e-Portfolio assessment in networked learning based communities

Avery, Barry and Sime, Julie-Ann (2016) e-Portfolio assessment in networked learning based communities. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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There is a substantial body of research suggesting the advantages of using e- Portfolios in higher education assessment, where work is collated by individuals to record their learning. The use of learning communities in this context is an under-researched area, despite the number of e-Portfolios that implement a social component. This work develops an alternative e-Portfolio approach by using a networked learning based pedagogy, which brings richer descriptions of both artifacts and the structure of the underlying community. Action research and free/open source development principles have been aligned over two cycles, where students have participated as both co-researchers and co-developers. Evolving the nature and presentation of assessment artifacts, participants have determined how these are best shared and reused, and the ways in which larger contextual information about the community can improve both the learning and the knowledge of the learning taking place. A multi-method research framework is used to show what artifacts are created, who is interacting with whom and why participants act as they do. Data has been collected using interviews, focus groups and from analytics from the e-Portfolio itself. The findings suggest that the types of artifacts created are influenced by both the community and by the nature of the material being learnt. Artifacts reveal the sources that students use for their work and although participants can be reluctant to reveal incorrect or incomplete work to the community, this can be encouraged by a carefully constructed induction, reinforcing the importance of the role of teacher as tutor. Expertise is quickly associated with some participants by the quality and regularity of their artifact construction, who become more central and influential to the community, with their work becoming increasingly visible through search activities. This work presents the framework, an analysis of the results, conclusions and recommendations along with a reference implementation.

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Thesis (PhD)
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12 Sep 2016 14:12
Last Modified:
03 Dec 2023 01:07