Imagine yourself in a fantastic world, a Neverland or Wonderland for a short moment to be either a Peter Pan or Alice in Wonderland (up to you). You picture yourself as either not wanting to grow up or instead as eager to discover new realms. How then would you go about documenting and reporting your journey? What would you note down and what discard, what would be grasped as noteworthy and what left aside. Peters’ collected evidence probably would look very different from Alice’s. Let’s take Peter’s listing for example. No doubt it will reveal dangers encountered, connecting with friends, and talking a lot about plans to consider. Adventurous Alice’s list however would tell about riddles, questions, and astonishments about ever changing environments. Admitted, Neverland is not the same world as Wonderland; so, what should be noted would differ but as a learning journey the trajectory of Peter and Alice would completely diverge. In the classroom world we also ask learners to pen down their learning trajectories in so called portfolios; in the digital classroom of course in e-portfolios. They are collections of evidence (1), gathered preferably in a self-determined way. What report do they give?
A study conducted in Vietnam investigated student portfolio use over a period of time and effects on motivation and self-regulation. Effects were positive, as often noted, but more of interest is portfolio use itself. What is striking is the rise of the evaluative activity of students (checking whether they did well according to their own standard) and the lowering of acceptance of feedback (listening to others). Portfolio use was for only 3% of the time linked with discussion about content with others (peers, teachers).
One might wonder: a classroom world with many Peters’ and Alices’ out there on their own? Admitted, portfolios are personal documents but intended for being used as a learning tool that will cover a shared domain of content and curriculum. One might add emphatically; the whole purpose of the portfolio is making individual learning accomplishments visible and tangible and definitely to be shared, and discussed (Why otherwise make one). In that respect the turn of a learning trajectory over time towards a private, closed experience is unfitting. Moereover, if learning is a travel both Peter and Alice would need a guide.
Lap Trung Nguyen & Mitsuru Ikeda , The effects of ePortfolio-based learning model on student selfregulated learning Active Learning in Higher Education2015, Vol. 16(3) 197–209
sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav DOI: 10.1177/1469787415589532