Using electronic portfolios to explore essential student learning outcomes in a professional development course
The following study utilizes an ePortfolio platform to examine desirable employment competencies during an introductory level professional development course for cooperative education students at a large, research intensive institution. The researchers created course activities allowing students to demonstrate essential learning outcomes derived from the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) LEAP Report (2008). While it is recognized that the student learning outcomes identified in the LEAP Report are intended to be examined through summative analysis at the conclusion of one’s undergraduate experience, this study proposes that these learning outcomes can be promoted early during students’ undergraduate careers through formative feedback in an ePortfolio development process. The results of this study suggest that ePortfolios could be used as a medium to encourage student confidence with respect to employment preparation. Further research should be conducted to longitudinally evaluate students’ understanding and ability to demonstrate the LEAP Report’s essential learning outcomes within the context of a cooperative education curriculum.