Showcase Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia 2015

Realising the potential:  ePortfolios in Australian business education (#81)

Kim Watty 1 , Marie Kavanaugh , Nick McGuigan , Shona Leitch , Dale Holt , Leanne Ngo 1 , Jade McKay 1
  1. Deakin Universtiy, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Abstract Content (up to 300 words recommended)


To date, no Australian project has explored the integration of ePortfolios in the field of business education. This project, entitled ‘Realising the potential: Assessing professional learning through the integration of ePortfolios in Australian business education’, is the first of its kind to investigate and promote the ways in which student learning of professional capabilities can be captured and assessed through the integration of ePortfolios.

The initiative/practice: 

Carried out across three Australian higher education institutions, the project is ambitiously embedding ePortfolios across entire undergraduate business and management education curricula. The project aims to enable academic leadership of Australian Business and Management education programs to design into the curriculum, and best use, ePortfolios in assessing student learning of professionally-based capabilities. ePortfolios for enabling and evidencing student learning are seen as a key means for integrating student learning across the curriculum and creating a holistic learning experience.

Method(s) of evaluative data collection and analysis

Adopting a theoretical positioning and analysis premised on constructively aligned curricula (Biggs and Tang 2011) and social constructivism (Jonassen et al. 2008), the research employs a range of data collection methods including: surveys, in-depth interviews, focus group interviews.

Evidence of effectiveness

To date, the project has been involved in both national and international awareness- raising efforts promoting ePortfolios. This strategy has proven effective amongst both academics and employers, with project events garnering increasing interest from stakeholder groups. Communities of practice are being developed with other national and international institutions. Discussing the findings to date from interviews with students and employers, and surveys of academic leaders in business education, this showcase presentation will be of interest to academics who are committed to exploring ePortfolio technologies, embracing innovative pedagogical approaches and enhancing student learning outcomes.

Addressing the theme/s of the Conference (up to 200 words recommended)

This presentation is suitably aligned with the conference theme “Learning for life and work in a complex world”, and the conference sub-theme of assessing, evidencing and evaluating graduate capabilities. The sub-themes of educating graduates to be responsive and adaptive professionals and exploiting emerging technologies to enable employability, will also be touched upon.

As the showcase presentation will show, ePortfolios provide multiple opportunities for students to develop and evidence their learning through regular self-reflection and feedback, evidencing their graduate and professional capabilities as well as showcasing their achievements and exemplary work for employability. Emerging technologies are being exploited at the three institutions involved in this project to help prepare learners to build their digital professional profiles and learning networks through mixed media digital curation and showcasing of their learning and professional capabilities to enable employability.