When applying for graduate employment, nursing students are required to write personal statements outlining the skills and experience that makes them suitable for the position. The quality of these statements varies considerably, and the limited opportunities for tutors to provide feedback on the paper-based portfolios that the students use to write these statements was thought to be a factor. Therefore, the tutor wanted to provide a more structured alternative that would emphasise the importance of reflection and the gathering of appropriate evidence of learning and development.
The tutor made use of the PebblePad ePortfolio system to create templates for the students to complete during their studies. These templates emphasised employability skills and graduate attributes by encouraging students to make explicit links between them and the work in their portfolios. Tutors were able to see the portfolios as they developed and provide feedback at any point in the process and a peer mentor scheme was also instituted to provide alternative perspectives on the students’ portfolios.
As a result of these developments the tutor has seen a general improvement in the quality of personal statements and portfolios. This is particularly evident in the students’ ability to effectively articulate their skills and experience. The mentoring scheme, in particular, allowed students to frame their learning through new perspectives, resulting in richer outputs and discussions, particularly in relation to employability.
You can read more about this approach by reading the two-page case study entitled: Enhancing Employability Skills through Electronic Portfolios.