Information Systems Frontiers

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 395–407 | Cite as

Organizational schemata of e-portfolios for fostering higher-order thinking



The information technology of online e-portfolio systems have been widely used during the past several years along with the diffusion of electronic teaching-learning systems. However, for the time being e-portfolio is viewed more as an assessment tool or a showcase tool, but less as an active learning tool. The current generic e-portfolio systems store artifacts in the chronological order on the course basis, providing few facets for active thinking. The question of how we can make e-portfolio a useful learning tool to improve students’ learning outcomes is still open to research. Among various students’ learning outcomes, higher-order thinking has become an important outcome of education. One vision of education evolution is to change the modes of thinking of students. This study is to meet the challenge of e-portfolios by investigating a significant research question: how e-portfolios can be used as a learning tool for students to foster higher-order thinking. Specifically, this study proposes an ontological approach to organizational schema of e-portfolios so that e-portfolios can be logically and dynamically organized into thinking-driven networks. The ontological schemata can serve as visible maps for the virtual e-portfolios repository shared by all teachers and students to foster higher-order thinking. A case study that implements a prototype of organizational schemata of e-portfolios demonstrates the usefulness of the proposed approach for fostering higher-order thinking.


Semantic Web System analysis and design User-computer interface Object-oriented E-portfolio Higher-order thinking Ontology E-learning Learning objects Business education Information systems education 



The comments of two anonymous reviewers have contributed significantly to the revision of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Massachusetts DartmouthNorth DartmouthUSA
  2. 2.Saint Mary’s UniversityHalifaxCanada

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