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Finding a job with an ePortfolio

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You want to learn what an ePortfolio is and how you can use it to find and keep a job? This presentation has been designed for you! During this presentation we will explore What is an ePortfolio? Why would you need an ePortfolio? How to create your ePortfolio? What is an ePortfolio? The definition I like to use is: an ePortfolio is a purposeful selection of evidence demonstrating achievements as a reflective learner or professional. In other words, it is an electronic document presenting information about who I am as a learner or professional. It may include information on my values, interests, educational route, my achievements (what I have learnt from positive and negative experiences), my skills and competencies. Think of the ePortfolio as a GPS , telling me where I am and what I have to do to reach the chosen destination. But unlike a GPS, my ePortfolio is only as good as the data I feed it with. Another interesting definition is: “A portfolio is opinion backed by fact... Students prove what they know with samples of their work.” Why would I need an ePortfolio? How can the ePortfolio help you to find a job? Erin Patterson, a student at Penn State University wrote: “Using web pages made creating a portfolio an entirely new experience, with things that just are not possible with conventional hard-copy models. It is also GREAT to be able to interview with potential employers from across the country, as I did, and have them be able to access your entire portfolio over the Internet. It is convenient for them, and it shows off technical expertise that is always appreciated.” an ePortfolio can also help you learn on the job Stuart Cable,from the Royal College of Nursing, the largest professional body in Europe, wrote “[the ePortfolio] enables nurses to demonstrate their competence in different areas of nursing practice. They are able to capture ‘just-in-time’ reflections on their practice or a learning experience and then re-present this evidence for different purposes, e.g. personal development planning or competence demonstration, educationally – accreditation of prior learning. The ePortfolio is a means of choice to record your learning and share it with your peers and other professionals. It is what Lee Davies, deputy director of the Institute for Learning, the professional body for further education teachers in the UK explains: With more than 27000 members using REfLECT’s technology to support their individual professional development and sharing their learning experiences through communities of practice, it is exciting to consider how IfL is leading the way among professional bodies with similar missions to advance practice through Continuing professional development. So, now that we have seen what an ePortfolio is and why you might want to have your own, let’s explore more details about how it can contribute to your career management... While the traditional view was: I learn I find a job I work I retire... The 21st century vision is rather: I learn to learn; I learn to find a job; I learn while I work (I work, therefore I learn). It is by taking into account this vision that we will explore how a Career ePortfolio can grow across the different episodes of a lifelong learning journey, and how different views of this Career ePortfolio can be tailored to the different audiences you aim to reach. One of the most common misconceptions about employability and career ePortfolios is that it is used to find an employer. A career ePortfolio is meant to support your career as an employee as well as an entrepreneur or a self-employed person. It is in that perspective ...a career portfolio can be used for: Placement and job search — showcase your work as a student. Career planning and career change — formulate your career goals. Work as a freelancer —look for prospects and clients by presenting your best work and testimonies Winning contracts — by providing references to the portfolio of key members of your staff. Manage your continuing professional development, — by collecting evidence of learning and reflect on your professional practice with your peers. Of course, the contents and look of your Career ePortfolio will be different if you are an entrepreneur, are self-employed or looking for a job as an employee. It will also vary, depending on which episode you are in: initial education, building a job application, searching for work, learning through work activities. You might also be looking for a career change, returning to full time study or find a complementary activity or income. In 2008, The Dutch Committee on Labour Market Participation made the following statement: “Every member of the labour force will be entitled to a digital e-portfolio, i.e. an electronic inventory of their competencies, diplomas, experience, and accreditation of prior learning (APL). This will give people a better understanding of their position on the labour market and their career prospects, and of any need they have for further training.” While the Netherlands is now committed to a lifelong employability ePortfolio, a number of similar initiatives are under development in other European countries. There are a number of things you can do with a career portfolio. What can I do with a career portfolio? you can Identify learning gaps and set goals for meeting them Learn how to present your own learning to others Get respect and credit for what you have learnt Collect experience from a variety of places Grow in confidence and self-esteem Assess your own learning Reflect on your learning Plan future learning Now that we have seen what you can do with a career ePortfolio, it is time to discover how to create your ePortfolio. What process should I engage in when creating an ePortfolio? One easy way to remember the different elements of an ePortfolio process is to use the first 4 letters of PORTfolio: P for Plan my ePortfolio: what purpose, who is the audience, what contents? O for organise: how do I collect , store and retrieve evidence of my learning? R for Reflect: what have I learned? how? what should I do next? T for Tell my story: how to present my portfolio to others, like potential employers or peers? Depending on your purpose(s), your ePortfolios will vary in formats and contents. It is