A concern in higher education is that most students do not acquire higher-order thinking skills, ‘cannot think’, are not engaged in reflective student-centred teaching and learning and do not always acquire technology skills. Numerous studies have indicated the importance of a digital learning environment that facilitates the acquisition of IT skills, reflective and critical thinking learning skills while creating an electronic portfolio. To establish the impact of portfolios on the reflective metacognitive learning and the development of higher-order thinking skills in student-teachers (n=167) in the field of science, qualitative and quantitative approaches were used to collect data. The results showed that for the majority of the participants (n=160) it was the first time that they had created an ePortfolio and engaged in reflective metacognitive learning experiences. The researcher was able to identify students’ weaknesses and strengths, their interests and goals in life. Most of them regarded the learning process as time consuming, did not wish to share poor learning experiences with others, found it difficult to express their learning experiences in a second language and were unable to create an ePortfolio in an organised manner as they were not capable of metacognitive reflection. This paper is relevant for higher education lecturers in developing students to become independent learners by using an ePortfolio.