ePortfolios for learning in Higher Education

I was asked to participate in a discussion for a video at the Institute of Leadership with my colleague Steve Pitman, My EdD research has been based around supporting eportfolios with postgraduate students during their learning journey, this is some text from my EdD project to introduce the video

ePortfolios have been receiving increasing attention and have become significant tools for learning in higher education. While ePortfolios are used for reasons such as learner assessment and competency achievement; they have also been identified as important tools in assisting development of reflective practice among students. A comprehensive study by JISC suggests that perhaps the most pressing reason for taking a closer look at ePortfolios is the indication that use of these tools can promote deeper forms of learning.

EPortfolios promote learner centred education enabling students to make connections between the learning which occurs in different contexts: academic, workplace and community, thus supporting continuing professional development.

EPortfolios are ‘digital briefcases’ of which technology-enabled features can enable representation of learning in multimodal ways rather than just through plain text. Carey Jewitt asserts that we are moving away from the dominance of writing to the rising popularity of imagery and other media as means of communication, keeping this in mind I believe that ePortfolios are platforms where learning can be represented using various mediums such as video, podcasts, imagery or mindmaps.

Beetham, H. (2006). ePortfolios in Post-16 Developments, Issues and Opportunities in the UK. UK: JISC.

Jewitt, C. (2008). Multimodal classroom research. AERA Review of Research in Education, 32(1), 241- 267.

JISC (2008) Effective Practice with e-Portfolios’ publication. http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/elearning/eportfolios/effectivepracticeeportfolios.aspx

Munro, I. (2011). DIGITAL PORTFOLIOS: Guidelines for beginners. Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Education.

Nielsen, K., Helms, N., & Pedersen, B. (2011). The use of ePortfolio as a Learning Medium in Clinical Nursing Training. ePIC 2011 Proceedings (pp. 14-19). London: ePortfolio & Identity Conference.

O’Keeffe, M., Donnelly, R. (2013) Exploration of ePortfolios for Adding Value and Deepening Student Learning in Contemporary Higher Education. International Journal of ePortfolio 3 (1) 11-‘

O’Keeffe, M., Donnelly, R., & O’Rourke, K. (2011). Do ePortfolios foster creativity? An evaluative study in a professional development context. Proceedings of DIVERSE Conference. Dublin: DIVERSE.


About Muireann O'Keeffe

I am an educational developer currently working at DCU. I have a passion for researching and evaluating technology that can support and enhance learning. In the past I have taught on Masters programmes (Msc Applied elearning & Postgraduate Diploma in Third level Learning and Teaching) as well as Leadership development programmes.
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