Teaching development grants final and financial report: Teaching and learning portfolios for active, engaged and reflective learning

Research output: Other contributionTeaching Development Grants (TDG)


For many undergraduate students, mathematics is a rather abstract and difficult subject to learn. In order to master this subject well, it is essential that they have to develop good learning habits, including self-monitoring of their own learning, active participations in lectures and discussions, maintaining good communications with their lecturers and peer learning groups, sharing of engaged and reflective learning experiences with the classmates, etc. On the other hand, the lecturers also need to keep track of the progress of the students from time to time, especially their learning difficulties at the early stage of the learning of the courses concerned. In this connection, a user-friendly e-learning platform for effective mutual communications between lecturers and students should be developed and ready for use. To address such a need, our project team would like to design and implement a portfolio-based e-learning platform to facilitate the lecturers and the students to monitor their own teaching or learning progress, as well as to integrate and deliver appropriate e-learning and on-line assessment materials for enhancement of teaching and learning of mathematics. In fact, we can observe that portfolio-based learning has increasing implementation in a variety of educational and professional learning contexts in recent years. It can be used to stimulate and monitor students’ professional development, and to stimulate their ability to become lifelong learners. Moreover, we can foresee that there is a gradual move from the paper-based portfolio to the electronic counterpart in the education sector in the near future. For instance, portfolios have been used to stimulate reflection among students, as reported in the recent works of Prop et al (2007). Indeed, portfolios are often regarded or typified as a collection of students’ work and achievements during their learning process or development of their own academic career (Chen & Chang, 2007). According to the literature, we can see that there are many advantages of an electronic portfolio (e-Portfolio) over the paper-based counterpart, including the hyperlink functionality, the incorporation of multimedia learning and teaching materials, and the ease of sharing among peer learning groups or classmates (sees Tartwijk et al., 2003; Woodward & Bablohy, 2004). Also, while many researches on e-portfolios have been conducted in recent years, the focuses of these studies are mostly on the features of e-portfolios. However, researchers are also aware that we should not lose the original goals of using portfolio as a means to enhance teaching and learning, when putting a well established paper-based portfolio in an electronic way. For instance, one can compare the e-based portfolios with the paper-based portfolios according to the shared potential merits, such as support for self-reflection and sharing of learning outcomes, in a similar ecological setting. To this end, the project team will work closely with the lecturers concerned to identify some courses for pilot implementation of e-portfolio under the Mahara environment. The related teaching and learning materials to be incorporated in the e-portfolio will be carefully selected, designed and developed. We anticipate that the end products have potential to enhance the quality of teaching and learning of mathematics or information technology courses in our institute. Besides, it can be served as exemplified examples on how to learn mathematics or information technology more effectively for pre-service or in-serve teachers, as well as a good reference for the future design of new courses or new programmes in the institute in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2013


Poon, K. K., Kong, S. C., & Man, Y. K. (2013). Teaching development grants final and financial report: Teaching and learning portfolios for active, engaged and reflective learning. Hong Kong: The Hong Kong Institute of Education.


  • Teaching Development Grant (TDG) Report
  • TDG project code: T0118
  • Period: TDG 2011-2012
  • Teaching Development Grant (TDG)


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