Embedding an e-portfolio into a work Integrated learning environment: The School of Nursing and Midwifery experience
Mather, C, Embedding an e-portfolio into a work Integrated learning environment: The School of Nursing and Midwifery experience, EDULEARN12 Conference Proceedings, July 2nd-4th, 2012, Barcelona, Spain, pp. 4959-4968. ISBN 978-84-695-3491-5 (2012) [Refereed Conference Paper]
Evaluation of the implementation of an e-portfolio within the work integrated learning (WIL) component of a foundation unit of the Bachelor of Nursing program at a regional Australian University was undertaken in 2010 as part of a teaching development grant. The findings have provided valuable insights about how to successfully embed the use of an e-portfolio into the curriculum. This process has also indicated that there are assumptions about information communication transfer (ICT) use and understanding among students that need to be addressed if e-portfolios are to become more utilitarian within this sector of the workforce. This evaluation indicated that ubiquitous use of digital technology by students is fallacious. Additionally, student comprehension regarding the introduction of software to enhance their learning experience was mixed.
The advent of e-portfolios has occurred in response to changing needs of learners and emerging technologies within the higher education sector. They are a function of the ‘knowledge economy’ with relevance across all industry sectors. e-Portfolios are recognised as increasing student skills and competencies in ICT and enhancing their workplace readiness. Development of these attributes is particularly relevant in professions where WIL is a component of the undergraduate experience. The use of e-portfolios represents a shift from institution-centric to student-centric control. This change requires the development of effective guidelines, policies and standards. This evaluation has enabled opportunities for reflection and has guided changes that will improve and continue to support students and staff while undertaking WIL.
Participants were asked to electronically complete surveys prior to and post use of the e-portfolio. Pre-implementation surveys reflected results from other studies that indicate students were familiar with social networking (82%). However, few students indicated they used file sharing sites (15%) or possessed their own website (8%). The lack of ubiquity about student ICT use provided insights into their perspective about access and use of learner support resources. Students indicated that the marking rubric and face-to-face tutorials were the most useful. They also reported that viewing and commenting on other students’ blogs helped them feel connected to their peers while on WIL. Additionally, blogging assisted students to reflect and understand the role of a nurse. The evaluation of this process also captured the student e-portfolio experience.
Education institutions play an important role in guiding students on how to use e-portfolios effectively and responsibly; with control, access and standards for use being major challenges. Additionally, institutions are mandated to collaborate and support the provision of evidence-based best practice to guide the embedding of this technology within the curriculum. This presentation will provide insights into the learning and teaching capacity of the e-portfolio software to engage students undertaking WIL and implications of its use within undergraduate programs.
Refereed Conference Paper
e-portfolio, undergraduate, student, work integrated learning, evaluation