Giving students an eDGE: Focusing on ePortfolios for graduate employability

Lana Mitchell, Chris Campbell, Roshan Rigby, Lauren T. Williams

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    Abstract

    Universities are placing increased attention on providing students with ePortfolios and online teaching platforms to enhance learning and employability. This paper reports on a study which aimed to investigate the views of dietetics students on the usefulness of PebblePad as a learning platform and ePortfolio tool for evidencing graduate competency and enhancing employability. This research was conducted within a multi-component design-based research framework. PebblePad was introduced to the Griffith University Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics four-year degree in 2016 as part of the eDGE project (ePortfolios for Dietetics Graduate Employability). Students enrolled in 1 stand 3rd year courses utilising PebblePad in 2016 and 2017 were invited to complete an online survey at the conclusion of each course. Surveys were completed by 116 students (2016 n=50; 2017 n=66). Students perceived that PebblePad could impact on their employability through demonstrating their learning as well as assisting their understanding and competency development as a professional. This was more evident in 3rd year students than 1st year. The aspects of PebblePad perceived as most beneficial for employability were the ability to: 1) collate experiences and assessment; 2) evidence dietetics competencies via ‘tagging’; and 3) facilitate reflection. The least beneficial aspects were: 1) usability and navigation of PebblePad; 2) lack of clarity around using PebblePad to evidence employability; and 3) belief that required reflections were excessive. ePortfolios and learning platforms such as PebblePad are perceived by students to be useful for evidencing employability. Potential improvements in assessment design could further enhance their use.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)316-331
    Number of pages16
    JournalJournal of Teaching and Learning for Graduate Employability
    Volume12
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2021

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