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ePortfolios in Art, Design and Media: Enhancing Learner Skills and Employability 2006-07



E-portfolios can be seen as platforms that facilitate individual learner pathways and as tools that enable negotiation between higher education institutions and the wider social world, including professional and working domains. These aspects were explored in the project through a consideration of the needs of stakeholders in art, design and media higher education – including those from formal learning and teaching contexts (learners/tutors), those from beyond the academy (in the realms of work and creative enterprise) and those whose role is to mediate between the two (skill sector councils, professional associations).

Aims and objectives

The project aimed to promote developments in the subject-specific use of e-portfolios that support learning in art, design and media disciplines. The project design aimed to represent diverse ADM subjects, to include fine and applied arts and design disciplines. The key objectives of the project were to generate:

• A contribution to literature review and review of evidence on e-portfolio applications and use for learning and teaching

• Liaison with key stakeholders, with an emphasis on the relationships between subject domains and the needs of employers

• Subject-specific protocols for evaluating e-portfolio software, guidelines for use and for presentation of relevant content in educational and work-related situations

• Selection and customization of three software packages for pilot use in art, design and media contexts

• Reports of three pilot studies

• A final project report

Project methodology

The project was organised into four phases, with a range of research activities embedded within these as work packages. During a formative literature review [1], liaison and interviews were undertaken with sector skill councils, and focus group activity with professional associations [2]. This process enabled the building of a knowledge base of employer perceptions that transcended the existing employability profiles for art, design and media subject domains – specifically in relation to e-portfolios [3].

A series of pilot studies assessed and tested existing portfolio software in subject-specific contexts, and the research team sought to identify correlations between these activities [4].

Download the final project report.


Project manager

Dr Cheri Logan

Project team

Stephen Wheeler
E-Learning Developer 

Simon Allan
E-Learning Researcher

Linda Shore


Lead institution

University of Cumbria
Evolve – Centre for research & enterprise into e-learning for the creative arts
Brampton Road