Postprint version. Published in Computers & Education, Volume 55, Issue 1, August 1, 2010, pages 84-91.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Elizabeth Meyer was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
Can an electronic portfolio that is both a multimedia container for student work and a tool to support key learning processes have a positive impact on the literacy practices and self-regulated learning skills of students? This article presents the findings of a yearlong study conducted in three Canadian provinces during the 2007–2008 school year initially involving 32 teachers and 388 students. Due to varying levels of implementation our final data set included 14 teachers and 296 students. Using a non-equivalent pre-test/post-test design, we found that grade 4–6 students who were in classrooms where the teacher provided regular and appropriate use of the electronic portfolio tool ePEARL (i.e., medium–high implementation condition, n = 7 classrooms and 121 students), compared to control students (n = 7 classrooms and 175 students) who did not use ePEARL, showed significant improvements (p < .05) in their writing skills on a standardized literacy measure (i.e., the constructed response subtest of the Canadian Achievement Test-4th ed.) and certain metacognitive skills measured via student self-report. The results of this study indicate that teaching with ePEARL has positive impacts on students’ literacy and self-regulated learning skills when the tool is used regularly and integrated into classroom instruction.