E-portfolios and personal development: a higher educational perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this paper is to investigate the attitudes of staff and students towards adopting the use of e-portfolios for the purposes of supporting the concept of personal development planning (PDP). The study compares and contrasts the views and opinions of staff and students at one UK Higher Education Institution (HEI) about whether e-portfolios can support PDP.

Adopting a case study approach, this study presents empirical data gathered from two surveys involving 460 students and 182 lecturers from one UK HEI, collected from four different campuses across the West of Scotland.

The results of the surveys showed that the framework the authors used in the research to collect information about students and staffs attitudes was effective and that further research is merited for a more extensive investigation into PDP e-portfolio usage within HEI.

Research limitations/implications
The research was conducted at only one UK HEI so at this stage of the research, it is difficult to assess how generalisable the findings are.

Practical implications
This study provides useful empirical evidence to educators who may be considering employing e-portfolios within an educational context. For example, the views of students and staff identified in this paper can aid towards informing educators about some of the issues that might impact on using e-portfolios for supporting PDP in higher education.

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first work that presents survey data on both students’ and lecturers’ attitudes towards e-portfolio use to support and facilitate PDP.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-171
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Higher Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2017


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