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E-portfolio quotes and definitions

Educause defines an eportfolio as ‘a collection of authentic and diverse evidence, drawn from a larger archive, that represents what a person or organisation has learned over time, on which the person or organisation has reflected, designed for presentation to one or more audiences for a particular rhetorical purpose’. Martin Weller’s Eportfolio Report for JISC (2005)

‘A collection (or archive) of reflective writing and associated evidence, which documents learning and which a learner may draw upon to present her/his learning and achievements.’ JISC

“The overarching purpose of portfolios is to create a sense of personal ownership over one’s accomplishments, because ownership engenders feelings of pride, responsibility, and dedication.” (Paris and Ayres, 1994,p.10).

“The e-portfolio is the central _and common point for the student experience. It is a reflection of the student as a person undergoing continuous personal development, _not just a store of evidence.” (Geoff Rebbeck, e-Learning Coordinator, Thanet College, quoted in JISC, 2008).

Reflection is the “heart and soul” of a portfolio, and is essential to brain-based learning (Kolb, 1984; Zull, 2002).

‘To sustain a knowledge economy the workers in that economy need to continually develop new knowledge and skills, thus there is an imperative for many developed countries to promote lifelong learning as a cultural expectation.’ Weller (2007:35)

E-portfolios as ‘a means of gathering resources and monitoring progress is almost a requirement for complex learning to take place.’ Weller (2007:39)

‘The ePortfolio is a new concept, with the “e” part of the term suggesting that this is an online environment loaded with electronic tools that can be used to develop and present a portfolio package’. Jafari (2004:06)

The CMS breathed new life into cash-strapped campuses by providing a system to offer and sell distance-learning courses for both certificate and degree programs. Jafari (2004:04)

The end-user is a human being, and not all human beings have the same demands or expectations for human-computer interaction. Jafari (2004:03)

‘A digitized collection of artifacts including demonstrations, resources, and accomplishments that represent an individual, group, or institution.’ Reese and Levey (2009)

Helen Barrett describes an eportfolio an ‘Academic Myspace” and she suggests that, ‘The TaskStream electronic portfolio has been described by students participating in the REFLECT Initiative as an “academic MySpace.” If only we could capture that level of motivation while furthering the goals of deep learning in formative electronic learning portfolios, then we may realize the real promise of using technology to both improve and showcase student achievement’.


Jafari, A. (2004) ‘The “sticky” e-portfolio system: tackling challenges and identifying attributes’ (online), Educause Review, vol. 39, no. 4 (July/August), pp. 38–49. Available from: http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0442.pdf

Martin Weller’s 2005 report for the OU on eportfolio products and strategic options for a university-wide system.
Reese, M. and Levy, R. (2009) ‘Assessing the future: e-portfolio trends, uses, and options in higher education’ (online), Research Bulletin, issue 4, EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research, Boulder, CO. http://learn.open.ac.uk/file.php/6847/Reese_Levy.pdf (accessed 23 August 2010).


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