therefore very important to define why you want to create it and who will be the audience (yourself, a current or future employer, clients, business partners?). Defining your purpose and audience will guide you to select the relevant format, contents and tools. Why do you want to create a Job ePortfolio?as a future employee, you would like to showcase your best work and demonstrate your commitment to a chosen career;as a freelancer, your would like to advertise your work to prospective clients; clients;as an entrepreneur, you would like to find partners and investors;as a current employee, you would like to change career and identify the competencies you could use in another context or in another job. What kind of evidence should I collect to fill-in my ePortfolio? Whilst using existing evidence I will probably also have to produce new evidence. A portfolio is composed of A storage space A dialogue and reflection space A presentation space (the visible part of your ePortfolio) the storage space (repository) is where you can upload, or reference, and organise your documents and evidence of learning. It can contain a variety of data such as certificates, testimonies, application letters etc. and they can be in many different formats such as text, photos, video, audio. It is important to organise this space in such a way that the information can be easily retrieved (e.g. by tagging its content). The dialogue and reflection space is where you can reflect and get feedback from people you trust, like peers, a tutor, a mentor. Reflection is important to better understand what you have done and learnt and how you will use that in the future This continuous dialogue, with people you trust and with yourself, is an important way of getting the best out what your have learnt and experienced. The presentation space (the visible part of your ePortfolio) is where you can select and sort the information to present to different people or for different purposes. This is the place for a narrative connecting all the relevant pieces of evidence. One key element of your ePortfolio is its repository, i.e. the space where you will collect and store the elements of your ePortfolio. What is important is to organise them properly, so that you will be able to retrieve them, when needed. To plan the structure of the ePortfolio repository, you can decide to create a folder structure matching the structure you will use in your presentation. But you can just as well decide to put all the artefacts collected into the same folder, without any sub-folder, and use tags (also called metadata) to provide a structured access to the content. There is no real limit to the type and number of artefacts you can collect in your repository. Evidence collected in your ePortfolio repository will comprise:direct evidence, like artefacts produced during learning or working; indirect evidence, like testimonies, feedbacks from peers or clients, assessments andawards, certificates and diplomas.Whichever pieces of evidence are collected, they should be linked to a particular skill or competency. This can be done by cross-referencing the elements with standards of competence, e.g. by using tags. Reflect is the heart and soul of ePortfolios: what have I learned, and how is this new knowledge connected to what I already know? what should I do next to apply this new knowledge and to learn further? This is something I can do on my own or with peers and colleagues that can provide an informed feedback on my achievements According to Dr Helen Barrett, reflection is the heart and soul of a portfolio. Keeping a reflective journal, or a blog, is the means to make sense of the evidence and artefacts collected and presented in the ePortfolio. Reflective writing is your tool in challenging yourself as well as others, for example your peers, on a range of issues through an open and collaborative discussion. It is important that the ePortfolio does not merely describe what happened, but assesses the outcomes against a range of available information such as examples of good practice, observation of other professionals, professional competency standards Using evidence collected, you should indicate what you have learnt and the anticipated impact on your future work and the professional practice in your field. Tell my story: how do I present myself to others? what elements of my ePortfolio should I share? With whom? Your first objective should be to make visible what you have learnt, and what you can do, for your future employer, clients (if you want to be self-employed) or partners and investors (if you want to create your own business). Defining the type of career path you are aiming for will dictate the type and style of Career ePortfolio. COOL stands for Context, Operation, Outcomes and Learning. It is a structure that can help you to structure a narrative about a particular experience in such a way that its meaning and outcomes can be clearly identified and communicated to your audience. Context: the background of the experience. Where did it happen, who were the participants, the stake-holders, etc.? What where the objectives? What were you supposed to achieve? What challenges or problems had you to solve?Operation: the steps that you personally took in response to the context. What did you do to contribute to achieving the objective?Outcomes: the results of your actions. How did your actions contribute to the completion of the task? How did your actions affect the final outcome of the operations? Learning: the lessons learnt from the experience. What knowledge and understanding, skills and competencies, have you gained? How might you apply this learning to new situations? I hope that this presentation has helped you to understand what an ePortfolio is and how it could benefit your search of a job and your career management. Please, pay a visit to the [email protected] community portal at lajost.eu. There you will fin more resources to help you build your ePortfolio to find a job. This videocast has been developed as part of the [email protected] project with the support of the European Commission.

Video Details

Duration: 14 minutes and 59 seconds
Country: France
Language: English
Producer: [email protected] project
Director: Serge Ravet
Views: 141
Posted by: ggrosseck on Nov 30, 2010

Video from Lajost project

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