Portable Reflective Learning: The Sheffield Postgraduate Researcher ePortfolio
Professor Jackie Labbe (Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Arts and Humanities), Dr Joanna Gavins (Faculty of Arts and Humanities)
What is this about?
Postgraduate research students face particular challenges in recognising, reflecting upon and representing their learning. For many, the acquisition of knowledge and skills is unique and results from activities such as volunteering, entrepreneurship and public engagement, as well as from formal training. By the end of their studies, PhD students’ profiles often possess a complexity which extends not only beyond the PhD itself, but beyond the core areas of researcher development around which the Sheffield Doctoral Development Programme is structured. There is no easy way of representing this rich experience in a way that preserves its value both for the student and their future employers. The Faculty of Arts and Humanities Postgraduate ePortfolio aims to provide a bespoke but structured solution, which is also essentially student-led. In this presentation, we set out our initial moves towards a fully flexible and portable ePortfolio for PGRs, which enables students to reflect upon and collate subject-specific expertise, transferable skills and extra-curricular experience and to represent themselves fully and professionally to their future employers.
How will colleagues benefit?
The Faculty of Arts and Humanities ePortfolio is modelled on successful comparable solutions implemented at other universities in the presenters’ experience, both in the UK and US contexts. Colleagues at Sheffield will benefit from this presentation by having the opportunity to influence, shape and modify the development of a Sheffield-ePortfolio through the sharing of experience and best practice across disciplinary boundaries. While the initial project aims at a rollout in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities in 2015, the model is adaptable for use across the University.