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Tutor response to implementing an ePortfolio to support learning and personal development in further and higher education institutions in Scotland

By Susi Peacock, L Gordon, Sue Murray, K Morss and G Dunlop


Emergent research indicates that electronic portfolios (ePortfolios) can have a positive impact on the learning experience, but there are significant challenges—pedagogical and technological—which may limit their effectiveness. This paper contributes to research by providing further evidence about such challenges from the tutor perspective and offers suggestions about how institutions may address these issues. The paper draws upon 23 semi-structured interviews conducted with tutors in a range of subject areas, from Scottish further and higher education. Tutors were positive about the role that ePortfolios could play in the learning environment to encourage personal development and a more reflective approach to studies, assist student transition and, in some cases, support assessment. Concerns were raised, however, relating to moving paper-based assessed portfolios online, the legal issues of implementing an ePortfolio and the technical robustness and flexibility of systems. Barriers were identified regarding tutors' lack of understanding about personal development and reflection, and their role in the academic environment, initiative fatigue and lack of access to information technology. It was felt that these could be overcome, especially with long-term institutional commitment, significant staff development and the creation of tutor support networks. These findings should assist academics, staff developers and managers to implement an effective institutional ePortfolio solution

Publisher: John Wiley and Son
Year: 2010
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