Embedding of e-portfolios into further and higher education has not achieved the same impact in the UK as in other countries and it has been argued the technology component in e-portfolios has much more to offer than just flexibility in storage and portability compared to their paper-based counterpart (Green et al. 2014). The pedagogies and processes involved in developing e-portfolios are very different from those involved in paper-based portfolios in terms of the ease of use and manipulation of the digital artifacts and evidences, the ability to rework and revisit the materials and content over time, and most importantly the potential for communication and sharing of e-portfolio artefacts with employer networks thus offering them new opportunities and experiences (Challis 2005). Previous research on e-portfolios show that the context in which learning and e-portfolios are situated plays an important role on the effectiveness of e-portfolio as a learning tool and how students perceive its value. Hence, the aim of this study was to provide a detailed and comprehensive understanding of the pedagogical value of e-portfolios for healthcare students and the ’contradictions’ that affected their effectiveness as a learning tool.
The study used a longitudinal qualitative instrumental case study design. Initial and follow up semi-structured interviews (n=52), online observation and document analysis were carried out over a period of 21 months. The participants in this study comprised students (n=14), tutors (n=11), and curriculum planners (n=6). The study employed Activity Theory as a methodological and analytical framework to analyze and understand the context in which the e-portfolio was embedded and contradictions impacting on its effectiveness as a learning tool.
The e-portfolio was perceived as an effective mediator that facilitated four learning activities: recording and storing evidence and other materials, evidencing the achievement of learning outcomes, reflection on experience, and sharing work with others. In this presentation, an overview of the results will be reported and in particular how the e-portfolio provided an innovative platform for learning and assessment where students shared elective experiences using multimedia within a webfolio within their own and other peer groups.
Challis, D. (2005). Towards the mature ePortfolio: Some implications for higher education.
Green, J., et al. (2014). “Electronic portfolios in nursing education: a review of the literature.” Nurse education in practice 14(1): 4-8.