Best of Ireland: The Learning Portfolio in Higher Education: An Integrative Review

ID: 53361 Type: Invited
  1. Darina Scully, Michael O'Leary, and Mark Brown, Dublin City University, Ireland

Wednesday, June 27 12:45 PM-1:45 PM Location: Koepelzaal

Presider: Kurt Ackermann, Hokusei Gakuen University Junior College, Japan

Abstract: The learning portfolio is often lauded as a powerful pedagogical tool, and consequently, is rapidly becoming a central feature of contemporary education. This paper synthesizes and critically reviews the literature pertaining to its use in higher education contexts specifically. Three key themes are identified and discussed. First, although the theory underlying the use of learning portfolios is promising, robust empirical evidence supporting their effectiveness remains sparse. Second, the tool is rooted in a complex pedagogy, and its potential can only be realized if the processes underlying this pedagogy are properly understood by advocates and executed by users. Third, there is a recurring tension between the developmental (process) and evaluative (product) conceptualizations of the learning portfolio. On the basis of these findings, some recommendations for future research and practice in this area are identified.

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