Eportfolio in Ireland: A landscape snapshot of current practice

Farrell, Orna, Buckley, Karen, Donaldson, Lisa and Farrelly, Tom (2021) Eportfolio in Ireland: A landscape snapshot of current practice. Irish Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 6 (1).


This article reports on a study that explored eportfolio practice in Irish higher education. The aim of this research was to gain a landscape snapshot of eportfolio practice and technologies across Irish Higher Education Institutes (HEI) and to address a gap in the literature that there is little empirical evidence about how Irish HEIs engage and adopt eportfolio in practice. The project adopted a mixed method approach and was framed by two research questions: RQ1: What are the features of eportfolio practice in Irish higher education? RQ2: What are the experiences of Irish higher education practitioners in adopting eportfolio? Data was collected from seventy-nine participants from a range of Irish HEIs using an anonymous online survey. The four central themes that make up the study’s findings highlight key issues related to institutional engagement with eportfolio including features of eportfolio practice; technology underpinning eportfolio practice; enablers of eportfolio adoption and barriers to eportfolio adoption. The findings of this study indicate that Irish teaching staff use eportfolios with their students primarily for assessment, reflection, to support placement experiences and to develop student employability skills. There was also evidence that staff are using eportfolios for personal and/or professional purposes. Furthermore, it is particularly noteworthy that hardly anyone in the study reported evaluating their eportfolio practice. In addition, our findings indicate that the implementation and adoption of eportfolio by Irish HEIs has been quite uneven, the majority of institutions were reported to be at the early stages of adoption. While this study provides useful insight regarding the institutional and staff perspective, the research team do acknowledge that the student voice was not captured in this instance.

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