An understanding or record of skill development can be very important as a student transitions from an academic environment to a working one. A student’s transcript is an excellent way of communicating information to employers about a student’s grades but is there a tool that could convey information about a student’s achievement of other learning outcomes, specifically those identified by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development as “Essential Employability Skills”? Could an ePortfolio be that tool?An ePortfolio is a digital record of a student’s skills and academic accomplishments. They have the potential to be a useful tool both during a student’s time in a postsecondary program and as they move into the workforce. This LOAC study at Durham College attempted to determine how effective ePortfolios are. Results indicated that while awareness and use is still developing, there are many potential benefits to students, faculty and employers, but only if their use becomes widespread.
This project involved over 600 students from four different programs at Durham College. Participants were provided with assistance in developing ePortfolios and then surveyed on what they felt were the uses, benefits and challenges. A group of over 300 employers was also surveyed in phase two of the project.
Feedback from students indicated that use of ePortfolios should be encouraged, but not made mandatory. They also identified a number of places that Durham College could integrate ePortfolios such as student services, campus activities and work integrated learning. While employers are still becoming familiar with ePortfolios, there was widespread agreement that they could be useful going forward.
Materials and Outcomes
Throughout the course of this project, updates and final reports will be posted here.
Students, faculty and employers see potential value in ePortfolios By assembling a digital record of a student’s skills and academic accomplishments, ePortfolios have the potential to improve educators’ assessments of students and the ability of students to clearly communicate and connect with employers. But are they effective? A new study from the Higher Education Quality […]