs/article/view/26082/28395

Wade, A., Abrami, P. C., & Sclater, J. (2005). An electronic portfolio to support learning. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 31(3), 33-50. http://www.cjlt.ca/content/vol31.3/wade.html

Wade, A., Abrami, P. C., & White, B. (2006) Using electronic portfolios to help students become self-regulated learners. Canadian Association of Principals Journal, 14(2), 23-25. http://www.cdnprincipals.org/journal/back-issues.php

Abrami, P. C., & Bures, E. (2011, January). Notes in the online margins: (Re)-Designing an annotation feature while concomitantly exploring intended and unanticipated ways university students use the feature. Paper presented at the Hawaii International Conference on Education, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Abrami, P. C., Upitis, R., & Elster, A. (2014, February). Transforming music education with digital tools: iSCORE and DREAM. Paper presented at the Learning Through the Arts (LTTA) Congress, University of Würzburg, Neubaukirche.

Abrami, P. C., Wade, A., & Meyer, E. J. (2009, June). Improving teaching and learning with electronic portfolios: The effectiveness and implementation of ePEARL. Paper presented at the European Institute for E-Learning's (EIfEL) seventh international ePortfolio conference, Innovation, Creativity and Accountability, Learning Forum, London, England.

Abrami, P. C., Wade, A., Lebel, C., & Meyer, E. (2009, November). PERLE: un portfolio électronique supportant l'autorégulation. Paper presented at the sixth colloquium of le Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en technologies d'apprentissage (CIRTA), Quebec, QC.

Abrami, P.C., Wade, A.C., Savage, R.S., Deleveaux, G. & Meyer, E. (2009, May). The learning toolkit (LTK): Evidence-based educational software. Paper presented at the Canadian Association of Educational Psychology (CAEP) conference during the Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE) Conference, Ottawa, ON.

Abrami, P. C., Wade, A., White, B., Pillay, V., Aslan, O., & Meyer, E. (2008, May). Supporting learning through student-centred electronic portfolios. Paper presented at ePortfolio & Digital Identity, Concordia University, Montreal, QC.

Abrami, P. C., Wade, A., Pillay, V., Aslan, O., Bures, E., & Bentley, C. (2007, October). Encouraging self-regulated learning through electronic portfolios. Paper presented at E-Learn 2007, Quebec City, QC.

Aslan, O., Schmid, R. F., & Abrami, P. C. (2009, May). Using ePortfolio and modeling to develop self regulated learning and French writing skills in at-risk students. Poster presented at the thirty seventh annual Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE) conference, Ottawa, ON.

Aslan, O., Schmid, R. F., & Abrami, P. C. (2009, April). Using an electronic portfolio to develop SRL and writing skills in at-risk students. Poster presented at the International conference on Multimedia, Information and Communication Technologies in Education (M-ICTE), Lisbon, Portugal.

Aslan, O., Schmid, R., & Abrami, P. C. (2008, May). Using an electronic portfolio to develop self-regulation and writing skills in children with learning disabilities. Paper presented at ePortfolio & Digital Identity, Concordia University, Montreal, QC.

Aslan, O., Schmid, R., & Abrami, P. C. (2008, March). Using an electronic portfolio to develop SRL and second language writing skills in at-risk students. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New York, NY.

Bures, E. & Abrami, P.C. (2013, August). Electronic portfolios to mindfully scaffold student teachers' development of expertise. Paper presented at the Bienniel meeting of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI), Munich, Germany.

Bures, E., & Abrami, P. C. (2013, June). The Second generation of online discussion forums: Going beyond marginalia to ice-cream. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications (EdMedia), Victoria, BC.

Bures, E., Abrami, P. C., & Bentley, C. (2007, October). Electronic portfolios -- Now that we have them, what can we do with them? Paper presented at E-Learn 2007, Quebec City, QC.

Bures, E., Barclay, A., Abrami, P.C. & Meyer, E. (2009, August). Contextualizing student assessment: How can teachers effectively assess electronic portfolios? Paper to be presented at the European Association of Research and Learning in Instruction (EARLI), Amsterdam.

Bures, E., Barclay, A., Abrami, P. C., Meyer, E., & Venkatesh, V. (2011, September). The 'mixed bag' of electronic portfolio assessment: Can electronic portfolios be a form of standardized assessment? Paper presented at the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI) biennial conference, Exeter, United Kingdom.

Bures, E., Barclay, A., Abrami, P. C., Meyer, E., & Venkatesh, V. (2012, April). The reality of assessing "authentic" portfolios: Can electronic portfolios serve as a form of standardized assessment of literacy and self-regulated learning at the elementary level? Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) annual meeting, Vancouver, BC.

