University, e-portfolio and students: perpetuating a sense of failure?

Helen Bardy, Lorraine Loveland-Armour, Sarah Parkes


Newman University embraces partnership work through the principles of a pedagogy of partnership evidenced through development of Student Academic Partnership (SAP), Student Research Partnership (SRP) and Student Community Partnership (SCP) projects.

Driving enhancement of digital literacy in its graduates, the Youth and Community work programme embraced the open source e-portfolio platform Mahara for use on study skills and placement modules. Staff however, became aware of the difficulties encountered by students using Mahara and embarked on an initial SAP to unmask the barriers and inform teaching development. This was subsequently followed by an SRP that investigated the specific difficulties for students with dyslexia.

The projects found that students valued peer to peer support rather than online support resources, and uncovered a variety of navigational issues that reinforces a sense of failure (Nosek, 1997), stymieing progress that ultimately limits opportunities for students to creatively express knowledge and understanding of a given subject.


Eportfolio; assessment; partnership; Dyslexia

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