Developing professional identity through self-reflection using an ePortfolio app
Queensland University of Technology
School of Business and Law
The ePortfolio is increasingly being utilised in Higher Education as a tool for learning, reflection and the development of one's self, as well as a means to develop and showcase an individual's overall professional identity to employers. However, ePortfolio use within business undergraduate education is relatively new. This paper draws on both educator reflections and the findings of an online survey of students studying a core, second year, professional development business unit to examine the relevance of written, structured and oral, video reflection ePortfolio assessment item tasks. Tasks focused on the evaluation of personal practices (in the behaviours of either emotional intelligence or stress management) in the development and showcase of professional identity. The paper also explores educator and student views of the appropriateness and use of an ePortfolio, and more specifically that of the PebblePad platform and its new Pebble Pocket app (PP app). Overall, the findings from the survey indicate that the assessment item was successful as it provided an authentic learning experience, seen as relevant to professional identity development by those students with little workplace experience, but less relevant to others with more than five years professional workplace experience. Students indicated that the use of the structured reflection template was extremely helpful to keep them on track with ordering their thoughts for the oral video reflection task. Many students indicated that they had no issue using the PP app, and although a number of technical issues surfaced during the semester and 'work arounds' were devised at the time, these were highlighted as problematic by some. The responses from students in this study on the use of both the ePortfolio software and the video reflection as a tool for career management were identified as both positive and negative. It is likely that future use depends upon how much the individual values and/or is able to manage new technologies, along with its functionality and applicability to the task at hand and its potential for future recruitment purposes. From an educator perspective, every student's oral video reflection was considered insightful as it demonstrated students' growing self-awareness of their individual professional identity formation, and delivered benefits in terms of reduction of workload, and therefore, prompt return of feedback to students.