Can E-Portfolio Improve Students’ Readiness to Find an IT Career?

Abdallah Tubaishat
InSITE 2015  •  2015  •  pp. 901
[The final form of this paper was published in the journal Issues in Informing Science and Information Technology.]

An E-Portfolio Assessment Management System (EAMS) can be an innovative tool that provides students with flexible opportunities to demonstrate the acquisition of skills and abilities in an outcome-based institution. The system has been developed and used for the past ten years to create, reflect, revise, and structure students’ work. It is a repository management system that facilitates collecting, sharing, and presenting artifacts of student learning outcomes via a digital medium. Therefore, it provides students with flexible opportunities to demonstrate the acquisition of skills and abilities to demonstrate growth of achieving learning outcomes. The rationale of the EAMS is to allow students to demonstrate competences and reflect upon experiences to improve their learning and career readiness; hence, they are accountable for their learning. The system was built around two defined set of learning outcomes: institutionally agreed upon set of learning outcomes, and learning objectives that are related to major requirements.
The purpose of this study is to analyze students’ perceptions and attitudes when using an e-portfolio to support their employment opportunities. The participants were 217 students in the College of Technological Innovation. The students reported that the developing of e-portfolios was extremely helpful. The results showed that students have positive opinions about using e-portfolios as a beneficial tool to support their readiness for employment; they believe an e-portfolio increases their confidence to find a job in the IT field because it can allow them to showcase artifacts that demonstrate competencies and reflect upon experiences, and they can provide their supervisors during their industrial training with an e-resume that includes views of their actual work of what they have learned and are able to do when they complete their degree. Employers then can review e-portfolios to select prospective employees work readiness skills; hence, graduates are more likely to obtain a job in their workplaces. In conclusion, students do like the idea of e-portfolios when it is presented to them as a career showcase rather than a process for documenting learning. A career center can use e-portfolios as a tool to help students find a job. Furthermore, our analysis and evaluation uncovered learning issues involved in moving from the traditional approach of learning toward an integrated learning system that can be used after graduation.
E-portfolio, IT Career, Learning Curriculum, Student Perspectives, Outcome-Based Higher Education.
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