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Innovative Case Study

ePortfolio in First Year Health Foundation Year

Dr Andrew Pearson, First Year Coordinator. School of Medical Science


Chemistry of Biological Systems II has 500-600 first year students from a range of health programs including Health Science, Biomedical Science, Exercise Science, Pharmacy, Dental Science, Nutrition and Dietetics, Medical Laboratory Science, Environmental Health, and Public Health.


The rationale was to introduce an employability assessment item to first year students to get them thinking about their career path, start making professional connections, enhance their digital literacy skills, and to reflect on their educational experience.


The assessment item contained two components – students were required to create or update a LinkedIn profile and an ePortfolio. For the LinkedIn profile, students were required to include an appropriate photograph, a headline describing their career profile, a career summary, a customised URL, a link to their ePortfolio, their education, employment history, volunteer experience, and skills. “This is probably one of the best assignments I've had to complete that I know I will use & I bet every other student will as well, so thanks for taking the time to care about our future!”To build connections, students were required to join at least four LinkedIn groups. Suggestions for groups included the university careers service, and the Pharmacy Professionals Network. Students also had to make at least 15 LinkedIn connections, and were encouraged to use a personal message to tailor the introduction.

Students completed an online academic integrity module through the university’s learning management system. The module helped students to understand what academic integrity is, why it matters to them as students, how to identify forms of academic misconduct, understand the skills required to maintain academic integrity, and learn about referencing. Students were required to score at least 90% on the module quizzes, on which they were allowed unlimited attempts.

To create their ePortfolio, students could choose ePortfolio platform; however, three were suggested – Wix, Weebly, and (the now defunct) Re.vu. These were chosen based on being freely available, ease of use, and functionality. "The LinkedIn profile is really going to help me in the future, having the opportunity to set one up with guidelines to understand what a good profile looks like will continue to serve me well in to my career and got me thinking about my future."On their ePortfolio, students created two tabs – a homepage and an academic skills page. The homepage contained a background image, welcome message, some information about themselves and their career path, and a link to their LinkedIn profile. On the academic skills tab, students wrote a one-paragraph reflection on academic integrity covering why it is important for a future health professional, and what they learned from the online module. Digital badges were awarded to students for successful completion of the academic integrity quizzes, and for competent use of a pipette in the laboratory.

“I found the ePortfolio and LinkedIn assignment very useful in helping me realize what I need to do to reach out to employers.”To support students in building their ePortfolio, the course convenor created and shared an exemplar, and several ran drop-in tutorials for students to work on their own ePortfolio. The quality of work produced was generally excellent, with an average mark of 93% for the combined LinkedIn profile and ePortfolio, which was 10% of the course assessment.



Dr Pearson’s presentation at the 2015 Celebrating Teaching Week:

Dr Andrew Pearson’s ePortfolio : http://apearson8.wixsite.com/eportfolio


Contributed by

  • IRU: Griffith University
    Dr Andrew Pearson


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Preferred Citation

Pearson, A. (2017). ePortfolio in First Year Health Foundation Year. Retrieved from https://app.secure.griffith.edu.au/exlnt/entry/4706/view