Understanding the Usefulness of E-Portfolios: Linking Artefacts, Reflection, and Validation

Ricky Lam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


E-Portfolios in language education have emerged over two decades. Despite their popularity as an instructional tool, many cast doubt on their usefulness in second language classrooms, especially when scholars are not clear about how e-Portfolio artefacts can be converted into reliable learning evidence by students’ active reflection and validation via multimedia feedback to inform language teaching and learning. This paper examines the usefulness of e-Portfolios by looking into how teachers attempt the tool to connect portfolio evidence, rationalisation, and feedback. Three novice teachers with three-year school experience (Jill, Jamie, and Jackie) undertook action research projects in their secondary schools. They participated in the study by trying out their individual e-Portfolio programmes for a year. Qualitative data, including two classroom observations and three reflective journal entries per teacher were collected by the author. Content analysis of qualitative data (i.e., lesson observation transcripts and journal entries) was performed deductively. The findings showed that except Jamie, Jill and Jackie hardly enhanced the usefulness of e-Portfolios, because they could not empower students to link artefacts, reflection, and validation properly owing to multiple reasons. Pedagogical implications concerning how to scale up the usefulness of e-Portfolio in L2 classroom contexts are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalIRAL - International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Aug 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • e-Portfolios
  • pedagogical innovations
  • portfolio assessment
  • second language (L2) classrooms


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