Innovative implementation of iLearn e-Portfolio for Personal Development Planning
Mann, P. and Wong, D. T. W. (2010) Innovative implementation of iLearn e-Portfolio for Personal Development Planning. In: EUNIS 2010 IT: a step forward in Higher Education at Warsaw, Poland, June 2010.
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iLearn is a Web 2.0 tool developed in Blackboard to help students with Personal Development Planning (PDP). This paper describes a case study on how the innovative use of mobile digital technology in iLearn e-Portfolio for developing reflective portfolios for PDP benefits the students. The e-Portfolio tool benefits students as it enables them to create and share portfolios, record achievements and reflections that support future job applications and promotion. Students find it beneficial because they can make use of iLearn e-Portfolio to keep academic records and achievements, activities and interests, work experience, reflective practice, employer information and some other useful resources, and also to tailor their CV and covering letters including evidence to support their CV, transferable skills and selling points. Useful information for preparing for an interview, reflecting after an event and any thoughts and evaluation can be kept in iLearn e-Portfolio. Keeping assessment and feedback records in iLearn e-Portfolio enables students to know their progress, to identify any gaps they need to fill to develop their study practices and areas for development. The key points from the feedback on the assignments and assessments are beneficial for future improvement. The reflections on the assignments and how students make use of the advice are particularly useful to improve their overall performance. In terms of pedagogical benefits, the “Individual Learner Profile” records and reviews evidence in verbal communication, basic and higher academic skills, time management, numeracy skill and IT skills, students become increasingly aware of their own strengths and any weaker areas that may require development. The e-Portfolio also provides opportunity for students to reflect on the experience and skills they have gained whilst participating in activities outside their studies. As the iLearn e-Portfolio is a reflective practice tool, it is consistent with the principle of Schon's reflective practitioner to reframe problems and to explore the consequences of actions. From the students’ feedback, for those who engage regularly in iLearn, they are better able to set agendas for their Personal Tutorial meetings and provide their Personal Tutor with a unique record of their achievements, skills and attributes which help them writing effective references for them. They make the most of their student experience in general. They also enhance their transferable skills and employability overall. The iLearn e-Portfolio prepares for the workplace and life beyond University including continuing professional development. Students are aware of their transferable skills, evidence of the skills and skill level, including award or accreditation, and their personal reflection on their transferable skills. It is beneficial for students to be aware of their transferable skills, to produce evidence of the skills and skills level such as award and accreditation, and to record their personal reflection on their transferable skills. Finally, the innovative use of mobile digital technology in iLearn e-Portfolio for developing reflective portfolios for PDP will improve their employability.