Postgraduate Students’ Perception of the Use of E-portfolios as a Teaching Tool to Support their Learning in an Open and Distance Education Institution

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

E-portfolios have been used for decades in education; however, it is still a new trend in some developing countries as they continue to adopt e-learning practices. The study investigated postgraduate students’ experiences and perceptions of using an e-portfolio as a teaching tool to support their learning in an open and distance e-learning (ODeL) university in South Africa. A sample of 74 students registered for an online module were selected and an online questionnaire administered via Lime Survey. The results show that more than half of the respondents (71%) were using the e-portfolio for the first time. The study also revealed the contrasting views of the support received from the lecturer and institution for the e-portfolio platform, especially with technical issues. This study suggests that distance education institutions that are using e-portfolios need to strategically choose user-friendly technology tools and design appropriate student support strategies for delivering online modules. Higher education institutions that are planning to implement e-portfolios may find the results of this paper useful; however, further investigation of the learners’ needs, and available tools may assist with creative and appropriate designs of support strategies for their contexts.

Student Support Services,Open and Distance Learning (ODL),eLearning,Teacher Education
South Africa
Journal of Learning for Development;Vol 8; No 2