Unifying Experiences: Learner and Instructor Approaches and Reactions to ePortfolio Usage in Higher Education
This paper explores the alignment of student and instructor experiences when employing ePortfolio activities in a Canadian higher education context. Successful ePortfolio activities are operationalized as exhibiting alignment of expectations between students and instructors, whereas misalignment of expectations is characteristic of a poorer experience for the learners. Our research has shown that although this is typically the case, there exist instances of misalignment where the students still have a positive learning experience, and as a result, we attempt to determine other factors that may contribute to positive or negative ePortfolio experiences. Through a mixed-methods study using focus groups, interviews, and surveys, we examine the experiences of over 800 students across 30 courses over two semesters at the University of Waterloo. Our findings suggest that although current best practices should still be adhered to when designing effective ePortfolio activities, best practices alone cannot ensure that the ePortfolio assignment will be successful.