JUNE 23, 2018 – Video portfolios: enabling language learning by engaging learner autonomy



This presentation described and evaluated the use of video portfolios to provide a pedagogical framework and a primary means of assessment for a freshman undergraduate EAP speaking course, at a university in Japan. A learner’s video portfolio is a collection of video clips – filmed and edited by the students (using their mobile device), for the purpose of demonstrating what they are capable of in reference to course objectives. It was used in lieu of traditional assessment tools such as exams and assessed presentations. The project was born of a need for a framework, within which the often conflicting goals of making learning transparent and engaging the autonomy of learners could be met. The qualitative evidence of the learners’ performance provided by video portfolios affords a high level of transparency for learners and assessors alike. The self-assessment and reflection inherent in creating the portfolios appeared to encourage learners to take responsibility for their own learning, which, in turn, led them to seek further opportunities to practice using English outside the classroom. After providing an overview of the video portfolio framework, the presentation discussed the outcomes based on perspectives of students and teachers, and extracts from video portfolios.


About the Presenter:

Joe Sykes is a lecturer at Akita International University, in Japan, teaching English for Academic Purposes (EAP). As a PhD candidate at the University of Westminster, he is researching learner autonomy from the perspective of place. Joe’s preferred research methods are qualitative, and include: participative approaches; narrative inquiry; multimodal analysis; and a range of ethnographic methods.

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