Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education



First Advisor

Heather Benedict




Visual art education is advancing through digital media ( text, audio, video, and graphics) and technologies (digital devices, software, and learning platforms that offer options to each student) in ways that impact student engagement and communication. Through the practice of connected learning in a secondary art classroom environment, individual students can bring their strengths and ideas into a community of peers to create a better understanding of complex concepts that individuals could not have reached alone (Cantrill et al., 2014). The purpose of this research study was to understand what effects digital portfolios and Flipgrid have on student engagement and communication. Digital portfolios were introduced using a Google Slides format and Flipgrid as an online connected learning community. The sample study included 50 art students in total; 25 middle school students in grade six and 25 high school students in grades 10-12. Data was collected using the following tools: pre and post- assessments, teacher observation logs and reflection journals, student artifacts with scoring rubrics, and student conference questions. The study, conducted over a six week period in early 2018, contained both qualitative and quantitative data. The data sources revealed an increase in student engagement and communication with the added benefit of connected learning in the secondary art classroom. As a result of this study, researchers recommend that digital tools, such as digital portfolios and communication platforms like Flipgrid, continue to be implemented in the secondary art classroom.

Included in

Education Commons