Build, edit, submit, share: The use of e-portfolios to encourage collaboration in student led semianrs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


In the context of the ‘digital native’ generation and the increasing move towards the full integration of delivery and support for all aspects of student learning via virtual learning environments (VLEs) such as Blackboard Learn+, there is an increasingly higher education (HE) evidence base that demonstrates the need for and benefits of more innovation in the use of technology in supporting assessment and feedback for learning (Nortcliffe and Middleton, 2007, Merry and Orsmond 2008 and Rotherham, 2008). This project arose out of a TFL project that sought to encourage student engagement with student led seminar programmes. Specifically to encourage such engagement the research objectives were in relation to delivering timely, high quality formative assessment feedback and providing opportunities for students to act on the feedback given. It also aimed to develop self-reflection and more meaningful engagement with the seminar programme overall. This research focuses on the key benefits of using e-portfolios to this end, with empirical data being gathered via a student survey and reflective staff records of the whole process. As such this action research project aims to improve “some aspect of the student learning experience” (Norton: 2009, XV). It is essentially a reflective project in that it “is an empirical approach to the importance of data in reflectively improving practice” (McIntosh, 2010:34). E-portfolios have long been considered in the HE arena as a valuable mechanism for gathering together a body of evidence to support student learning, progression and personal and professional development. They are defined as “personalised, wed based collections of work, responses to work, and reflections that are used to demonstrate key skills and accomplishments for a variety of contexts and time periods” (University of British Columbia, Office of Learning and Technology, Their benefits are thought to include: the documentation of skill sets; the ability to reflect on learning and strengthening self-study (Lorenzo and Ittelson, 2005). Further Tosh (2004: 6) discusses the value of e-portfolios when they are used “throughout a course as an integral part of the learning experience, as opposed to a reporting mechanism after the main body of learning is completed”. It is just such a model that is utilised here, in that the students kept an e-portfolio that reflects on the learning from their engagement with the student led seminar series over the course of a twelve week semester. Tosh (2004) identifies the three important aspects of achieving such outcomes as the reflection itself, the communication of such with peers and tutors and the sharing of the e-portfolios. It is just such an approach that has been adopted in this project. Preliminary findings will be the main focus of this research at this time, including the design of the assessment and e-portfolios, how students were supported and prepared for using e-portfolios, staff reflections to date and preliminary outcomes from the student survey. The overall intention then is to communicate the key benefits of e-portfolios for staff and students and highlight any issues in the implementation of such.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
PublisherUlster University
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 23 Jan 2014
EventCHERP Annual Conference - University of Ulster, Jordanstown
Duration: 23 Jan 2014 → …


ConferenceCHERP Annual Conference
Period23/01/14 → …


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