Encountering e-portfolios A Mature Aged Student's Perspective
My 50th birthday was
Like an express train.
My personality is like that of an
Eastern Grey Kangaroo.
I stress first, get agitated and
feel totally overwhelmed,
panic and attempt to flee.
Educational Applications of
• Assessment 1: Learning
Contract or Action Plan
• (I knew a little about these)
• Assessment 2: e-portfolio
• ( I knew NOTHING about these)
Giving up on the course was a real
option, at the time.
I thought that PebblePad was the
webfolio, in fact, it is only one potential
asset within it
A few mature age students felt like they were drowning
for the 3rd time.
We supported each other away from the subject forum.
Why was it so difficult?
Initially I was overwhelmed by the task and the new ideas
that were being presented to me.
Through later reflection on my study and how I work I have
discovered that I am a slow learner. I don’t ‘catch on’ quickly
at the start of a subject but as I progress through the work
there is usually a ‘lights on’ moment where things click into
place for me.
What pieces of the puzzle had
•What an e-portfolio was
•How to construct it
•How to choose what to place in an e-portfolio
•How to reflect on learning
•Specific guidance for the tool I was using
The opening page of my first e-portfolio
Even at this
early stage the
‘telling a story’
I should have made a portfolio within the e-portfolio.
I only had a very
basic grasp on the
organisation of an
There are too many
links on this page ,
perhaps a sub-
portfolio, a blog or
an activity asset
may have been a
better way to show
PebblePad became a learning goal
As I progressed
time taken to
and set up the
impacted on my
ability to spend
time on my other
I was starting to
see a use for
learning goal to
I was relieved to have
finished the semester
and thought that my
journey with e-portfolios
The end of the semester
I decided to return and complete my Certificate
IV in Veterinary Nursing
Trying to find completed work was like a
treasure hunt ...
it was hidden, (or lost) in
so many different places.
Opening page of my Vet Nursing e-portfolio.
A learning e-portfolio for me.
I include ‘my
story’ again as I
started to put
work that had
in previous years.
Assessments, results and a story
Finally, in one
place, I had
and a list of the
tasks that were still
to be completed
and where the
evidence could be
This was sent to my
teacher and aided
in the process of
Vet Nursing blog contained within the e-portfolio
What was the difference?
• I was comfortable with the concept and
ideas of e-portfolios
• Familiarity with the tool. I had already used it
and knew the basics
• I was the driving force behind the e-portfolio
• It was my story
An e-portfolio for a new subject:
story telling through photos
Planning an e-portfolio using e-portfolio tools and good old
pencil and paper.
Plans are included in
e-portfolios. They are
also placed in the
assessment portfolio If
this planning adds
value to the work.
Reflecting on the work and the process
becomes part of my learning.
Furthering my skills, assessment portfolio: 2010
Reflection is naturally a part of learning now.
A blog as a story e-portfolio just for me.
This was not necessary for assessment but my own choice.
Where am I at now?
•My weekly updates still aren’t happening
(but I will keep trying)
•I continue to ‘butterfly’ with my work
(although I am a little more organised than I once was)
• I regularly use PebblePad for subject and
non-subject related planning and
•Academic and critical reflection
•University of South Australia. Critical Reflective Practice. University of
South Australia learn online, 2010.
• Establishing criteria for selecting work to include or
retain in my e-portfolio
•I include too many links for the reader
•Use multi-media more
•Be more consistent
Where I need more work and learning:
I have included a video in one e-portfolio.
For me, that giving a little of ‘self’ is important, it is part
of who I am (and wombats are always a crowd pleaser).
How could my first encounter have
• Background information on e-portfolios (brief,
simple and clear)
• Guidance with the reflection process
• Viewing examples of e-portfolios
•Demonstration of the tool being used early in
the semester (preferably live)
• A template for early guidance
• Student mentoring
• Ongoing feedback throughout the
e-portfolio process rather than just for
How could my first encounter have been improved?
33All photographs or video recordings were taken by Sandra Stewart or Jeremy Nunn copyright Rocky Creek Creations. 2010