ePortfolio-platforms are popular tools to facilitate and promote lifelong learning. One of their major usage scenarios is enabling users to document their learning outcomes in an institution-independent way beyond formal learning settings. Aside this, ePorfolios are also promoted as a way to facilitate qualitative assessment in courses. The latter scenario introduces a short-term usage perspective that can be counterproductive for establishing sustainable long-term usage practices. In this paper, we analyse the usage data of the ePortfolio-platform mahara.at with respect to the prevalent usage patterns. This instance was active from 2007 until 2019 and featured more than 22.000 users from nearly 200 different institutions. As part of the analysis, we reviewed the activity on the platform on the basis of users’ login behaviour and content creation activities. Activity data shows that ~ 50% of the users used the platform for only half a year and sustainable usage practices over longer durations of time can hardly be observed. Both logins and content creations show cyclic patterns which correspond to the academic year. Based on these indications we conclude that users used the instance mainly for course-based scenarios rather than as a lifelong-learning portfolio.
Dobiasch, Martin and Oppl, Stefan, "Usage Patterns of an ePortfolio-Platform - On the Potential Conflict between Short- and Long-term Usage Scenarios of ePortfolios" (2021). CONF-IRM 2021 Proceedings. 1.