Abstract: Extended institutional experience with ePortfolios grounded and framed this qualitative case study guided by the research question: Why, how, and with what success is reflection, as a teaching/learning process, employed among ePortfolio projects at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)? Thirty-two representatives of 16 varied ePortfolio projects in degree programs, campus-wide high-impact practices, and single courses participated in 27 hour- long, face-to-face, semi-structured interviews and provided supplemental documents for review. Qualitative data analysis software enabled collaborative data coding and analysis. Researchers adopted procedures to support reliability, trustworthiness, and transferability of findings throughout the research process. The nine findings cut across stereotypical ePortfolio distinctions, revealing widely shared purposes, practices, successes, and frustrations with reflection in ePortfolios. Reflection was seldom the primary motivator for ePortfolio adoption, but its importance was quickly recognized and valued. Students’ limited abilities to reflect typically surprised their instructors, who then pursued a range of strategies to help students improve their reflection skills. Faculty and student understandings of reflection had multifaceted effects on ePortfolio practice and experience. Though not easy to achieve, effective reflection practice appeared to be multi-dimensional and rewarding for students and instructors alike.
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