Tinker, Amanda and Kannara, Vidya (2016) Visual e-portfolios: a multi-layered model to develop students’ professional identity. In: ALDinHE 2016: The Learning Development Conference, 21-23 March 2016, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.

Within Higher Education, e-portfolios are associated with capturing Personal Development Planning
(PDP) activity, progression, reflection, articulation of learning and achievement (JISC, 2008). Clegg
and Bradley (2006) recognise three distinct PDP modes: academic, professional and employability,
which have been applied within an e-portfolio context (Frith, 2010). Other researchers (Barnett,
2000; Moore, 2001) characterise e-portfolios as inward or outward facing whilst Barrett (2011)
considers the “two faces” of an e-portfolio (process and product) and the balance between them.
Multiple, often dichotomous, models are prevalent and achieving a single definition has been
described as “fraught with difficulty“(Strivens & Ward, 2010), together with the added complexity of
discipline specific requirements.
Informed by case studies and focus group analysis of academic and student practices and
perceptions, this presentation introduces a progressive visual model, depicting integration of an eportfolio
within the student journey from pre-enrolment to graduation and beyond. Hinged upon
the idea of ownership, identity formation and the ‘curated showcase’, the e-portfolio moves from a
predominately academically-focused, private space to become increasingly outward facing and
employability focused, with different inputs, influences, audiences and purposes at different points
in time. This model was developed within the creative arts, which offers an additional perspective
based upon the long established tradition of a physical portfolio of work; however, it can translate
and be adapted to other subject disciplines. The project findings and visual model will be presented
for discussion and participants will consider how this might apply to their own context and the
development of their students’ professional identity.

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