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Innovative Case Study
Embedding PebblePad in Nutrition and Dietetics
Dr Lana Mitchell, Lecturer, Nutrition & Dietetics
PebblePad, a personal learning platform and e-portfolio tool, has been implemented within the Bachelor of Nutrition & Dietetics (BND) at Griffith University for the purpose of better evidencing professional competency and enhancing employability. During the pilot it was implemented within the Year 1 cohort and Year 3.
The dietetic workforce is currently over-supplied in Queensland making it challenging for new graduates to obtain employment. To help Griffith graduates compete in this environment the university needs to actively assist them throughout their degree in translating their knowledge and skills into career development and employment. Implementing PebblePad within the degree as part of the E-Portfolios for Dietetic Graduate Employability (EDGE) Project, was one of several employability initiatives in a multicomponent and longitudinal project known as NUDGE (NUtrition & Dietetics Graduate Employability).
Multiple assessments within Year 1 and 3 of the Program have been delivered within PebblePad, with many of these focusing on career planning and evidencing graduate employability. Some of these were existing assessment pieces that were altered to utilise the functionality of PebblePad, while others were introduced for the first time using PebblePad.
PebblePad was utilised for the purpose of reflection, with structured reflective tasks, as well as the reflection on learning that occurred throughout a variety of activities logged through PebblePad. In particular, Work Integrated Learning (WIL) Activity Logs and Class time activity logs enabled students to collate all related activities and reflect on their learning on these. Video reflections were also utilised, which with the assistance of the Pebble Pocket App on smart phones were very easy to create, upload, submit and mark. Templates were created to encourage students to consider their motivation for enrolment and career goals. PebblePad was also utilised for the purpose of collating placement mandatory documents and evidencing meeting the requirements to embark on WIL placement.
Setting of learning goals and logging Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours is a key requirement of the dietetics profession. Therefore, this key practice has been included in the BND from Year 1 of the degree to motivate students to develop a habit of professional development, encouraging them to select activities that are strongly linked with enhanced employability. The portfolio elements of PebblePad were utilised to allow students to develop their CV from Year 1 of the Program, and to seek out activities to contribute to a strong CV.
These activities will be expanded in future to incorporate more year groups and subjects. One key initiative is the implementation of the workbooks used for evidencing student competency related to the Dietitians Association of Australia National Competency standards. Students in Years 1-3 will be able to highlight key activities that contribute to them meeting each competency, while students in year 4 will complete their placement assessment within PebblePad.
As part of the EDGE Project (E-Portfolios for Dietetic Graduate Employability), BND students’ views of the use of Pebble Pad as a tool for evidencing competency and enhancing employability were evaluated using an online survey. More than half the students agreed/strongly agreed that PebblePad was useful and valuable to career planning. Qualitative comments indicated the most useful employability feature was the collation of activities in one place, evidencing competence and setting professional development learning goals. Student use of PebblePad in evidencing of professional competency and job-seeking will be evaluated as these cohorts progress to graduation.
IRU: Griffith University
Dr Lana Mitchell
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Mitchell, L (2018). Embedding PebblePad in Nutrition and Dietetics. Retrieved from https://app.secure.griffith.edu.au/exlnt/entry/4353/view