Skip to main content

PortaBLe: New online portal for teacher training

Author: Bielefeld University

The demands placed on teachers are constantly growing – whether dealing with inclusion, the integration of digital media or the goal of holistic education. This Friday (19 April 2024) the new online portal PortaBLe is launched to provide practical support for teachers at schools, universities and in further and continuing education. It was developed as part of the “BiProfessional” quality offensive project at Bielefeld University. Educators can find didactic materials and research articles from German-speaking countries on the platform. Thanks to innovative search functions, the content can be tailored to the individual situation.

PortaBLe brings together more than 600 contributions from around 900 authors. The materials cover the entire spectrum of teacher training topics – from diversity-sensitive education, motivation promotion, research-based learning and democracy education to subject-specific content. Users can use the intelligent search functions to filter the offers, for example, specifically for teaching materials for certain subjects or phases of teacher training.

Im Hintergrund steht ein Smartboard auf dem die Startseite von PortaBLe zu sehen ist. Im Vordergrund stehen zwei Personen (Dr. Julia Schweitzer und Arash Haghani), die in die Kamera schauen und das Portal präsentieren.
Als Teil des PortaBLe-Teams präsentieren Dr. Julia Schweitzer und Arash Haghani das neue Online-Portal.

Suitable content can also be found based on framework guidelines such as the “Orientierungsrahmen Digitalisierung NRW”. “The link to central orientation and reference frameworks is particularly helpful for teachers from the second and third phase of teacher training in order to further develop their didactic arrangements within the framework of the training and further education logic,” says Professor Dr Martin Heinrich, former project manager of BiProfessional.

Teaching materials for free use for all phases

The articles and associated materials compiled by the portal are all Open Educational Resources (OER) – openly available teaching and learning materials that are available under open licences. This means they can be freely used, adapted and redistributed. Contributions and materials are available for school lessons, university teaching and the further education and training of teachers. The materials include work assignments for learners, reflection sheets, learning videos on specific topics, seminar sessions in presentation format, digital learning courses and teaching concepts. In addition, the portal also offers practical research contributions from and for the education sector.

Why PortaBLe is unique

There are now several portals for OER. “What is special about PortaBLe as an OER portal are the search functions specific to teacher training as well as the didactic preparation and quality assurance of the contributions,” says Dr Julia Schweitzer, who is responsible for the content and concept of the portal at the Bielefeld School of Education (BiSEd) at Bielefeld University. The developed materials and research contributions come from teachers, lecturers and researchers in teacher training from all German-speaking countries.

“A major point of discussion with Open Educational Resources is quality assurance. Thanks to the link to academic journals, this is guaranteed with PortaBLe,” says Dr Lilian Streblow. As the former deputy project manager of BiProfessional, she was jointly responsible for developing the portal. The portal currently contains articles from the peer-reviewed journals “Herausforderung Lehrer*innenbildung” (HLZ), “Die Materialwerkstatt” (DiMawe) and “PraxisForschungLehrer*innenBildung” (PFLB).

Potential users were asked about their wishes for the portal in a study. The user study was realised by computer scientist and project team member Arash Haghani, who developed usage scenarios based on the results. “It became clear that usability and a minimalist design should be at the centre of the technical concept,” explains Arash Haghani.

Impulses for the entire teacher training sector

PortaBLe is aimed at all phases of teacher training: In addition to specific teaching materials, it also integrates contributions from educational research, for example on the professionalisation of teachers or innovative teaching-learning concepts. “The combination of scientific findings and practical suggestions makes PortaBLe equally interesting for students, trainee teachers, lecturers and researchers,” summarises Julia Schweitzer. Feedback from teacher training programmes and schools will be incorporated into further development.

PortaBLe is intended to support the training and further education of educators and provide new impetus for teaching.

On PortaBLe – the Bielefeld portal for teacher training – you will find tried and tested teaching concepts and teaching materials for re-use in school lessons, university teaching and teacher training. You can use the teaching materials freely for your didactic purposes in all phases of teacher training. The materials include, for example, reflection sheets, learning videos on specific topics, entire seminar sessions in presentation format or digital learning courses. To ensure that the teaching materials can be used for your own teaching, they are didactically prepared as part of a journal article and thus also quality-assured. PortaBLe also contains practical research articles from and for the education sector. Thanks to innovative search functions, the articles and materials can be found in a targeted manner. For example, using the free text search: Are you teaching in university teacher training and looking for materials to prepare for the practical semester? Use the teacher training-specific advanced search and filter, for example, for your subject “Biology” and materials on the topic “German as a second language”. You will then find, for example, a prepared seminar session, you can get an overview of the article along an abstract and the assigned filters and download a detailed explanation in the form of a journal article as well as the working materials. The search along political orientation and reference frameworks offers further search access. You can use the content-related fields of action of school policy frameworks to find articles. To prepare for your next in-service training course, for example, use the search along the school quality reference framework and be inspired by articles on the topic of “communication, cooperation and networking”. We hope you enjoy discovering PortaBLe!

 [Translation generated with automated support]