PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to investigate students’ experiences of, and attitudes on, the use of technology – in the form of ePortfolio – as an assessment tool. The authors seek to determine whether ePortfolios aid students in facilitating critical reflection on their learning and academic skill development. The authors also determine whether ePortfolios can provide an alternative assessment tool to the traditional assessment practices in the accounting and business discipline.Design/methodology/approachThis study surveys students enrolled in an indigenous business course using questions on the usability of ePortfolios, technical support and effectiveness in critical reflection and learning. Formal evaluations were included to capture students’ self-reflections on their ePortfolio experience. The analysis included analysis of variance, t-tests, correlations and hierarchical regression.FindingsResults indicated that students show positive attitudes toward ePortfolios even after controlling for possible confounding variables such as previous experience, attitudes and accessibility. The authors also found that ePortfolios are a useful vehicle for enhancing students’ learning and understanding of indigenous knowledge in a business context. They were also found to facilitate students’ ability to critically reflect, engage in learning and develop their academic skills.Research limitations/implicationsThe findings of this study could benefit those working in higher education, particularly accounting academics in Australian universities, and the adaptation of ePortfolios in a blended learning environment, and contribute to pedagogical knowledge regarding indigenous business issues. Academics could design the curriculum of the accounting courses within the commerce programme that addresses programme learning objectives to align with graduate employability outcomes.Practical implicationsThis study provides a foundation for improving the design and assessment of written communication activities in accounting courses to achieve employability skills outcomes commensurate with university accreditation criteria. This could be achieved with the development of a community of practice developed by the professional accounting bodies in collaboration with Australian universities.Originality/valueThe research is not wholly new, although the use of ePortfolios in accounting education is not widely reported and, therefore, may be of interest to those in advancing the accounting education agenda. In light of the recent call by Australian professional accounting bodies, ePortfolios can provide accounting graduates the non-technical or soft skills such as communication, interpersonal and critical thinking.
Accounting Research Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 4, 2017
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