The power of ePortfolio development to foster reflective and deeper learning in an online graduate adult education program

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Hamid Nadir, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: The current study addressed two problems in adult education: the lack of published research on the use of ePortfolios in graduate adult education, and more specifically, how can graduate adult educators utilize ePortfolios to foster reflective and deeper learning in a graduate adult education program? This was a 3-year qualitative study of 36 master’s students in their final capstone course in an online graduate adult education program. The primary research question was Can developing ePortfolios foster reflective and deeper learning in an online graduate adult education program? Researchers analyzed student responses to three guideline questions for the development of their ePortfolios: (a) What story did your ePortfolio tell?, (b) What surprised you?, and (c) What did you learn about yourself? These questions were designed to stimulate students’ thinking about their learning from the ePortfolio process, artifacts, and experience in the degree program. Through thematic analysis of student responses to these questions, three predominant themes emerged that provided evidence for reflective and deeper learning. The three themes were as follows: (a) Students became more reflective learners who frequently experienced deeper transformative learning, (b) Students were surprised by greater self-discovery and significant personal growth exceeding their expectations, and (c) Students found new personal strengths. Specific recommendations were provided about how to use ePortfolios in graduate adult education programs to foster reflective and deeper learning.

Additional Information

Adult Learning, 32(4), 154–164. DOI: 10.1177/1045159520977735
Language: English
Date: 2021
ePortfolios, adult education, capstone course, reflective learning, deeper learning

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