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Enhancing student engagement through online portfolio assessment

Nicholson, DT (2018) Enhancing student engagement through online portfolio assessment. Practitioner Research in Higher Education, 11 (1). pp. 15-31. ISSN 1755-1382

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Abstract

This paper reports on an existing undergraduate academic skills module with a printed portfolio assessment that has been modified to an online portfolio. Qualitative feedback reveals that students most valued the provision of rapid and regular feedback on work, and had a raised awareness of employability goals. Tutors most valued the ability to track students' progress and provide rapid feedback on work. Some also valued the ease of the marking process and the positive impact on tutorials. However, portfolio organisation had an adverse impact on the marking process for some, while others struggled with the effect of the online approach on face-to-face meetings, highlighting the need for further guidance on tutorial management. Quantitative analysis of student grades tentatively indicates higher attainment levels for online portfolios compared with printed equivalents. The findings suggest that personalised progress tracking and prompt, regular feedback on small tasks can promote student engagement in classroom activities, and has implications for the efficacy of student engagement monitoring.

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