Academic journal article Journal of Historical Research in Music Education

E-Portfolios in Music and Other Performing Arts Education: History through a Critique of Literature

Academic journal article Journal of Historical Research in Music Education

E-Portfolios in Music and Other Performing Arts Education: History through a Critique of Literature

Article excerpt

The introduction and use of various forms of technology have been noted by historians of music education as significant influences on the ways in which music education has developed. For example, George N. Heller notes that "education in general and music in particular have felt the impact of sound recording, film, television, videotape, computers, laser disk technology and a host of other innovations," while published materials and conferences on music education regularly include research into the applications and implications of types of electronic technology, as Peter R. Webster indicates. (1) This reflects the technologizing of both education in general and of music production and dissemination specifically. (2) In contrast to general computer-based technology, specific types of computer-based technology have strong relevance to the learning and teaching of music and other performing arts, owing to their ability to store and present sound and filmed events, to represent the multiple identities of performance educators (as creators, designers, performers, producers, researchers, teachers, technologists) through multimedia, and to provide sites of music creation, manipulation, and dissemination. As Renee Crawford puts it, "the importance of technology in music has meant its necessary inclusion in teaching and learning." (3) In the discussion that follows, we focus on one such technological innovation, the introduction and utilization of student e-portfolios in music and other performing arts education. We show the history of their use, the ways in which they have been and are currently implemented, and their influence on learning and teaching in these discipline areas.

Since their introduction into university learning and teaching in the early 1990s, e-portfolios have become standard artifacts through which students collate, archive, reflect on, and present outcomes of their studies. (4) For teaching staff they have numerous uses, including a means for assessment, an influence on curriculum design, a component of course content delivery, and an institutional capstone object in the form of a final, summative object through which a student collates work completed in a degree program and thus demonstrates both the knowledge gained and skills developed. The scope of their use extends from single task assignments to representation of student progression throughout degree programs. They have entered the management systems of universities. (5) In some universities, e-portfolios have been mandated for both students and staff, and their use is widespread; in others, their use remains voluntary and piecemeal. (6) Research on e-portfolios is strongly represented from writers in Britain and the United States but with regular contributions from researchers in Australia, Canada, Europe, and Scandinavia, all locations where educational technology is well established and economically supported and where its use is an expectation of education systems. (7) Alongside generic research publications for education and music and performing arts education, dedicated journals, professional associations, conferences, and websites have also examined e-portfolios. (8)

In that timeframe, publication on issues surrounding the use of e-portfolios has increased. Specifically in the performing arts, a small amount of research in the late 1990s by L. Castiglione, P. Moss, and Susan McGreevy-Nichols has been followed by widening exposure through discussions of their applications, roles, and significance. (9) At first, writers on e-portfolios discussed their usefulness alongside, or as replacements for, paper-based portfolios, which had been the standard means of collating and demonstrating outcomes of student learning. As the technology required for e-portfolio construction developed, especially with the introduction of Web 2.0 and associated applications, a second stage of research tended to explain how e-portfolios were being used by students and the components that were included. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.