Abstract: This pilot study assessed how using electronic portfolios (ePortfolios) as a meta-high impact practice (meta-HIP) might influence student learning through reflective practice. Eleven undergraduates participating in a summer research program reflected weekly on their research experiences through building and using ePortfolios, and attended three focus groups. The researchers assessed the students’ level of engagement as a result of their weekly posts and studied how they used ePortfolios to enhance their learning. Results suggest that the students utilized their ePortfolios to communicate their enjoyment for their research projects as well as their increased knowledge and skills; make their learning more visible; track their achievements, which resulted in enhanced motivation; and demonstrate their pride in intellectual and personal growth. The students also appreciated the feedback they received on their reflections. As drawbacks, the participants believed that building an ePortfolio could be challenging in regards to designing the aesthetics, developing the appropriate content, securing the time for development, and using the website for the long-term. Consequently, the researchers found that a student learning community formed as a result of using ePortfolios as a meta-HIP. Nevertheless, for ePortfolio implementation to be successful, challenges pertaining to faculty adoption, resources, training, and scaling need to be addressed.
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