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Engineers play a central role in addressing the challenges which face society, and recent literature highlights the need for emphasis on the development of professional skills in engineering programmes. This paper describes the outcomes of a study which investigated students’ experiences of reflecting on the development of their professional skills using an ePortfolio in a pilot project. A focus group was used to capture students’ experiences of the reflection process and the use of the ePortfolio. Transcripts were analysed thematically to draw out the key experiences and to provide feed-forward advice for the next iteration of the project. The findings show that students need support in the reflection process, and clearer signposting between each skill and the modules relevant to their development. Students also found it difficult to ascertain their competency levels and felt that industry experience was needed to help score themselves accurately. Feed-forward advice included incorporating an ePortfolio throughout all years of the programme which would track their improvement in a range of skills, and providing a rubric to help assess their competency. The outcome of this study can be used by educators who wish to incorporate a professional skills ePortfolio in their engineering programmes.
Beagon, Una; Lynch, Louise; Byrne, Aimee; Carthy, Darren; Crean, Patrick; dePaor, Caitriona; and Niall, Dervilla
"Students’ Experiences Of Reflecting On Their Development Of Professional Skills In An Engineering Programme.,"
Irish Journal of Academic Practice:
2, Article 10.
Available at: https://arrow.tudublin.ie/ijap/vol9/iss2/10