Research-based learning in education studies: Design inquiry using group e-Portfolios based on blogs

Victoria I. Marín


Research-based learning (RBL) is an approach that aims to engage students in research activities within their study discipline. Since this method puts the focus on the learner, Web 2.0 tools are considered to provide good support in enhancing collaboration processes, which are necessary in conducting research in real-life situations. The link between RBL and the use of digital technologies in higher education has not yet been extensively empirically explored. Therefore, the main aim of this study, based on a project-based university seminar, was to explore the possibilities of group e-Portfolios based on blogs, within the framework of a concrete form of RBL in education studies, the design-inquiry approach. The study employed mixed methods, consisting of quantitative and qualitative data collected via a student questionnaire, and further qualitative data collected from the group blogs and the students’ final reflections. The results show the possibilities and challenges of using e-Portfolios based on blogs for RBL processes. The article concludes by providing guidelines and recommendations and presents a framework that connects the models used in the study.


Research-based Learning; Higher Education; Project-based Learning; e-Portfolios; Design-based Research; Education Studies; Blogs

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