E-Portfolios as a Quantitative and Qualitative Means of Demonstrating Learning Outcomes and Competencies in Engineering

E-Portfolios as a Quantitative and Qualitative Means of Demonstrating Learning Outcomes and Competencies in Engineering

Juliana Kaya Prpic (University of Melbourne, Australia) and Graham Moore (University of Melbourne, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1809-1.ch007
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Abstract

An outcomes-based approach to engineering education within the tertiary sector is now mandatory in Australia, with the government body responsible for the quality of tertiary education (TEQSA) and the professional body responsible both for accrediting engineering degrees and for registering professional engineers (Engineers Australia) couching their expectations and requirements in terms of outcomes expressed as competencies. In response, the institutions providing engineering qualifications have expressed the outcomes anticipated from successful completion of their courses in terms of graduate attributes. The net effect is that the outcomes attached to engineering education relate to a wide variety of domains, ranging from the spatial (what points on the engineering landscape must be covered) through the agentic (what actions an engineer should be able to undertake) to the temporal (when in an engineering career particular competencies should be evident), but how these translate to practical competencies at the level of the individual student or practicing engineer is not explicit.
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Introduction

ePortfolios are emerging as a powerful means of supporting students and professionals in documenting and demonstrating the achievement of specific outcomes and the attainment of competencies. Yet the fact that ePortfolios are not yet widely used across Australian institutions attests to the difficulties that are being encountered in their implementation, despite the wide-spread availability of most if not all the support required. One of the reasons for this is that academics, students and professionals alike are not made aware of the roles that are necessary for the successful development of an ePortfolio. We present an analysis of these roles and show how they can be operated within a framework of processes to generate ePortfolios that are effective and remain living ‘documents’ throughout the individual’s professional life.

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