e-Portfolios in Developing Reflective Thinking among Students in the Context of Higher Education: What Remains Untold in the Literature?

Foujia SULTANA
The Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong
fsultana@s.ied.edu.hk

Cher Ping LIM
The Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong
clim@ied.edu.hk

Abstract

There have been growing literature suggest that e-portfolios enhance students reflective thinking and the documentation power of the e-portfolios encourage students to learn. E-portfolios encourage students to reflect upon their work throughout the entire process while working on e-portfolios and that reflection helps accumulate their learning experiences and find meaning in them. It has also been argued that e-portfolios make meaning out of diverse and unconnected pieces of information through reflection. Yet, a comprehensive review of the literature on e-portfolios suggests that despite wider literature claims that e-portfolios promote reflection but what facilitates and/or hinders the reflective thinking while using e-portfolios and how it does mostly remain untold. In addition, if the assumption is right that e-portfolios promote reflection, but what is the nature and quality of the reflections promoted through e-portfolios is little investigated in the literature. Overall, the review reveals that the claim over e-portfolios enhancing reflective thinking is oversimplified and lacks of enough empirical evidences. It indicates that there exists a research gap that yet cannot tell clearly the dynamics of e-portfolios in developing reflection and the nature and quality of the reflection promoted through e-portfolios.

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