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– An e‐portfolio is a useful tool to increase reflection and awareness in teachers and students. However, benefits of e‐portfolio use are weakened by difficulties due to the lack of motivation, the heavy weight of creation and revision of the e‐portfolios, the rigid tool structure. The paper aims to answer these emerging issues, showing how to cope with the above‐mentioned questions, by proposing a structure for an e‐portfolio able to fulfil the users' needs and to be perceived as an extremely usable and motivating tool.
– In the paper three types of e‐portfolios are described. A brief survey of how the students used them with related data is provided. The research is based upon qualitative (students' posts) and quantitative (log tracement) data.
– After five years of experimentation and over 200 e‐portfolios analysed, the paper describes lessons learned and suggests some guidelines that might be useful to plan the introduction and the implementation of an e‐portfolio in post degree courses and for adult and in‐service learning.
– In the paper some guidelines for designing formative portfolios are shown. These guidelines might be used to design and build feasible e‐portfolios in different kinds of courses. The new perspective is about the use of formative e‐portfolios in different learning paths. The paper shows how, starting from the same structure, the model is able to fit various needs, proposing technological and pedagogical devices in order to foster reflection and to promote formal and informal recording of learning activities.