A Case Study Analysis about the Use of a Digital Transition Portfolio for Secondary Students with Mild to Moderate Disabilities in an Urban Inclusive High School Classroom
Trexler, Mark J.
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This qualitative single case study examined how one teacher used a digital portfolio in an inclusive urban high school career research and development (CRD) class over one semester. Specifically, this research described a) the teacher’s perceptions of the use of a digital portfolio for secondary transition; b) how the digital portfolio was used in conjunction with a curriculum for secondary transition; c) the relation between a digital portfolio and curricular content; and d) how the relationships among the digital portfolio, curricular content, and instruction varied for students with disabilities. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews, participant and passive observation, document analysis/physical artifacts, and field notes. Coding was used in the final analyses. The results revealed the digital portfolio was defined by the purpose, creation, selection of activities, and ongoing development. Overall, digital portfolio development benefited the teacher and his students. Students’ portfolio content helped the teacher identify conceptual understandings, and errors. The digital portfolio was a useful tool for use in a high school transition class. Themes that emerged in the analysis were related to time commitment, availability of digitized materials, and insuring that materials/activities were both appropriate for the digital portfolio and supported student learning goals. Results indicated how the strategic use of technology can facilitate the transition experience for young adults with disabilities. Barriers related to using the digital portfolio were teacher time, computer accessibility, digitalization, and situational factors. Implications for practice, contributions to the research base, and future research are discussed.