This study discusses the possibility of e-portfolio as a central component of assessment practice in the traditionally exam-oriented context of China's tertiary education. The aim was to listen to learners, and provide them with a voice to analyse their perception of the potential advantages and challenges of introducing a learning-focused assessment tool. From five consecutive annual cohorts (2007–2011), 220 university students completed questionnaires about their attitudes and experience of using e-portfolio assessment in an English as a foreign language course, with 120 students participating in follow-up interviews and focus groups. The vast majority of learners expressed preference for e-portfolio assessment, compared to paper-based examinations. This study contributes to understanding Chinese educational ideology of assessment, so as to place emphasis on assessment for quality learning rather than on teaching to the test.
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