Directions for Research and Development on Electronic Portfolios


  • Philip Abrami
  • Helen Barrett



This lead article for the special issue of the Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology explores directions for research and development on electronic portfolios, which are digital containers capable of storing visual and auditory content; software for which may also be designed to support a variety of pedagogical processes and assessment purposes. The paper is organized around several key questions: What are the types and characteristics of electronic portfolios? What are the outcomes and processes that electronic portfolios support for their creators? What are the contexts in which EPs are most effective and worthwhile? Who are electronic portfolio users/viewers and how do we provide appropriate professional development to encourage correct adoption and widespread and sustained use? What do we know and need to know about technical and administrative issues? What is evidence of electronic portfolio success? How do we move forward with funding and infrastructure?