Giving students an eDGE: Focusing on ePortfolios for Graduate Employability

Authors

Abstract

Universities are placing increased attention on providing students with ePortfolios and online teaching platforms to enhance learning and employability. The aim of this paper is to investigate the views of dietetic 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 [blinded] Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics four-year degree in 2016. Students in years 1 and 3 enrolled in 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 supporting their learning as well as assisting their understanding and competency development as a professional. This was more evident in Year 3 students than Year 1. The aspects of PebblePad perceived as most beneficial for employability were the ability to: 1) collate experiences and assessment; 2) evidence dietetic 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, with potential improvements in assessment design further enhancing their use.

Author Biographies

Lana Mitchell, Griffith University

Lana Mitchell is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Health Sciences and Social Work at Griffith University (Australia) and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Her research interests include enhancing the development of the dietetics and allied health workforce, evidence-based practice in dietetics, and design-based development of nutrition and dietetics curricula.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7892-2131

Chris Campbell, Griffith University

Chris Campbell is a Senior Lecturer within Learning Futures/Griffith Online at Griffith University (Australia) and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Her research interests include researching new and emerging educational technologies in higher education contexts.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7749-8538

Roshan Rigby

Roshan Rigby is a PhD Candidate in the School of Health Sciences and Social Work at Griffith University (Australia) and Menzies Health Institute Queensland (Australia). Her research interests include enhancing the dietetics workforce and exploring novel approaches to education and health service delivery.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0003-4829-8371

Lauren T Williams, Griffith University

Lauren T. Williams is a Professor in the School of Health Sciences and Social Work at Griffith University (Australia) and a researcher at Menzies Health Institute Queensland (Australia). She is a Fellow of Dietitians Australia. Her research interests include the dietetics and allied health workforce, evidence-based practice in dietetics, and design-based development of nutrition and dietetics curricula.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7860-0319

References

Akker, J., Gravemeijer, K., & McKenney, S.(2006). Introducing educational design research. In J. Van den Akker, K. Gravemeijer, S. McKenney, . & N. Nieveen, (Eds.), Educational Design Research (pp. 3–8). London: Routledge

Allan, C. N., Campbell, C., & Crough, J. (Eds.). (2019). Blended learning designs in STEM higher education: Putting learning first. Springer Nature.

Biggs, T., & Tang, C. (2011). Teaching for Quality Learning at University (4th ed.). Open University Press.

Bramley, A. L., Thomas, C. J., Mc Kenna, L., & Itsiopoulos, C. (2020). E‐portfolios and Entrustable Professional Activities to support competency‐based education in dietetics. Nursing & Health Sciences, 23(1), 148-156. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1111/nhs.12774

Brennan, K., & Lennie, S. (2010). Students’ experiences and perceptions of the use of portfolios in UK preregistration dietetic placements: a questionnaire‐based study. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 23(2), 133-143. https://doi.org/doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-277X.2009.01028.x

Brent, G. (2019). Creating order from (potential) chaos: Embedding employability with the Griffith Sciences PLUS Program. In Blended Learning Designs in STEM Higher Education (pp. 99-119). Springer.

Burkhart, S., & Craven, D. (2020). Digital workbooks in flipped nutrition education: Student perspectives. Education Sciences, 10(1), 22. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10010022

Campbell, C. (2019). Creating a successful implementation of PebblePad: The university context. In Blended Learning Designs in STEM Higher Education (pp. 17-34). Springer.

Campbell, C., & Duffy, M. (2019). Engaging students in a wide-scale educational technology implementation: Investigating student attitudes Personalised Learning. Diverse Goals. One Heart. ASCILITE, Singapore. http://2019conference.ascilite.org/assets/proceedings/ASCILITE-2019-Proceedings-Final.pdf

Clark, J. E., & Eynon, B. (2009). E-portfolios at 2.0-Surveying the Field. Peer Review: Emerging trends and key debates in undergraduate education, 11(1), 18. https://www.aacu.org/sites/default/files/files/peerreview/Peer_Review_Winter_2009.pdf

Cole, D., & Tibby, M. (2013). Defining and developing your approach to employability. https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/system/files/resources/employability_framework.pdf

Cordier, R., McAuliffe, T., Wilson, N. J., Totino, R., Dender, A., Smith, C., & Stephens, M. (2015). The appropriateness and feasibility of an online e-Portfolio for assessment of undergraduate allied health students. Aust Occup Ther J, 63(3), 154-163. https://doi.org/10.1111/1440-1630.12226

