Original Research: Technology in Academics

A learning-oriented framework for e-portfolio development in distance education

Christina J. van Staden
Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie | Vol 35, No 1 | a1392 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/satnt.v35i1.1392 | © 2016 Christina J. van Staden | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 May 2016 | Published: 25 November 2016

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Christina J. van Staden, Academy Applied Technology and Innovation, University of South Africa, South Africa

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George Kuh’s (2008) list of 10 high-impact practices, supported by the American Association for Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), was amended early 2016 to include eportfolios. It is important, since it was the first amendment of the list. In this paper, the author reported on the usefulness of a learning-oriented framework for facilitating e-portfolio development in tertiary distance education. The framework integrates the three principles of a learning-oriented approach to assessment, namely that assessment tasks should be learning-oriented, that the student should be actively involved in self and peer assessment, and that quick, frequent feedback should be given to promote current and future learning. The learning tasks were designed to simultaneously provide opportunities to demonstrate the key competencies that ought to be developed during higher education. A variety of technologies were integrated to promote informal, accidental, selfdirected, selfregulated, cooperative, networked, experiential and transformative learning and the development of a community of practice. An investigation into one of the eportfolios, developed within this framework, shows that the student demonstrated achievement towards learning outcomes, while the level of development of key competencies could simultaneously be demonstrated and traced. After being exposed to a demanding, challenging, and frequently solo journey, the student states that the degree is valuable since she was not required to ‘merely regurgitate[d] the text book in parrot fashion in the exam’, she had to demonstrate the ‘ability to do something practical’. Based on this statement, eportfolios can be regarded as a high-impact educational practice.


lewenslange leer; leergeoriënteerde assessering; e-portefeuljes; afstandgerigte hoër onderwys


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