I'm beginning a focus on e-portfolios, because I have a keynote to present in late April and I need to get back in touch with the literature!
Swan (2009) reports on the implementation of an e-portfolio system in a teacher preparation programme in Kentucky. Swan (2009, p.629) begins with the need for more work in the area of "the schisms created by the intersection of faculty practice and system design"... in other words, more work is needed on how ePortfolios might be effectively integrated within the systems and structures of academic programmes, and the faculty responsible for them. Institutional studies, Swan suggests, are numerous... but there are not many "at the user-utility, program assessment level" (ibid.) How do we effectively operationalise ePortfolios within programmes of study?
Swan answers the question of effective operationalisation with reference to:
- the emergent perspective, that is, from the understanding that the interface between people and technologies is symbiotic and unpredictable; and
- interaction resistance theory, which holds that the differences between "designer intention and user perception cause implementation problems" (2009, p.629).
Swan provides an excellent platform for further studies in ePortfolio implementation/operationalisation at the user-level. His introduction of the emergent perspective and interaction resistance theory ring true to my own work in institutional change and development in e-learning where leadership, conversation and improvement (I was going to write 'compromise' as the result of conversation, but in fact it is ultimately improvement) form a tri-unity of absolute importance.
More on the findings of Swan's study tomorrow...