The University of Porto implemented a project for the use of e-portfolios in its academic community. The main idea of this project was to use the e-portfolio as an assessment tool of the student learning journey and also to show the importance of this reflective work for their academic and professional life.
One of the examples that decided to use this methodology was the discipline of Construction Management, from the Faculty of Engineering. The students were in their fifth year of the master in Civil Engineering. The testing was done in 2006 and 2007. The conditions that led to this option were the experience obtained in the use of an e-learning platform for five years (WebCT), the fact that the contents of the classes have a close connection with the professional activities and the symbiosis between the educational, professional and curriculum components of the exercise. The assessment was graded based on the result of elaboration of the e-portfolio dedicated to present what the students had learned in the course: There was no imposed structure but a core index was suggested. The development of the e-portfolios was made by the students with the technical support of the Office of Support for New Technologies in Education of University of Porto (GATIUP).
The learning objectives presented at the beginning of the course were also analyzed by each student in the e-portfolio at the end of the learning. The results were important to assess the learning objectives and to adapt some of the teaching arrangements to accommodate the criticisms and behaviors presented by the students. For the teacher the main result of these experiences was that digital portfolios are an excellent way to assess knowledge, competences and skills acquired by the students. A parallel benefit was the improvement on using web pages as communication tools.
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