Preparing Future Career Ready Professionals: A Portfolio Process to Develop Critical Thinking Using Digital Learning and Teaching

Jennifer Rowley, Patsie Polly

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


It is uncommon to learn, work and grow up in a world without technology and so it is pertinent to explore exactly how digital learning assists in preparing our future workforce. Employers often note that new graduates (or the ‘new’ employees) lack critical thinking and problem solving skills and have poor communication, as their experience is often restricted to a worldview limited by a digital communication lens. This brief paper argues, therefore, that the need for developing critical thinking skills has never been more apparent as graduates/new workers transition to employment. The conference theme is Teaching and Learning in a Digital World and this paper investigates the what, how and why technology benefits learning. The Rowley and Munday (2014) Sense of Self model underpins the theoretical paradigm that encourages individuals to experience digital technologies to support critical thinking by exploring their own self-efficacy as a learner. Authentic learning is discussed via a simulated learner setting where individuals create evidence of their own professional or personal identity (or a hybrid of both) and discuss how utilising a reflexive process to create a portfolio (as both a learning and teaching tool) can support improvements in critical thinking. The paper concludes with strategies for exploring how we encourage students and/or new employees to reflect on the what, how, why and who of themselves through a critical thinking process associated with self-reflection and portfolio creation. Understanding the progressive ways portfolio process and products can be used to develop a professional identity through encouraging students to reflect and connect themselves to multi faceted professional identities benefits life long learning for future work readiness.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTeaching and Learning in a Digital World
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 20th International Conference on Interactive Collaborative Learning
EditorsMichael E. Auer, David Guralnick, Istvan Simonics
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherSpringer VS
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9783319732107
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event20th International Conference on Interactive Collaborative Learning: ICL 2017 - Aquincum Hotel, Budapest, Hungary
Duration: 27 Sept 201729 Sept 2017 (Conference website) (Conference proceedings)

Publication series

NameAdvances in Intelligent Systems and Computing
ISSN (Electronic)2194-5357


Conference20th International Conference on Interactive Collaborative Learning
Abbreviated titleTeaching and Learning in a Digital World
OtherThis interdisciplinary conference aims to focus on the exchange of relevant trends and research results as well as the presentation of practical experiences in Interactive Collaborative Learning and Engineering Pedagogy.

ICL2017 will be organized in cooperation with Óbuda University in Budapest.
Internet address


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