The final countdown 3, 2, 1 … zero: Launching towards a university wide implementation of an ePortfolio system
In today’s digital age educators and governments around the globe are rightfully demanding for more reflective practice and social activity in education. Research has shown that, ePortfolios promote reflection (Batson & Chen 2008; Stefani, Mason & Pegler 2007) and social activity (Gerbic & Maher 2008; Zeichner & Wray 2001) in teaching and learning. ePortfolios are shared, reflected and provides a means for students to be mobile and lifelong learners and the types depend of their multiple purposes. In light of these possibilities, ePortfolios has gained major traction in high schools and universities and are becoming increasingly “viable institutional instructional technology to facilitate student learning” (Dordelly-Rosales 2010, p.12). ePortfolio is therefore a promising technology for any educational institution that aspires to meet the demands of educators and governments in today’s very dynamic learning and teaching environment. // In its efforts to enhance learning and teaching at University of the South Pacific (USP), the Centre for Flexible and Distance Learning (CFDL) has been probing ePortfolios since 2007. In May 2008, an expert on e-portfolios, Sarah Lambert from the University of Wollongong, conducted a series of presentations on ePortfolios at the invitation of CFDL to USP faculty and management. // More specifically, plans for including a unit on e-portfolios in the new ICT generic course (UU100 to be rolled out in semester 2, 2010) called for some serious exploration of best ePortfolio solution/practices. In addition, this exploration exercise was seen as dovetailing with the University’s efforts in developing its graduate profile and attributes as well as the newly setup USP alumni association. The current evaluation and testing exercise is one of the first phases of the ePortfolio rollout at USP. This phase started with an initial meeting of the ePortfolio Working Group on August 24, 2009. // This paper will be presented in four sections. The first provides the literature review that guided the study. The second will provide aim and objectives of the study and the third section will examine the evaluative approach and will present findings from the evaluative process. The final section of the paper will present the conclusion and recommendations of areas for further investigation.