Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (Research)


School of Health and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Tom Farrelly

Second Advisor

Dr. Louise Nagle


This research study considers third-level student experiences of ePortfolio use during their education. Digital pedagogical tools provide educators with an authentic mode of assessment that presents a holistic view of student learning both inside and outside the classroom. ePortfolios are a digital pedagogical tool associated with the enhancement of the student learning experience and have received increased attention within the higher education sector; particularly during the Covid 19 restrictions where they offered educators an alternative mode of assessment to the traditional paper-based assessment. The purpose of this study was to identify the main challenges undergraduate students face when engaging with ePortfolios within their third-level curriculum at MTU (Kerry) and to examine how their experience with ePortfolios could be enhanced in the future. This study addresses a gap in the literature that exists regarding student experiences of ePortfolio within an Irish HEI context.

A mixed-methods research design was used to gain a deeper understanding of the student experience. Adopting a triangulated approach, two research tools employed in this study were a university-wide online questionnaire (n=72) and five semi-structured interviews. Data from this study was analysed using SPSS (V26) and NVivo (V12) software. This study used both descriptive and inferential statistical analysis to examine the data collected. Findings demonstrated that the process of creating an ePortfolio enables students to evaluate and reflect on their learning processes, leads to an improvement in digital literacy skills, and encourages creativity compared to traditional written assignments. The main challenges identified by students were lack of time to engage in ePortfolio development, the amount of time needed to create the ePortfolio and lack of technical support. Key findings from this research can be applied to teaching and learning in Munster Technical University (MTU -Kerry Campus) and will provide insight into how ePortfolios are better supported and implemented.


Names, addresses, and emails have been redacted in order to preserve participant anonymity.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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