H818 Online Conference 2020
If you are unable to access the Introduction video in my poster you can click on the link below:
E-Portfolios – A Career Finder?
Increasing employability – A guide for students to use their e-portfolio as an open and networked professional
There has been a rapid shift over recent years to use e-portfolios which allows students to collect and present their portfolio evidence online (Stefani et al., 2007). There is also strong evidence that in a rapidly changing world, employability is increasingly important for students and employers are demanding applicants are better prepared for work (Jisc, 2015)
Studies show that although students can engage successfully with e-portfolios as part of their study on a qualification, they can be less engaged when it comes to taking ownership of their e-portfolio outside of their study for personal development planning (PDP) (Pérez Cavana and Lowe, 2018). This is despite evidence that students using an e-portfolio are usually already capturing their abilities through skills and reflection which is what employers are often looking for (Bolliger and Shepherd, 2010).
Reasons for not using e-portfolios for PDP could be:
· Lack of awareness of the role of e-portfolios for personal development
· Students may need to develop new skills or knowledge to help them develop an online professional digital identity (Cambridge, 2008)
Hush (2012) showed that although students may not always engage with PDP when using e-portfolios, employers welcomed a PDP focus within study. This has led me to consider ways in which PDP engagement can be developed and help students use their existing skills to increase their employability prospects. E-Portfolios lend themselves to be the best tool for students to show these skills. The process of developing a skill can be showcased within an e-portfolio, as well as the skill itself adding to a student’s employability. A map or diagram of how e-portfolio-based tasks connect can provide evidence to students of the centrality of e-portfolio practice as studies show that students need to fully comprehend the reasons for using their e-portfolio in order to invest their time (Jisc, 2019).
I have developed a web resource to help students develop a professional identity using their e-portfolios. The web resource is for both students and educators to use to assist them in this development. The objectives of the web-resource are:
· Show students the advantages to using their e-portfolios for PDP
· Provide guidance on what employers want to see from students
· Show examples of students successfully using their e-portfolios for PDP
· Provide technical and skills support
In my conference session I will be exploring the resource I have created, the reasons for developing this resource and consider some of the issues that need to be addressed to use this resource openly.
My initial outcome is to encourage students within my own institution – The Open University as we move towards full e-portfolio implementation across qualifications however a potential future outcome would be to consider would be opening out the resource across different institutions.
The web resource is hosted on Google sites allowing open access. It will be shared under a Creative Commons Attribution licence to ensure it is an open resource and meets the idea of this conference.
Bolliger, D. & Shepherd, C. (2011) Student perceptions of ePortfolio integration in online courses. Distance Education, v31 pp295-314
Cambridge, D. (2008) Audience, integrity, and the living document: eFolio Minnesota and lifelong and lifewide learning with ePortfolio, Computers & Education vol. 51, pp. 1227–46
Hush, M. (2012). Reﬂection at work: making a positive diﬀerence to PDP modules. In: EE 2012 International Conference on Innovation, Practice and Research in Engineering Education, Conference Proceedings, 18-20 Sep 2012, Coventry University, Loughborough University. http://oro.open.ac.uk/38704/2/Hush%20EE2012%20final.pdf (last accessed 2/1/2020)
Jisc (2015) Report: Technology for Employability Study into the role of technology in developing student employability [Online] Available at http://repository.jisc.ac.uk/6249/3/Technology_for_employability_-_full_report.PDF (last accessed 2/1/2020)
Jisc (2019) How to enhance student learning, progression and employability with e-portfolios [Online] Available at http://repository.jisc.ac.uk/7455/1/enhance-student-progression-and-employability-with-e-portfolios.pdf (last accessed 2/1/2020)
Pérez Cavana, M. L. and Lowe, S. (2018) Personal Development Planning (PDP) and ePortfolios: Arranged marriage or true love? In: Ballweg, S. and Kühn, B. eds. Portfolios in the Foreign Language Classroom. Materialien Deutsch als Fremd- und Zweitsprache (MatDaF). Göttingen: Göttingen: Universitätsverlag, (In Press)
Stefani, L., Mason, R. and Pegler, C. (2007), The educational potential of e-portfolios. Routledge: London