Bures, E. M., Lysenko, L. V., Barclay, A., & Abrami, P. C. (2013, April). Supporting student teachers' reflective practice through electronic professional portfolios. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) annual meeting, San Francisco, CA.

Bures, E. M., Venkatesh, V., & Abrami, P. C. (2013, April). How do electronic portfolios support the development of literacy and self-regulted learning in elementary students? Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) annual meeting, San Francisco, CA.

Cooperberg, A., Meyer, E., Wade, A., White, B., & Idan, E. (2008, May). Professional training for ePortfolios: Designing a virtual tutorial for ePEARL. Workshop presented at the ePortfolio & Digital Identity Conference, Concordia University, Montreal, QC.

Davidson, A.-L., Lysenko, L., Bures, E., Abrami, P. C., Wade, A., & Idan, E. (2012, May). The design, development and implementation of an electronic portfolio-ePEARL Level 4, to help the professionalization of teachers/Le design, le développement et l'implantation d'un portfolio éléctronique pour appuyer la formation des enseignants et favoriser leur professionnalisation. Paper presented at the International Scientific Conference on ICT and Education: past, current and future trends, Montreal, QC.

Egland, T., Zazula, D., & Wade, A. (2008, April). ePEARL: Starting the electronic portfolio in your elementary classroom. Workshop presented at the Digital Denizens: Keying into the 21st Century conference, Calgary, AB.

Idan, E., Abrami, P. C., Wade, A., & Meyer, E. (2011, March). Designing for the development of self-regulation: A web-based electronic portfolio for adult learners. Paper presented at the International Technology, Education and Development conference, Valencia, Spain.

Lebel, C., & Bernath, L. (2009, December). ePEARL. Workshop presented at the MATI meeting on portfolio standards, Montreal, QC

Lebel, C., & Pillay, V. (2010, January). ePEARL. Workshop presented at the Département d'éducation, Université de Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Montreal, QC.

Lysenko, L., Bures, E., Idan, E., Wade, A., Abrami, P. C., & Meyer, E. (2012, October). An electronic portfolio for teachers: Design and preliminary assessment. Paper presented at the 17th Annual E-Learn World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, & Higher Education, Montreal, QC.

Meyer, E., Abrami, P. C., & Wade, A. (2010, May). Improving teaching strategies and learning outcomes with electronic portfolios. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Denver, Colorado.

Meyer, E., Abrami, P.C. & Wade, A. (2009, April). Electronic portfolios in the classroom: Factors impacting teacher's integration of new technologies and new pedagogies. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), San Diego, CA.

Meyer, E.J., Abrami, P.C. & Wade, A. (2009, May). Improving teaching and learning with electronic portfolios. Paper presented at the Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE), Ottawa, ON.

Morris, K. L. (2006, March). Digital portfolio workbook for pre-service teachers. Paper presented at the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE) International Conference (pp. 2295-2298), Orlando, FL.

Stenzel, T. D., L., & White, B. J. (2010, June). ePearl: Portfolios in the classroom. Paper presented at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), Denver, CO.

Stenzel, T., Diner, L., & White, B. (2011, June). ePEARL: E-Portfolio encouraging active reflective learning K-12. Poster presented at the 32nd annual conference of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), Philadelphia, PA.

Wade, A. (2009, June). Using ePEARL in the classroom. Workshop presented at the Lester B. Pearson School Board K4 teachers, Dorval, QC.

Wade, A. & Abrami, P. C. (2008, May). Encouraging self-regulated learning through electronic portfolios [Keynote speakers]. Digital Portfolio as a strategy for teachers' professional development: International seminar, Helsinki, Finland.

Wade, A., Abrami, P. C., White, B., Nicolaidou, I. & Morris, K. (2006, October). ePEARL: electronic portfolio encouraging active reflection learning. Paper presented at the European Institute for E-Learning (EIFEL) - Oxford ePortfolio Conference, London, England.

Wade, A., & Deleveaux, G. (2009, October - November). Using ePEARL in the classroom. Three workshops presented at the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) Pedagogical Services ICT Day, Montreal, QC.

Wade, A., Idan, E., Abrami, P. C., & Lebel, C. (2007, October). Electronic portfolio encouraging active reflective learning software (ePEARL). Paper presented at E-Learn 2007, Quebec City, QC.

Wade, A., & Upitis, R. (2010, February). Using electronic portfolios in the arts: An introduction to ePEARL. Workshop presented at the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto, ON.

Abrami, P. C., Bures, E., Wade, A., Lysenko, L., & Davidson, A.-L. (2011, September). Promoting reflective teaching practices using ePEARL (Final Report). Montreal, QC: Ministère de l'Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport (MELS). Download the report.

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