Dietitians Australia. (2021). National Competency Standards for Dietitians in Australia. https://dietitiansaustralia.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/NCS-with-guide-2021.pdf

Dreisiebner, G., Riebenbauer, E., & Stock, M. (2017). Using ePortfolios to encourage reflection and competency development. The Journal of Research in Business Education, 42(6), 1-22. https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.14221/ajte.2017v42n6.1

Edelson, D. C. (2002). Design research: What we learn when we engage in design. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 11(1), 105-121. https://doi.org/10.1207/S15327809JLS1101_4

Engineering Statistics Handbook. (n.d). Levene test for equality of variances. Retrieved 31st July from https://www.itl.nist.gov/div898/handbook/eda/section3/eda35a.htm

Gaba, A. (2015). Development and evaluation of an e-portfolio for use in a dietetic internship program. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 174, 1151-1157. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.01.731

Green, J., Wyllie, A., & Jackson, D. (2014). Electronic portfolios in nursing education: a review of the literature [Review]. Nurse Education in Practice, 14(1), 4-8. https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nepr.2013.08.011

Gregory, M. S.-J., & Johnston, P. R. (2019). Use of PebblePad to develop scaffolded critical reflection in scientific practice. In Blended Learning Designs in STEM Higher Education (pp. 311-337). Springer.

Griffith University Careers and Employment Service. (2015). Employability: Linking scholarly learning with industry connections and student engagement. https://www.griffith.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/215170/Career-Success-and-Employability-framework-final-1.pdf

Hallam, G., & Creagh, T. (2010). ePortfolio use by university students in Australia: a review of the Australian ePortfolio Project. Higher Education Research & Development, 29(2), 179-193.

Hampe, N., & Lewis, S. (2013). E-portfolios support continuing professional development for librarians. Australian Library Journal, 62(1), 3. https://doi.org/10.1080/00049670.2013.771766

Health Workforce Australia. (2014). Australia's Health Workforce Series - Dietitians in Focus. http://www.hwa.gov.au/sites/default/files/HWA_Australia's%20Health%20Workforce%20Series_Dietitians%20in%20focus_vF_LR_0.pdf

Honey, P., & Mumford, A. (1992). The Manual of Learning Styles (3rd ed.).

Job Outlook. (2012). Dietitians: Job Prospects. Australian Government. Retrieved 19 February from http://joboutlook.gov.au/occupation.aspx?search=&tab=prospects&cluster=&code=2511

Joint Information Systems Committee. (2008). Effective practice with e-portfolios: Supporting 21st century learning. Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

Kimball, M. (2005). Database e-portfolio systems: A critical appraisal. Computers and Composition, 22(4), 434-458. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compcom.2005.08.003

Korf, A., & Campbell, C. (2019). Rethinking flight education: Student use of reflection and video creation to enhance learning. In C. N. Allan, C. Campbell, & J. Crough (Eds.), Blended Learning Designs in STEM Higher Education (pp. 249-264). Springer.

Krause, K. L. (2006). ePortfolios for graduate students: A discussion paper (Centre for the Study of Higher Education, Issue.

Le, Q. (2012). E-Portfolio for enhancing graduate research supervision. Quality Assurance in Education, 20(1), 54-65. https://doi.org/10.1108/09684881211198248

McLeod, S. A. (2019). What a p-value tells you about statistical significance. https://www.simplypsychology.org/p-value.html

Michael, R. N., Howell, S., & Campbell, C. (2019). The use of PebblePad ePortfolio as a tool for teaching first-year engineering design practice. In C. N. Allan, C. Campbell, & J. Crough (Eds.), Blended Learning Designs in STEM Higher Education (pp. 289-310). Springer.

Mitchell, L., Campbell, C., Somerville, M., Cardell, E., & Williams, L. (2021). Enhancing graduate employability through targeting ePortfolios to employer expectations: A systematic scoping review. Journal of Teaching & Learning for Graduate Employability, 2(12), 92-98. https://ojs.deakin.edu.au/index.php/jtlge/article/view/1003/1060

Palermo, C., Chung, A., Beck, E. J., Ash, S., Capra, S., Truby, H., & Jolly, B. (2015). Evaluation of assessment in the context of work‐based learning: Qualitative perspectives of new graduates. Nutrition & Dietetics, 72(2), 143-149. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1111/1747-0080.12126

Palermo, C., Dart, J., Begley, A., Beck, E. J., Bacon, R., Tweedie, J., Mitchell, L., Maher, J., Gallegos, D., & Kennedy, M. (2017). Dietetics students’ construction of competence through assessment and placement experiences. Nutrition & Dietetics, 75(3), 307-315. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1111/1747-0080.12359

