E-portfolios provide a web-based space where students can demonstrate their development of expertise in a wide range of skills and knowledge, whether in discipline knowledge or graduate capabilities. However, it is yet to be demonstrated how readily these tools can be integrated within the university curriculum. This paper reports on the results of a pilot implementation of the Mahara e-portfolio tool in an Australian university, involving different curriculum contexts across two semesters. Students in the participating units were surveyed on their perspectives about the usability of the e-portfolio tool, the support provided and its effectiveness for their learning. The results suggest that, like all successful curriculum innovations, e-portfolios need to be integrated into the learning and teaching process and students need to understand the benefits as part of successfully engaging with the tools. Amongst the implications is the question of whether the currently available e-portfolio tools are sufficiently sophisticated to integrate seamlessly with existing LMS platforms to meet the changing demands of higher education.
Copyright 2011 Margot McNeill and Andrew Cram. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.