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Members of Cohort IV writing on a flip chartThe fourth cohort of the Inter/National Coalition for Electronic Portfolio Research (2007-2010) focuses on the impact of electronic portfolio use on student learning and educational outcomes in a UK and European context. The cohort is jointly led by the Coalition directors and leaders from the Center for Recording Acheivement, with support for the Higher Education Academy. Initiatives in both the UK and the rest of the European Union offer a conducive context. Because government policy affirms is value, building on a long tradition of personal development planning, there is now a rapidly growing practice of ePortfolio development for stimulating, recording, and assessing student learning ripe for investigation. In addition to individual projects, the cohort will collectively address the question: How are learner development and achievement most effectively supported by technological support systems that both generate and document learning?

University of Bradford

The University of Bradford has made a commercial e-portfolio package available to all staff and students. To aid and inform our implementing and embedding of the use of this system we are examining the following research question: “ In what contexts and to what effect do tutors deploy e-portfolio based learning activities designed to facilitate students' transition toward learner autonomy?
Final report: Report
Contact: Peter Hughes,

University of Cumbria

The University of Cumbria’s involvement in the I/NCEPR aims to build on and enhance the ongoing JISC funded ‘Flourish’ project, which is concerned with integrating eportfolios into the continuing personal and professional development of staff. To this end, our participation will centre on the following research question: Which work practices, if any, effectively integrate aspects of eportfolios and what support structures underpin such integrations?
Final report: Report
Contact: James Howard, [email protected]

University of Groningen

Improving the quality of students’ personal development plans by using peer feedback: This study examines the influence of peer feedback on the quality of PDPs. In two different contexts (fourth-year medical and second-year sociology students) the students will be divided in two conditions: with peer feedback and without. In the analysis students’ characteristics that are measured before and after compiling PDPs will taken into account.
Contact: Ellen Jansen,

London Metropolitan University

We are investigating how electronic portfolios encourage learning for academic, personal and professional development in a variety of contexts including APEL, by exploring a variety of pilot templates and reusable learning objects to support the process, and using self-efficacy and other methods to evaluate their impact.
Final report: Report
Contact: Peter Chalk,

University of Manchester Medical School

We are investigating the impact of using paper elements compared electronic elements in a portfolio, on the personal and professional development of undergraduate medical students in terms of engagement with the portfolio, quality of content, and personal learning spaces (privacy, security, ownership) by using a mixed method approach.
Final report: Report
Contact: Isobel Braidman,

University of Michigan

Our research questions reflect Michigan’s diverse goals for ePortfolios: how do we support both student-centered learning and programmatic assessment needs in the context of a highly diversified, interdisciplinary research university? How do student learning and achievement as well as programmatic assessment practices vary across academic and disciplinary contexts? How do we identify and aggregate learning goals, best practices and lessons learned from across contexts in order to develop an institutional-wide approach to student learning and program assessment?
Final report: Draft Report
Contact: Melissa Peet,

University of Northumbria

Using the Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory, Northumbria is exploring the meaning of personal development with large numbers of students and staff and as part of a national project involving twelve other universities. In particular the project is exploring the impact on student personal development of different learning environments, processes and interventions. The Coalition research focuses on cohorts of students using digital portfolios.
Final report: Report
Contact: Jamie Thompson,

University of Nottingham

What should the next generation of eportfolio-related learning and technology at the University of Nottingham look like? We intend to inform institutional decision-making, particularly by documenting eportfolio processes and outputs in lifewide learning in first-year undergraduates' extra-curricular group projects and postgraduate students' co-development of research work and personal skills.
Final report: Report
Website: www.nottingham.ac.uk/integrativelearning
Contact: Angela Smallwood,

Queen Margaret University College

This study explored health sciences learners' experiences of receiving feedback delivered through ePortfolios. Essentially qualitative, the research employed a collective case study approach to facilitate an in-depth, comparative perspective of the learners' experiences. Six focus groups drawn from the subject areas of radiography, physiotherapy and nursing enabled the researchers to access the learners' views and preferences regarding experiences of feedback in general, as well as feedback through an ePortfolio. Despite the small scale of this study, a rich picture of learner experiences, attitudes and preferences with regards to feedback and feedback through ePortfolios has been developed.
Final report: Report
Contact: Susi Peacock,

University of Wolverhampton

Our research focuses on the question What are the facilitating and inhibiting factors in building capability and capacity of staff in supporting the use of ePortfolio? As a first step, we are investigating how we at Wolverhampton define PDP, CPD, ePDP and ePortfolio. Wolverhampton is a large, multi-campus, teaching-intensive university. The Institution has a University-wide framework for PDP, and uses a custom-made ePortfolio tool, PebblePad, to support this process.
Final report: Report
Contact: Megan Lawton,



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Cohort IV

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