Pearson, A. G., Harris-Reeves, B. E., Mitchell, L. J., & Vanderlelie, J. J. (2018). Use of E-Portfolios in Health Professions Education. In I. Singh & K. Raghuvanshi (Eds.), Emerging Technologies and Work-Integrated Learning Experiences in Allied Health Education (pp. 208-233). IGI Global. https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-5225-3850-9.ch011

PebblePad Learning. (2018). PebblePad for Higher Education. Retrieved 2018 from http://www.pebblepad.com.au/l/highereducation.aspx

Penny Light, T., Chen, H. L., & Ittelson, J. C. (2012). Documenting learning with ePortfolios: A guide for college instructors. Wiley.

Porter, J., Kleve, S., & Palermo, C. (2016). An exploratory study comparing two electronic portfolio approaches in undergraduate dietetic education: ePortfolios in dietetic education. Nutrition & Dietetics, 73(3), 235-240. https://doi.org/10.1111/1747-0080.12210

Rapley, T. (2011). Some pragmatics of data analysis. In D. Silverman (Ed.), Qualitative Research (3rd ed., pp. 273-290). SAGE Publications.

Roberts, P. K. (Ed.). (2014). An ePortfolio environment to enhance reflection in pre-service teachers: What worked, what didn't and why? Pebble Books. https://doi.org/https://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/22674/.

Ross, L. J., Mitchell, L. J., & Williams, L. T. (2017). Is it possible to enhance the confidence of student dietitians prior to professional placements? A design-based research model. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 30(5), 588-595. https://doi.org/10.1111/jhn.12479

Tomlinson, M. (2008). 'The degree is not enough’: students’ perceptions of the role of higher education credentials for graduate work and employability. British journal of sociology of education, 29(1), 49-61. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1080/01425690701737457

Trahar, P., & Bourke, J. (2019). Normalising practice – moving a technological implementation from project phase to operational phase Personalised Learning. Diverse Goals. One Heart., Singapore

Tuffley, D., & Brent, G. (2019). Embedding employability into an information technology curriculum using PebblePad: A practice report. In Blended Learning Designs in STEM Higher Education (pp. 121-138). Springer. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-981-13-6982-7_7

Tymon, A. (2013). The student perspective on employability. Studies in Higher Education, 38(6), 841-856. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2011.604408

Vandenbroucke, J. P., Elm, E., Altman, D. G., Gotzsche, P. C., Mulrow, C. D., Pocock, S. J., Poole, C., Schlesselman, J. J., & Egger, M. (2007). Strengthening the reporting of observational studies in epidemiology (strobe): Explanation and elaboration. Annals of Internal Medicine, 147(8), W-163-W-194. https://doi.org/10.7326/0003-4819-147-8-200710160-00010-w1

Volders, E., Tweedie, J., & Anderson, A. (2010). Advancements in nutrition and dietetics teaching and learning: Evaluation of the student portfolio. Nutrition & Dietetics, 67(2), 112-116. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1747-0080.2010.01429.x

Vouchilas, G., & George, G. (2016). Professional development portfolio: perceptions of nutrition and dietetics current students and recent graduates. Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, 108(4), 51-55. https://doi.org/10.14307/JFCS108.4.51

Wang, Q., Myers, M. D., & Sundaram, D. (2013). Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants. Business & Information Systems Engineering, 5(6), 409-419. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12599-013-0296-y

Welsh, M. (2012). Student perceptions of using the PebblePad e-portfolio system to support self- and peer-based formative assessment. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 21(1), 57-83. https://doi.org/10.1080/1475939X.2012.659884

Woodley, C., & Sims, R. (2011). EPortfolios, professional development and employability: some student perceptions. Campus-Wide Information Systems, 28(3), 164-174. https://doi.org/10.1108/10650741111145698

Yorke, M. (2006). Employability in higher education: what it is – what it is not (Learning and Employability Series One, Issue. The Higher Education Academy. https://s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/assets.creode.advancehe-document-manager/documents/hea/private/id116_employability_in_higher_education_336_1568036711.pdf

Downloads

Published

2021-10-19

How to Cite

Mitchell, L., Campbell, C. ., Rigby, R., & Williams, L. (2021). Giving students an eDGE: Focusing on ePortfolios for Graduate Employability. Journal of Teaching and Learning for Graduate Employability, 12(2), 316–331. Retrieved from https://ojs.deakin.edu.au/index.php/jtlge/article/view/1036

Issue

Section

JOURNAL PAPERS