Use of a “Hybrid” Science Notebook by Preservice Elementary Education Teachers: Combining Paper and Digital Tools

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This case study examines how elementary preservice teacher candidates used “hybrid” (both paper and digital) notebooks, the extent to which the digital portfolio showed evidence of changes in understanding, and whether candidates plan to use notebooks in their science lesson and unit plan assignments. Activity and reflection entries posted in an online digital portfolio from candidates in 3 science methods courses (each a bounded case) were analyzed for patterns in use and evidence of changes in thinking, and lesson and unit plans were examined to determine whether candidates planned to use some kind of notebook in their teaching. Findings show that when using hybrid notebooks, candidates make use of digital tools, but many prefer having the option to use paper notebooks to synthesize their reflections. Evidence of changes in thinking about science content and pedagogy were found in both paper notebooks and in digital entries, but more often in digital reflections. Instructor modeling might play a role in how candidates plan to use notebooks for learning and teaching.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)567-582
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Science Teacher Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 18 2019
Externally publishedYes



  • assessment
  • digital portfolio
  • science notebook

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