Employers need staff who can keep pace in a world of constant change and who can continually learn new procedures, strategies and technologies to stay abreast in their field of expertise (Jane Hart, 2014).
The need for this ongoing learning has seen a rise in more formal continuous professional development (CPD) processes, either mandated or ‘encouraged’, to enable people to stay abreast.
Managing one’s own CPD, however, requires the skills and experiences to plan and evidence learning, and often against a set of key criteria or ‘professional standards’. This has led to the need to effectively demonstrate newly gained knowledge through CPD.
To support this, universities are implementing eportfolios (or electronic portfolios) so their students have the ability to address and evidence their ongoing learning against their industry’s professional standards, for example:
- Pre-service Teachers – see Susan Main’s 2013 Eportfolio Forum presentation slides: “Across the depth and breadth: The embedding of eportfolios in a School of Education” (Edith Cowan University)
- Health Science students – see Terry Young 2013 Eportfolio Forum presentation slides “Online Clinical Assessment – New opportunities” (La Trobe University)
This move towards a learning centred approach through eportfolios (Brown, Chen and Gordon, 2012) is helping students develop the scope of skills and experiences needed to function in busy, connected and collaborative workplaces, through managing their own ongoing learning.
Academics such as Dr Misty Kirby are leading by example. Dr Kirby is using her eportfolio to effectively demonstrate that she has met the University of Canberra’s performance and development review requirements.
However, using an eportfolio is not always the natural first choice e-learning tool for a lot of educators. This means introducing eportfolios can be quite alien to a lot of educators. Helping educators incorporate eportfolios into their program requires careful planning and support to ensure that the educator can confidently and successfully incorporate eportfolios into their teaching and assessment.
Join us next Tuesday 6 May to learn more about what to consider when introducing educators to eportfolios through a 30 min online power session.