Barbara Sen, Information School, University of Sheffield, UK
There are many positive benefits to using e-portfolios. The University of Sheffield encourages reflective journal writing with their MA library students. They call their e-portfolio “The Secret Diary of Librarian Mole: My Online Learning Environment.” These entries build to an e-portfolio and are supposed to launch them into their first professional publications. Within their 30 credit Management module, the Reflective management journal = 30% of module grade. They use both formative and summative assessments. Reflections are not just “all about me;” it is about being yourself in a wider context. Through the experience, students felt empowered. The e-portfolio allows for supporting evidence to be attached. Flexibility is another benefit since remote access is possible. Also, it enables instructors to get to know their students quickly and to give prompt feedback. It also reduces administration.
Bob Pymm, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia
The ideas of doing practical work experience as part of academic study. This is common in many professions such as in the field of medicine. It links classroom learning with the work place. It also is seen as valuable in obtaining employment. It has been identified as one of the 12 core topics in a joint European LIS curriculum. Students often provide new ideas and perspectives to the library they are placed in and hopefully contribute positively to their work place. Experiential learning is a valuable part of the curriculum. Within the practicum, students are supposed to keep a reflective diary and thus thinking about their experience. It is used as a basis for assessment and understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of a placement
It is a means for marketing self.
Primoz Juznic, Department of Library Science and Book Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Comparison between LIS departments at University of Ljubljana and Charles Sturt University. The took 35 students from each university to complete surveys reflecting on their practicum experience. Over 90% of Australians and 83% of Slovenian students thought it was worthwhile. 46% of Slovenian students wanted a longer practicum experience while only 8% of Australians felt that three weeks was too short. All the Slovenian diaries are put on the web and shared with their practicum placements, but this is not the case in Australia. Generally, the students had similar experiences. They agree that this is a very important experience for their future careers. Juznic stated that he was surprised that there was not much published on practicums when the students wee looking at their literature reviews. He said that this was a great opportunity to strengthen and encourage more of this.
Corrinne Hills (DRUG ARM Australasia Library, Brisbane, QLD, Australia), Rebecca Randle and Joanne Beazley (Logan City Council Libraries, Logan, QLD, Australia)
How do you state on top of your game after you graduate? Professional development is the answer. In February 2009, a pilot study called Pebble Pad was launched for e-portfolios in both education and career development. Randle showed a few screen shots from her e-folio and highlighted the many advantages of using an e-folio. They are fast, flexible, and information can be updated automatically. It can support mobile learning. It is a personal learning system that provides an innovative platform to display your learning and prove the practical skills you have to future employers. They are a valuable resource. Transferrable skills is important don’t have a lot of library experience. E-portfolios can demonstrate this.