Saturday, 2 November, 2013

Paper Review: Student perceptions of ePortfolio integration in online courses

Bolliger, D. U., & Shepherd, C. E. (2010). Student perceptions of ePortfolio integration in online courses. Distance Education, 31(3), 295–314.
Portfolios are compilations of personal and professional work for documenting and describing skills, growth or development. This paper explores how electronic portfolios influence graduate students’ perceptions of communication and connectedness, learning and value in online programs. Students from two online graduate-level courses at a small research university in the western United States were involved in this study. Data was collected from 40 such students with a web-based questionnaire and a threaded discussion forum. The study utilized mixed-method approach. Following were key findings:
  • ePortfolios positively impacted some students' perception of peer communication.
  • ePortfolios positively impacted most students’ perception of their learning.
  • Many respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they valued the integration of an ePortfolio in the course.
  • Most participants also valued ePortfolios.
  • Prior ePortfolio experience and gender were responsible for minor differences in student perceptions.
  • Lack of prior reflective experience impacted student perceptions significantly.
The authors have concluded that ePortfolios can foster learning communities in online graduate programs.

This paper makes use of quantitative and qualitative analysis to explore influence of ePortfolio on the perceptions of students of online courses. The idea that ePortfolios can be used be use for fostering learning community is a valuable idea and should be validated with additional reasearch.

Fostering learner-learner and learner-instructor interaction in online courses is a challenge. ePortfolios could be another useful tool in addition to tools such as discussion forums. More research is needed to establish usefulness of ePortfolios.

No comments: