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A Cross-Case Analysis of the Use of Web-Based ePortfolios in Higher Education
Journal of Information Technology Education: Innovations in Practice (2013)
  • Dr. Rochell R. McWhorter, University of Texas at Tyler
  • Julie A. Delello, University of Texas at Tyler
  • Paul B. Roberts, University of Texas at Tyler
  • Cindy M. Raisor
  • Debra A. Fowler

Higher education is mandated to document student learning outcomes and ePortfolios have been offered as a panacea for assessment, evaluation, and accreditation. However, the student voice regarding the value students construct from building and utilizing web-based electronic portfolios (ePortfolios) in higher education has been sparse or non-existent in a number of disciplines. In the current study, a total of 459 undergraduate and graduate students’ perceptions were collected through structured surveys, reflective journals, emails, and reflection papers. This mixed methods study reviews the historical foundations of contemporary web-based ePortfolios within a con-structivist theoretical frame and presents four case studies from two universities in southwest USA from four disciplines (education, industrial technology, chemical engineering, and human resource development). A compilation of research findings from the four case studies yielded 27 categories that were later condensed through cross-case analysis resulting in five emerging themes: career-focused, big picture of learning, social and visual learning, enablers of ePortfo-lios, and barriers of ePortfolios. Each theme is discussed and illuminated by extracts of student work and supported by relevant literature. Recommendations include greater communication with students regarding expectations and requirements of the ePortfolio, providing student and faculty training on web-based ePortfolios, and forming a community of practice.
  • Evaluation,
  • ePortfolio,
  • web-based,
  • career,
  • social networking,
  • NVivo,
  • constructivist
Publication Date
Publisher Statement
First published in the Journal of Information Technology Education: Innovations in Practice.
Citation Information
McWhorter, R. R., Delello, J. A., Roberts, P. B., Raisor, C. M., & Fowler, D. A. (2013). A cross-case analysis of the use of web-based eportfolios in higher education. Journal of Information Technology Education: Innovations in Practice, 12, 253-286.