Bridging the Articulation of Skills Gap through WatCV: Career and Competency ePortfolios'

Project Summary

WatCV is the name we have given to the student eportfolio assignment described in this project. This WatCV image of WatCV folder on a computer screenresearch project aims to test the hypothesis that having students create an eportfolio designed to showcase course projects and articulate the professional skills and competencies developed while completing the projects helps students value the learning process and better present themselves in a digital format to different audiences post-graduation - hence the name, WatCV.

This project is a test of whether our previous Seed grant results are generalizable. We want to draw from a larger sample size across all Faculties administered over two terms (Fall 2016 and Winter 2017). Participating instructors incorporate the WatCV assignment into their existing course, retaining course activities but modifying their marking scheme to accommodate the WatCV assignment worth 6-25% of the final grade. The assignment consists of 3 graded, reflective exercises prompting students to articulate the professional skills they develop while completing course activities. Students add the completed reflections to their ePortfolio accompanied by digitally-captured project artefacts.

Intended Project Goals, Outcomes, and Research Questions

  • Project Goal: To test the hypothesis that having students create an ePortfolio designed to showcase course projects and articulate the professional skills and competencies developed while completing the projects helps students value the learning process and better present themselves in a digital format to different audiences post-graduation.
  • Research Question: Does the integration of the WatCV assignment into existing course activities increase students’ ability to articulate the professional skills that they tacitly acquire while completing coursework?
  • Intended Student Learning Outcomes: By creating a WatCV ePortfolio, students will:
    1. identify, articulate, and persuasively demonstrate the implicit, transferable, professional skills and competencies that they develop within a course context;
    2. develop visual/digital literacy skills to showcase their learning of professional skills
  • Intended Enhanced Teaching Outcomes: Instructors will develop the capacity to make explicit the transferable skills that students develop while completing course activities, as well as assess these with the customized and interactive marking rubric. Most university coursework does not expose nor explore the connection between classroom activities and implicit professional skills. WatCV integration, therefore, offers instructors an innovative teaching practice.

Preliminary Findings/Insights 

Preliminary findings directly related to the research question are restricted because data collection is ongoing. To date, we have collected data from the F2015 control group (n =150), which will be used as a point of comparison against the F2016 WatCV group (collected in S2017) to determine if students’ ability to articulate their professional skills has improved. At the end of the Fall 2016 semester, students’ WatCV grades will also be reviewed to evaluate if there has been any improvement over the course of the term, which may speak to an improved articulation ability. We have also used a pre-assessment survey to collect data about students’ digital literacy skills before WatCV (n = 91). This survey will be compared to survey responses at the end of the Fall 2016 semester in a post-assessment survey to determine if WatCV improves digital literacy skills.

In addition, there have been a number of insights gained as to the utility of the instructor and student resources and materials developed for the project. Regular communication and in-person workshops with WatCV instructors have informed the small iterative improvements that we will incorporate into instructor and student materials for W2017. A WatCV integration post-mortem meeting to be held in December will provide the final list of changes that we will make.

References

References and Resources (PDF)

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This project is funded by WatCACE.

Grant recipients:

  • Jill Tomasson Goodwin, Department of Drama and Speech Communication
  • Katherine Lithgow, Centre for Teaching Excellence
  • Jennifer Roberts-Smith, Department of Drama and Speech Communication
  • Joslin Goh, Statistical Consulting and Collaborative Research Unit, Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science
  • Stephanie Verkoeyen,Department of Geography and Environmental Management  
  • Geoff Malleck, Department of Economics/Arts and Business program
  • Kathleen O’Hara Pierce, Arts and Business program
  • Carol Hulls, Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering
  • Toby Malone, Department of Drama and Speech Communication
  • Christine McWebb, Academic Programs, Global Business and Digital Arts
  • Tim Paci, Department of Drama and Speech Communication
  • Leeann Ferries, Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies
  • Kelly Grindrod, School of Pharmacy
  • Shana MacDonald, Department of Drama and Speech Communication
  • Paul McKone, Department of Knowledge Integration
  • Rob Gorbet, Department of Knowledge Integration
  • Rob Danisch, Department of Drama and Speech Communication
  • Clare Bermingham, Writing Centre
  • Judene Pretti, Centre for the Advancement of Co-operative Education
  • Anne Fannon, Professional Development Program
  • Christine Kampen Robinson, Centre for Career Action
  • Jennifer Doyle, Department of Drama and Speech Communication
  • Raveet Jacob, Bridge to Academic Success in English
  • Simron Singh, School of Environment, Enterprise, and Development
  • Brian Ingalls
  • Angela Rook, GradVentures
  • Svitlana Tarabon Gordon, Centre for Teaching Excellence
  • Stephanie White, Centre for Teaching Excellence
  • Richard Wikkerink, Centre for Career Action
  • Ed Jernigan, Department of Knowledge Integration

(Project timeline: January 2016 - December 2017)