This special issue of the UAE Journal of Educational Technology and eLearning delves into ePortfolios and their role and contribution to lifelong learning and learning by doing. The articles included in this edition discuss the value of reflection, critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity in 21st Century learning and demonstrate how well-designed ePortfolios can contribute to student intellectual and personal growth, engaged learning, and alignment with curriculum and learning outcomes.
Although many universities today are implementing ePortfolios into curriculums, more research is required to provide evidence that ePortfolios can develop and measure an increase in student learning and success. The multi-faceted nature of ePortfolios means that teachers must determine how to align ePortfolio creation with pedagogies and curriculum, as well as determine assessment strategies. It is a challenge to capture the rich textures and layers of an ePortfolio and incorporate the multifaceted resulting product with specific learning outcomes and measurable assessment included in course design.
We hope that this collection of articles from within our region and from around the world, assists teachers in determining ePortfolio approaches, assessments, and implementation strategies within their own programs, and motivates them to include ePortfolios into their pedagogies and assessment strategies.
With very little international ePortfolio research to date, it was very exciting to see almost half of the articles included in this issue generated from UAE contributors. There are exciting projects underway within The Higher Colleges of Technology regarding ePortfolio implementation and assessment. Readers can assess ePortfolio initiatives worldwide and from within the specific context of Higher Education in the UAE.
The production of this special issue of the UAE Journal of Educational Technology and eLearning requires a solid team effort. We thank our review board for their assistance and diligence. The effort of our contributors is much appreciated. It is a challenge to implement new strategies such as ePortfolios within your programs, and to make the time to also report on experiences of teachers and learners, requires exceptional dedication. We thank you! As Isaac Newton reflected, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”.
Dr. Susan Bainbridge