The legacy of language


Published on

The design of eportfolios in Australian universities has traditionally been focussed in the social sciences and liberal arts, leading to a legacy of language within eportfolio systems that is specific to these fields. This enforced language can act to discourage academic staff members from alternative fields taking eportfolios on board. This presentation shows how this issue may be resolved and implemented to effectively support student learning outcomes in a first-year engineering unit and suggests how language can be adjusted to allow eportfolios to be more readily introduced. We will show how higher-order learning activities specific for engineering may be integrated into the design of eportfolios to demonstrate reflective process. It is concluded that the language of eportfolios must be adapted to suit the needs of the discipline.

Published in: Education, Technology, Business
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • Higher order reflection that is intrinsic to being able to analyse, synthesise and evaluate“The Educational Potential of e-Portfolios: Supporting Personal Development” L. Stefani, R. Mason and C. Pegler, p.12
  • “At every step of the way PebblePad users are prompted to consider ‘Why?’, ‘So what?’, ‘What if?’ and ‘What now?’ “This inbuilt reflective structure is what transforms PebblePad into a space where learning is generated rather than simply collected and evidenced.” (Sutherland, Brotchie & Chesney, p.24)
  • Share the ePortfolio tool from this perspective
  • Use their language;Make it relevant;Develop at course level, rather than unit level;Build task expectations from first year to final year;Ensure analytic reflection by graduation.
  • Appropriate language to the discipline is maintainedReflective tasks are directly related to the unit contentA rubric is used to link to the unit learning outcomesIncreasingly demanding reflective tasks are scaffolded throughout the course
  • The legacy of language

