It is important that you maintain and update their skills and knowledge to remain employable and help you with your career progression, but it is just as important that you manage the evidence of this learning.
An electronic portfolio or eportfolio, which is a digital collection of artefacts demonstrating a person’s experiences, achievements and knowledge, can help. As personal online spaces, an eportfolio offers you an opportunity to manage your own learning by collecting evidence of your learning in one place.
Here are some ways eportfolios provide a ‘one stop shop’ to helping you manage your professional development, by:
Providing a space to develop a learning plan which highlights how you are maintaining your professional currency. This can be mapped for performance appraisals/reviews or to industry standards/requirements.
Having a place to track your PD by collecting evidence of currency, such as certificates of participation; examples which incorporate current industry practice; and/or keeping a ‘learning log’ or ‘reflective journal’. This makes demonstrating your current capabilities at any point very easy. This evidence can also be used for recognition of prior learning (RPL), or getting a promotion or applying for grant funding.
Enabling colleagues or managers, mentors or coaches the opportunity to view the progress and help support your professional development through ongoing access to and commenting on your eportfolio. This approach is much more effective then one-off meetings every 6-12 months with your manager or supervisor.
Helping you develop or strengthen your digital literacy by helping to learn how to electronically manage and display the evidence of your learning online.
Here’s an example:
The Australian Computer Society (ACS) use eportfolios to help their students demonstrate their skills and abilities against their industry’s standard, known as the “Skills Framework for the Information Age” (SFIA).
They do this by using their eportfolio to plan and manage their future academic/career goals. This provides their students with a framework to demonstrate to their current capabilities to a potential employer to gain a job or to an existing employer to gain a promotion or to a funding body to apply for a grant.
ACS students use their eportfolio to document the evidence they have for demonstrating different components of SFIA, ie what evidence the student has to demonstrate the criteria for the key skills areas in the SFIA.
ACS students are also presenting their learning goals, and how these have been/will be achieved, as well as, where, when and how they will achieve their Academic Goals.
Having this information all in the one place is making managing these students’ PD very easy.
If you are Interested in knowing more about managing professional development using eportfolios, check out the:
Evidencing professional standards for teachers using eportfolios – webinar – 26 March 2014
- See other examples of how eportfolios are being used to manage professional development.