Motivated for Learning? The introduction of e-portfolios to Level 1 students in a Further Education college

Anita Jane Kenny


This study examines the impact of the use of IT on the results and achievements of a group of Level 1 students.  The study looks at models for learning, and the impact of curriculum modelling and learning networks within the classroom (as a form of communities of practice).  It also examines the effect on student achievement that the introduction of online portfolio building brings. Using constructivist grounded theory the research sought to examine student results using an online virtual learning environment (VLE) as opposed to a paper based system and how this might be used as an indicator of motivation.  Initial results suggest a significant improvement in submission times as well as students taking more ownership of the tracking and completion of their work and apparently being motivated to complete work more quickly and effectively.  This is an initial study; findings from this project could form the basis of further research into the formation of learning networks, communities of practice amongst Further Education students and the impact of their education experience on learning identities.


virtual learning environment; learning networks; communities of practice; constructivist grounded theory


Attwell G., Chrzaszcz A.,Pallister J.,Hornung-Prähauser V., Hilzensauer W., (2007) MOSEP Grab your future with an e-portfolio, Summary Report Available at

Bryant A., Charmaz K., (Ed) (2007) The SAGE Handbook of Grounded Theory, London, Sage Publications Ltd,

Charmaz K.(2006) Constructing Grounded Theory, London, Sage Publications Ltd,

Devins, D., Darlow, A., & Smith, V., (2002): Lifelong Learning and Digital Exclusion: Lessons from the Evaluation of an ICT Learning Centre and an Emerging Research Agenda, Regional Studies, 36:8, (pp 941-945)

DiMaggio, P. and Hargittai, E. (2001) ‘From the 'Digital Divide' to 'Digital Inequality': Studying Internet Use as Penetration Increases*’ Working Papers (15) Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies, Princeton NJ

Driver R., Asoko H., Leach, J., Scott, P., & Mortimer, E., (1994) Constructing Scientific Knowledge in the Classroom Educational Researcher 23: 5 (pp 5 – 12)

Gee, James P. (2003). What Videogames Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy. Computers in Entertainment, 1:1 (pp 20 – 24)

Gee, James P. (2005) ‘Learning by Design: Good Video Games as Learning Machines’ E–Learning, 2:1

Gergen, K. J. (2009). Relational Being. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Gibson, S., and Hanes, L. (2003) ‘The Contribution of Phenomenology to HRD Research,’ Human Resource Development Review, 2:2, (pp.181-205)

Grix, J., (2002) ‘Introducing Students to the Generic Terminology of Social Research Politics’: Politics Journal 22:3, (pp.175–186)

Handley, K., Sturdy, A., Fincham, R. and Clark, T., (2006), ‘Within and Beyond Communities of Practice: Making Sense of Learning Through Participation, Identity and Practice.’ Journal of Management Studies, 43: (pp 641–653)

Keller J & Suzuki K (2004): ‘Learner motivation and E-learning design: A multinationally validated process’ Journal of Educational Media, 29:3, (pp. 229-239)

Kear, K (2004) ‘Peer learning using asynchronous discussion systems in distance education, Open Learning’ The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, 19:2, (pp 151-164)

Merchant, G., (2007) Writing the Future in the Digital Age Literacy, 41: (pp 118–128)

Salmon, G (2004 2nd Edition) E moderating the Key to Teaching and Learning Online, London, Routledge Farmer

Salmon, G., & Giles, K., (1997) ‘Moderating On Line’ Online Educa Conference Berlin 29-31st October

Theodoridis C., (2007) Undertaking Phenomenological Research in Greece: a Theoretical Discussion Based on Some Empirical Observations The 3rd Hellenic Observatory PhD Symposium London

Watson, J. (2001), Social constructivism in the classroom. Support for Learning, 16: (pp 140–147)

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN (online) 2049-7385
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.