    1. 1. Legacy of Language Introducing ePortfolios to an engineering program Heather Pate
    2. 2. ePortfolios – a reflective tool An ePortfolio provides a scaffolded opportunity for students to achieve higher order thinking:  Allow and encourage student autonomy  Empower students to take responsibility for their own learning Use of an ePortfolio system requires a “considerable level of learner autonomy and initiative, of learner responsibility for their learning and of opportunities to refine their learning based on feedback from the teacher.” (Stefani, Mason & Pegler, p.12)
    3. 3. ePortfolios at ECU: PebblePad  Reflection is an intrinsic part of PebblePad
    4. 4. Perceptions in engineering  Negative attitude towards writing (Beer, 2002)  Engineering is a practical “real world” skill, not in a classroom (Dunsmore, 2011)  Disregard of perceived reflective tasks: “I really don’t see how writing a blog will make me an engineer.” (Faulkner & Azin, 2011, p.13)
    5. 5. Mismatched expectations Potential mismatch between the technology and the needs of the discipline:  Must an ePortfolio be used for reflection?  Is an ePortfolio the right tool for engineers?  How do we make the students’ use of it worthwhile?
    6. 6. ePortfolios for ECU Engineering students PebblePad was used to introduced to first year students to:  Improve writing skills  Present work  Improve employability skills Where does reflection fit into this and how do we approach the task from an engineering perspective?
    7. 7. First year engineering ePortfolio Task: • Introduce yourself from a professional perspective; • Introduce your practical project; • Show evidence of the skills you have developed in sustainability, safety and team work.
    8. 8. Reflection for engineers Bloom’s Taxonomy Action Verbs. Clemson University. (n.d.)
    9. 9. Text analysis using Bloom’s taxonomy 1st year engineering students – feedback from tutors 1.2000% 1.0000% 0.8000% 0.6000% 0.4000% 0.2000% 0.0000% Knowledge Comprehension Application Feedback Analysis Synthesis Evaluation
    10. 10. Text analysis of EA Professional competencies 1.2000% STAGE 1 COMPETENCY STANDARD FOR PROFESSIONAL 1.0000% ENGINEER ROLE DESCRIPTION - THE MATURE, PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER The following characterises the senior practice role that the mature, Professional Engineer may be expected to fulfil and has been extracted from the role portrayed in the Engineers Australia 0.8000% Chartered Status Handbook. Professional Engineers are required to take responsibility for engineering projects and programs in the most far-reaching sense. This includes the reliable functioning of all materials, components, sub-systems and technologies used; their integration to form a complete, sustainable and self-consistent system; and all interactions between the technical system and the context within which it functions. The latter includes understanding the requirements of clients, wide ranging stakeholders and of society as a whole; working to optimise social, environmental and economic outcomes over the full lifetime of the engineering product or program; interacting effectively with other disciplines, professions and people; and ensuring 0.6000% that the engineering contribution is properly integrated into the totality of the undertaking. Professional Engineers are responsible for interpreting technological possibilities to society, business and government; and for ensuring as far as possible that policy decisions are properly informed by such possibilities and consequences, and that costs, risks and limitations are properly understood as the desirable outcomes. Professional Engineers are responsible for bringing knowledge to bear from multiple sources to develop solutions to complex problems and issues, for ensuring that technical and nontechnical considerations are properly integrated, and for managing risk as well as sustainability issues. While the outcomes of engineering have physical forms, the work of Professional 0.4000% Engineers is predominantly intellectual in nature. In a technical sense, Professional Engineers are primarily concerned with the advancement of technologies and with the development of new technologies and their applications through innovation, creativity and change. Professional Engineers may conduct research concerned with advancing the science of engineering and with developing new principles and technologies within a broad engineering discipline. Alternatively, they may contribute to continual improvement in the practice of engineering, and in devising and updating the codes and standards that govern it. Professional Engineers have a particular responsibility for ensuring that all aspects of a project are soundly based in theory and fundamental principle, and for understanding clearly how new 0.2000% developments relate to established practice and experience and to other disciplines with which they may interact. One hallmark of a professional is the capacity to break new ground in an informed, responsible and sustainable fashion. Professional Engineers may lead or manage teams appropriate to these activities, and may establish their own companies or move into senior management roles in engineering and related enterprises. 0.0000% Knowledge Comprehension Application Feedback Analysis EA Competencies Synthesis Evaluation
    11. 11. Comparison with Teaching Competencies 1.2000% 1.0000% 0.8000% 0.6000% 0.4000% 0.2000% 0.0000% Knowledge Comprehension Feedback Application EA Competencies Analysis Teacher Competencies Synthesis Evaluation
    12. 12. “Reflection” in Teaching Competency 1.2000% 1.0000% 0.8000% 0.6000% 0.4000% 0.2000% 0.0000% Knowledge Comprehension Application Feedback Analysis EA Competencies Synthesis Teacher Competencies Evaluation "Reflect"
    13. 13. What does this tell us? The field of engineering:  Specific language for reflective skills plan  evaluate  interpret  justify   Require increasingly complex reflective tasks as they move towards graduation.
    14. 14. Where to from here?  Find the language of the discipline  Build it into the ePortfolio task The Design Cycle Dowling, Carew & Hadgraft, 2012 Alternative Design Process Arulampalam, ECU, 2013
    15. 15. Build it into the unit and course
    16. 16. Supporting the process To successfully integrate an ePortfolio system into a new discipline:  Be aware of the language of the field  Bend the tool, not the people.
    17. 17. Thank you Thank you Thank you
    18. 18. References Beer, D.F., "Reflections on why engineering students don't like to write - and what we can do about it," Professional Communication Conference, 2002. IPCC 2002. Proceedings. IEEE International , pp.364-368, 2002. Retrieved from Department of Education and Training (2004). Comptency framework for teachers. Retrieved from Clemson University (n.d.) Bloom’s Taxonomy Action Verbs. Retrieved from 20Verbs.pdf Dunsmore, K., Turns, J. and Yellin, J. M. (2011), Looking Toward the Real World: Student Conceptions of Engineering. Journal of Engineering Education, 100: 329–348. Engineer Australia (n.d.) Stage 1 competency standard for professional engineer. Retrieved from 20Professional%20Engineer.pdf Faulkner, M. and Azin, S. M. (2011). Stimulating self assessment and reflection in first year engineering using ePortfolios. Ergo. 2(2), 5-17. Retrieved from Prince, M. Does Active Learning Work? A Review of the Research. Journal of Engineering Education. 93(3), 223-231 Stefani, L., Manson, R. & Pegler, C. (2007). The educational potential of eportfolios: Supporting personal development and reflective learning. New York: Routledge. Sutherland, S. Brotchie, J. and Chesney, S. Pebblegogy: Ideas and activities to inspire and engage learners. Pebble Learning Ltd: Telford, UK.