Designing ePortfolios for music postgraduate study : a practice-led inquiry

Stephensen, Paul (2010) Designing ePortfolios for music postgraduate study : a practice-led inquiry. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


In this research I have examined how ePortfolios can be designed for Music postgraduate study through a practice led research enquiry. This process involved designing two Web 2.0 ePortfolio systems for a group of five post graduate music research students. The design process revolved around the application of an iterative methodology called Software Develop as Research (SoDaR) that seeks to simultaneously develop design and pedagogy. The approach to designing these ePortfolio systems applied four theoretical protocols to examine the use of digitised artefacts in ePortfolio systems to enable a dynamic and inclusive dialogue around representations of the students work. The research and design process involved an analysis of existing software and literature with a focus upon identifying the affordances of available Web 2.0 software and the applications of these ideas within 21st Century life. The five post graduate music students each posed different needs in relation to the management of digitised artefacts and the communication of their work amongst peers, supervisors and public display. An ePortfolio was developed for each of them that was flexible enough to address their needs within the university setting. However in this first SoDaR iteration data gathering phase I identified aspects of the university context that presented a negative case that impacted upon the design and usage of the ePortfolios and prevented uptake. Whilst the portfolio itself functioned effectively, the university policies and technical requirements prevented serious use. The negative case analysis of the case study found revealed that Access and Control and Implementation, Technical and Policy Constraints protocols where limiting user uptake. From the semistructured interviews carried out as part of this study participant feedback revealed that whilst the participants did not use the ePortfolio system I designed, each student was employing Web 2.0 social networking and storage processes in their lives and research. In the subsequent iterations I then designed a more ‘ideal’ system that could be applied outside of the University context that draws upon the employment of these resources. In conclusion I suggest recommendations about ePortfolio design that considers what the applications of the theoretical protocols reveal about creative arts settings. The transferability of these recommendations are of course dependent upon the reapplication of the theoretical protocols in a new context. To address the mobility of ePortfolio design between Institutions and wider settings I have also designed a prototype for a business card sized USB portal for the artists’ ePortfolio. This research project is not a static one; it stands as an evolving design for a Web 2.0 ePortfolio that seeks to refer to users needs, institutional and professional contexts and the development of software that can be incorporated within the design. What it potentially provides to creative artist is an opportunity to have a dialogue about art with artefacts of the artist products and processes in that discussion.

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ID Code: 35751
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Dillon, Steven, Davidson, Robert, & Smith, Glenn
Keywords: ePortfolios, music postgraduate study
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 21 Sep 2010 04:41
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:57

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