Factors that Contribute to ePortfolio Persistence
This study examined factors that contributed to persistent use, or discontinued use, of ePortfolios beyond the program of study, as perceived by former educational technology students in a graduate program. The related literature points to contemporary research that choice, ownership, voice, and authentic learning are growing trends emerging as persistent factors that contribute to ePortfolio learning. To research whether these elements were critical to students’ continued use of ePortfolios, a survey instrument was used that contained indicators related to choice, ownership, voice, and authentic learning. 141 former graduate students completed the survey and several students participated in semi-structured interview groups. Of the former graduate students, 17.7% of the students have continued to use their ePortfolio. Of those that are using the ePortfolio, the results of this study indicated that authentic projects, assessment of one’s own earning, receiving feedback, and management of the ePortfolio during the learning process had significant influence on the continued or discontinued use of the ePortfolio after students graduated from the educational technology program. Open-ended interviews revealed that student participants preferred to create ePortfolios that allowed them some control, ownership, and agency over the learning process in various developmental aspects of ePortfolio learning.