Improving workplace-based assessment and feedback by an E-portfolio enhanced with learning analytics

Marieke van der Schaaf*, Jeroen Donkers, Bert Slof, Joyce Moonen-van Loon, Jan van Tartwijk, Eric Driessen, Atta Badii, Ovidiu Serban, Olle Ten Cate

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Web of Science)


Electronic portfolios (E-portfolios) are crucial means for workplace-based assessment and feedback. Although E-portfolios provide a useful approach to view each learner's progress, so far options for personalized feedback and potential data about a learner's performances at the workplace often remain unexploited. This paper advocates that E-portfolios enhanced with learning analytics, might increase the quality and efficiency of workplace-based feedback and assessment in professional education. Based on a 5-phased iterative design approach, an existing E-portfolio environment was enhanced with learning analytics in professional education. First, information about crucial professional activities for professional domains and suited assessment instruments were collected (phase 1). Thereafter probabilistic student models were defined (phase 2). Next, personalized feedback and visualization of the personal development over time were developed (phase 3). Then the prototype of the E-portfolio-including the student models and feedback and visualization modules-were implemented in professional training-programs (phase 4). Last, evaluation cycles took place and 121 students and 30 supervisors from five institutes for professional education evaluated the perceived usefulness of the design (phase 5). It was concluded that E-portfolios with learning analytics were perceived to assist the development of students' professional competencies and that the design is only successful when developed and implemented through the eyes of the users. Feedback and assessment methods based upon learning analytics can stimulate learning at the workplace in the long run. Practical, technological and ethical challenges are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-380
Number of pages22
JournalEducational Technology Research and Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017


  • Workplace-based assessment
  • Electronic portfolios
  • Student models
  • Technology
  • Enhanced feedback
  • Learning analytics

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