Presentation: Bridging the Articulation of Skills Gap through WatCV: Career and Competency ePortfolios
Katherine Lithgow (University of Waterloo) will provide an overview of an eportfolio research project and teaching and learning intervention – the WatCV (“UWaterloo Curriculum Vitae) eportfolio initiative. As a practice, WatCV makes professional, transferable employability skills explicit and visible to instructors, students and next-stage stakeholders such as employers. As a research project, the WatCV eportfolio initiative involved 22 courses; 18 unique instructors, 23 teaching assistants, 1700 students, and 4100 graded eportfolio reflections.
The project responded to a 2013 research study on employability that noted post-secondary institutions can advance student employability by integrating soft-skills and problem-solving learning objectives (Finch, Hamilton, Baldwin & Zehner, 2013). In addition, it built upon a 2014-2015 pilot study that compared a non-WatCV control group and a WatCV experimental group on their ability to articulate, using a structured reflection, employability skills (such as team work, communication, problem-solving, critical thinking) that were tacitly acquired while completing coursework. The results were promising: the WatCV experimental group provided good evidence of retention, articulation, and transfer of learning (p < .05) six months after course completion. Furthermore, WatCV supports the university- and government-level mandate to ensure students meet the Undergraduate Degree Level Expectations, particularly “Communication,” and “Autonomy and Professional Capacity,” which address employability skills.
At this session, Katherine will provide an overview of the WatCV assignment, and share findings to date related to their research question and intended outcomes.
Katherine Lithgow is the Senior Instructional Developer, Integrative Learning in the Centre for Teaching Excellence at the University of Waterloo. Katherine facilitates e-portfolio and integrative learning initiatives, supporting instructors across campus with the design and implementation of activities that help students integrate learning in academic, workplace, community and social environments. She has been involved with eportfolios and the eportfolio community since 2004. More information can be found here.
Access the Echo360 recording of this seminar here