Abstract: This article reports on a case study, using a think-aloud approach (Boren & Ramey, 2000; Jaspers, Steen, van den Bos & Geenen, 2004; Kilsdonk et al., 2016), to investigate how different types of audiences interpret ePortfolios. During recorded viewing, students, instructors, and business professionals narrated their experience of reading two ePortfolios. Consistent with findings by Conrad and Bowie (2006), Ramirez (2011), and Gallagher and Poklop (2014), interpretation of an ePortfolio’s purpose varied depending on the audience reading the ePortfolio. Navigation through the ePortfolio was most consistent across all 3 groups, with participants interpreting the navigation menu order as a recommendation of reading order by the author of the ePortfolio. Motivation to continue reading, interpretation of personalization, and perception of reflective writing also varied depending on the audience reading the ePortfolio. This study provides evidence that an important element of teaching students how to build an ePortfolio is awareness of the purpose of the portfolio and the intended audience. In addition, the responses of the 3 different audiences suggest that multi-purpose ePortfolios may not be as successful in engaging audiences as targeted, single purpose ePortfolios.
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