28th Aug 2012, 1:00pm to 2:00pm
A program wide approach to building professional skills and career readiness in the sciences
Presenters: Dr Patsie Polly and Thuan Thai, School of Medical Sciences
While portfolios have a long history in the creative ‘industries’ in higher education, their prevalence is now increasing in disciplines where evidence of meeting professional standards across a range of capabilities is critical. We describe a preliminary longitudinal study of elite cohorts of students as they progress through the Medical Science and Advanced Science degree programs at UNSW. It is supported by series of 2012 UNSW Learning and Teaching Unit seed funding grants that explore a program-wide approach to using ePortfolios as a reflective learning process together with the need for life-long and life-wide learning alongside career goal setting. Our research seeks to document the responses of both students and academic staff to the use of ePortfolios and related learning and teaching activities, through both the recording of acquired skills and emerging understanding of the student perceptions of themselves as professionals from generic and specific career perspectives.
These studies, while exploring the more usual recording of career-related achievements throughout their formal learning, take the use of portfolios into a much more reflective process. Collectively, the pilot engages the students in reflection upon the relationships between their educational experiences, their personal and professional development, future career aspirations, aptitudes, and opportunities. It focuses upon making explicit the more tacit and deeper outcomes of developing an e-portfolio and highlights the interrelatedness of learning processes, knowledge and skills that the student gains throughout a program.
This builds on the studies of e-portfolios (Leece, 2005; The Australian ePortfolio Project, 2009; Buckley, et al., 2009; Woodley & Sims, 2011; Oliver & Whelan, 2011) for evidencing learning and the educational effects of portfolios on undergraduate student learning. We envisage that these pilots, under the UNSW Moodle Mahara pilot project, will form the foundation for the integration of ePortfolios across the present and other undergraduate programs at UNSW from 2013.
Presenters: Patsie Polly and Thuan Thai, School of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine
Collaborators: Kathryn Coleman (LTU), Julian Cox (Faculty of Science), Mita Das (Careers), Adele Flood (LTU), Jia Lin Yang (Clinical School, Prince of Wales Hospital)
John Goodsell Building, room LG29