E-portfolio Development Through Activity Theory in Action Research

  • Wardah Zainal Abidin
  • Lorna Uden
  • Rose Alinda Alias
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 185)


This paper illustrates the value of using activity theory with action research to examine the development of an e-portfolio system used in an engineering-based Malaysian university. Engeström’s third generation activity theory, situated within socio-cultural theory, can be used to analyse the development of the e-portfolio system. The theory provides a tool to analyse how individual or groups use mediating artefacts (e-portfolio) to achieve a specific object and outcome. It also provides a framework to analyse socio cultural influences of rules and norms, community and division of labour in the same activity system. It is our belief that Activity theory (AT) can be used in conjunction with action research. Whilst such view can be considered as controversial, this paper illustrates the value of using activity theory with action research.


Electronic portfolio system Activity theory Action research Combination of activity theory and action research 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wardah Zainal Abidin
    • 1
  • Lorna Uden
    • 2
  • Rose Alinda Alias
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Informatics, Advanced Informatics SchoolUniversiti Teknologi MalaysiaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.FCETStaffordshire UniversityStaffordUK
  3. 3.Office of Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic and International)Universiti Teknologi MalaysiaJohor Bahru, Johor Darul Ta’zimMalaysia

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