Reflect, Review, Note, Act and Test: E-Portfolio for Engineering Students

Helwig, Andreas and Simmons, Shane and Goh, Steven ORCID: (2019) Reflect, Review, Note, Act and Test: E-Portfolio for Engineering Students. In: 30th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE2019), 8-11 Dec 2019, Brisbane, Australia.

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Preparing engineering students to become professional undergraduates, to cross the threshold to professional graduates involves a wide range of technical and professional practice skills development. Integrating different areas of their course based technical expertise as well as developing best professional practice is the goal for USQ engineering programs.

Purpose or Goal
To provide a platform for student technical skill integration and chart professional development, three e-Portfolio element developments were undertaken to achieve this. This was an opportunity to develop reflective thinking and writing to record progress in integrating skills from a wide range of course units. It also provides a means to self-assess their own progress and outcomes. The student is responsible for keeping a personal reflective ‘snippet’ diary of courses pre-mapped as significant contributors to the graduate engineering capabilities, which later develops into a full reflective narrative. There are also nominated milestone professional practice courses where the student’s e-Portfolio content is academically reviewed with feedback to encourage students to further optimise their reflective practices.

Approach or Methodology/Methods
The e-Portfolio framework was based on the:
• USQ program and discipline major based engineering graduate capabilities;
• Development of their graduating professional engineering CV;
• Opportunity to develop their Engineers Australia Stage 1 e Portfolio for students who already have significant engineering industry experience.
Staged mandatory progressive assessment submissions in a number of professional practice courses per engineering program encourages student development in reflective thinking and writing by providing academic feedback on possible improvement; and encouragement to master this skill. It is also a mandatory requirement to complete to graduate. The USQ online Mahara portfolio platform forms the repository for the e-Portfolio, and is available to USQ alumni to access after graduation.

Actual or Anticipated Outcomes
The e-Portfolio implementation since 2017 promotes written reflective skills as part of engineering practice development and self-assessment. Review progress, reflect on skills developed (or underdeveloped), note and record this to then act and test oneself in term of progress in engineering professional development to engage actively in graduate careers.
The self-assessment component also give opportunity to take self-remedial action or seek academic support for any gaps in learning outcomes the student identifies do not align with their developing knowledge and skills base towards their graduation.

The implementation of the use of e-Portfolio in totality:
• Encourages students to develop their reflective abilities to innovate in their engineering capstone project topic and associated investigation or research.
• Prepare them for their professional engineering e-Portfolio where continued professional development, where their professional career history and verifying artefacts is recorded regularly to support their ongoing professional accreditation and recognition for contribution.

Thanks to AProf. Tony Ahfock and Prof. Kevin McDougall (Heads of the USQ Schools of Engineering) for their encouragement, review and comment during the incremental development of the e Portfolio.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2020 23:09
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2020 22:43
Uncontrolled Keywords: Professional engineering practice, e-Portfolio, reflective practice
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0999 Other Engineering > 099999 Engineering not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4099 Other engineering > 409999 Other engineering not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970109 Expanding Knowledge in Engineering

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