Abstract: Although distance educators are adopting electronic portfolios (eportfolios) for purposes of assessment and collaboration, some researchers question their utility in these venues. In a setting where feelings of isolation and attrition are high, this study examined how eportfolios affect cognitive load and student perceptions of support. The study also examined whether embedded tutorials, examples and descriptions coupled with peer reviews reduced faculty coaching needs. Findings indicate that eportfolio tools had minimal effects on cognitive load although some formatting and sharing aspects frustrated students. Additionally, while participants asked the instructor for assignment clarification and feedback, they supported one another through peer reviews and discussion posts.
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