Participant Engagement with Eportfolio on the PACT Digital Badge: An Explanatory Sequential Mixed-Methods Analysis
Irish Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning
This paper explores participants' perceptions of eportfolio on the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning's PACT digital badge in which eportfolio is a central component of the teaching and learning experience. The PACT badge was launched in 2018 by the National Forum to promote engagement with their National Professional Development Framework for All Those Who Teach in Higher Education (National Forum, 2016). A small but growing body of studies indicates that the pairing
... eportfolio with digital badges increases participant engagement with course content, facilitates the open evidencing of skill acquisition as well the transfer of knowledge beyond the life span of the course (Kehoe and Goudzwaard, 2015; Ambrose and Anthony 2016; Nilson and Dewiyanti, 2019). In January 2021, an explanatory, sequential mixed methods approach comprising a survey and focus group was employed to obtain and analyse feedback from graduates of three iterations of the PACT digital badge in relation to their perceptions of the eportfolio component. Data indicated a range of benefits including enhanced digital literacy, an enhanced ability to reflect, a more engaging learning experience, more robust evidencing of professional development and increased engagement with the National Professional Development Framework for all Those Who Teach in Higher Education. Seventy-Eight percent of respondents stated that eportfolio was an important part of the PACT course. A key recommendation of the study is the additional front loading of support materials in relation to eportfolio engagement in Week 0 of the course in response to feedback in which PACT participants indicated that eportfolio could be technically challenging and time consuming. The findings of this exploratory study could be tested at larger scale across a wider range of National Forum digital badges that incorporate eportfolio.