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How to use e-portfolios for retention and assessment of online students – that or they use a blog


ePortfolios (Photo credit: AJC1)




  • To create a better learning environment for all learners (Part of the JISC mission)
  • To support more learner-centred and personalised forms of learning
  • Expectation in H.E. for a Personal Developing Planning (PDP) policy to be in place by 2005/2006 (QAA, 2001)
  • Retaining students
  • Widening participation
  • The increasing importance of reflective learning (particularly in professional disciplines such as medicine)
  • A new qualification, the Diploma, with the development of personal, learning and thinking skills (PLTS) at its core. e-Portfolio technologies provide ways in which these skills can be evidenced.
  • To support  progression.


Threshold concepts are often ‘troublesome’ to the learner, i.e., that they may seem alien, incoherent or counter-intuitive (Perkins, 2006).


In any commercial setting then generating income or saving money would appear at the top of the list. Few commentators ever mention cost.


‘Retaining students’ comes under this, but what about attracting students in a competitive market?


  • What about being able to support a larger student cohort (or are institutions restricted from doing this?)
  • What about developing distance learners and supporting part-time courses?


Is the commercialisation of education such a bad thing?


Is it that academics like artists would prefer to do everything for free?




Joyes, G., Gray, L. & Hartnell-Young, E. (2009). Effective practice with e-portfolios: How can the UK experience inform practice? In Same places, different spaces. Proceedings ascilite Auckland 2009. http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/auckland09/procs/joyes.pdf




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