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Constructivist e-Portfolios: The Use of Media in the Collecting and Evidencing of Student Learning

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Design Cognition I

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.343.1 - 25.343.19



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Paper Authors


Michael Crehan University of Limerick

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At present, Michael Crehan is investigating the value of the constructivist electronic portfolio on teaching and learning in the design and technology setting. This research area encompasses multi-modal learning, personalised learning, electronic portfolio infrastructure, and an analysis of student e-portfolios submitted in the design and technology setting. The research aims to identify the advantages of e-portfolios in the advancement of student learning in design and technology.

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Niall Seery University of Limerick Orcid 16x16

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Donal Canty University of Limerick

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Diarmaid Lane University of Limerick

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Investigating students Technological Capability through the use of Kolbs Experiential Learning TheoryLewis (2009) argues that there are a variety of generative cognitive processes thatare more likely to occur in technology education than elsewhere in the curriculum.Design and Technology education supports the development of higher cognitivethinking and problem solving skills, where students have the capacity to expresstheir creativity and innovation through the completion of the artefact they design,manufacture, and report on (Atkinson 2000). For effective higher cognitivelearning to occur students are encouraged to record and evidence their designevolution and development as the design journey progresses.However, many of the current assessment models inadvertently encouragestudents to adopt a structured, linear approach to reporting the design activity.This structured approach can often lead to reverse engineering of the designportfolio subsequent to the students’ convergence on their initial design idea,therefore placing greater emphasis on the end-product and not the design journey.This study investigates a cohort of initial teacher education students (n=27) asthey participate in a design-based module to solve a semi-open brief. Throughoutthe design journey students were encouraged to simultaneously record data thatinspired their design decision. This data was then presented through the use of anon-criterion referenced e-portfolio system. Common themes emergedthroughout the portfolios and were analysed under the four stages of Kolb’slearning cycle.The findings identify the stage on Kolbs’ Cycle where students began theirlearning process for the different types of problems encountered. The progressioneach student made through the cycle was also highlighted and illustrates a non-linear progression as the dominant feature of the portfolios. The manner is inwhich the pupils progressed through Kolbs’ learning cycle was correlated withstudent’s performance measures and indicate that effective learning approacheshave a significant relationship with performance. These findings have significanceto design and technology education as they present empirical evidence thatsupports the need to emphasis the design journey as the focus of constructivistlearning.

Crehan, M., & Seery, N., & Canty, D., & Lane, D. (2012, June), Constructivist e-Portfolios: The Use of Media in the Collecting and Evidencing of Student Learning Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21101

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