This session will examine the views of UK and China-based students studying courses run by a UK university that are assessed using the same ePortfolio platform. It will include a summary of the existing research into ePortfolios and how this informed the introduction of the system at the university before discussing the data gathered from the surveys and how the findings may influence the use of this type of assessment in the future.
This applies to the conference theme via its investigation of the usability, inclusivity and equity of employing this type of ePortfolio. The purpose of this research was to draw conclusions on whether either group were potentially advantaged or disadvantaged by employing ePortfolios for assessment. Using ePortfolios allows this type of assessment to be included when more traditional paper-based portfolios are impractical, as the work done in one country may need to be second marked by colleagues based in another. The rationale of the study therefore was to examine if the software provided a barrier to using ePortfolio-based pedagogy or facilitated its implementation.
Session content: evaluation and reflection
The eLearning team have conducted surveys with both groups to gather data on how they felt about the usability of the interface when creating and submitting their work and how it affected the return of feedback. Questions were asked regarding the ePortfolios ease of use such as the effects on the ability to add evidence to assignments and whether typed feedback was preferable to handwritten. There were 22 responses to the survey by Chinese students and 36 UK respondents (over two years).
The quantative research was evaluated to see if there was a statistically significant difference in how UK and Chinese students viewed the accessibility of the ePortfolio. Some qualitative data was also gathered from an open question.
If an ePortfolio can be used then it will open up the types of pedagogy available to tutors and hopefully improve the validity of assessment if it effectively judges the development of students should exams or reports be less suitable for certain types of subject.
The ability of the platform to efficiently return feedback is essential and the research asks how easy students found it to gain access using the ePortfolio. The quality of feedback could be rendered irrelevant should usability deficiencies within the system’s interface prove to be a barrier. This is especially important in the current climate where feedback is one of the areas students regularly rate poorly in national surveys conducted by independent parties.
This session would be of interest and value to anyone in the early stages of introducing an ePortfolio whether with UK or international students.
Bacabac, F.E. (2013) Creating Professional ePortfolios in Technical Writing. Journal of Business and Technical Communication 27(1) 91-110
Brown, S. (2015) The Impact of the ePortfolio Tool on the Process: Functional Decisions of a New Genre, Theory Into Practice 54(4) 335-342
Wakimoto D. K. & Lewis, R. E. (2014). Graduate student perceptions of eportfolios: Uses for reflection, development, and assessment. Internet and Higher Education 21 53–58
Morales, L., Soler-Domínguez, A. & Tarkovska, V. (2016). Self-regulated learning and the role of ePortfolios in business studies. Education and Information Technologies 21 (6) 1733–1751