Enhancing employability through ePortfolios Faculty Spark - View, reflect and apply

Last updated on 09/10/2019

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Dr Amie Shaw shares her experience of using PebblePad ePortfolios to enhance employability outcomes in a first year cohort.


How can we enhance employability outcomes for a large first year cohort?  

We needed a method that students could easily access and use to showcase their work throughout their university journey and beyond.  Further, the solution needed to be scaleable.


We took a holistic and integrated learning approach to help students become more employable by improving their "online brand" and showcase their abilities.  We also wanted to enrich their career development and enrich their professional identity.  

Students were required to build a portfolio using the platform of their choice, with PebblePad being the preferred platform from the perspective of the teaching team.

This became a major assessment piece worth 40% of total marks, due in week 9 of the trimester.  We provided clear instructions around the requirements for this task.  This included:

  • Production of a one minute video 
  • Inclusion of their resume
  • Work samples
  • Written report
  • Testimonials
  • Career assessment worksheets and reflections

We provided templates, worksheets, and a marking rubric that clearly articulated the expected assessment standards.

PebblePad was demonstrated in lectures and workshops so that students could become familiar with the platform.  Learning Futures and the GBS Learning Advisors provided excellent for support and advice at all stages of the rollout.


There were some stellar submissions of ePortfolios from students
Students relied heavily on the provided support materials, and provided positive feedback about the platform: 

The ability to design and structure ePortfolios was useful
Assets were easy to locate and update
Layout and tools were easy to use

Suggested improvements included:

  • Context sensitive help, for example a "Learn More" tab
  • Provide clearer information about sharing ePortfolios via the web
  • Provide additional banner images

 Lessons learnt:

  •  PebblePad lends itself to a logical and structured approach
  •  Subjective nature of marking ePortfolios made it difficult to achieve equity and consistency across a large cohort
  •  Some students are not as tech-savvy as we often think they are
  •  There are potential academic integrity issues as ePortfolios cannot be text-matched using tools such as Turnitin.

Enabling Technology



When considering using PebblePad as an activity or assessment task, consider the following:

  • Book training for the whole teaching team priot to implementation
  • Spend time on the structure of your template and test this with students
  • When designing the workbook consider the amount of instructional text on the page - less is often more

Students will have preconceptions, so: 

  • Outline how PebblePad will be used for your course
  • Provide instructions on the use of PebblePad 
  • Set clear expectations for your work depth and quality
  • Provide a detailed support document for assessment requirements
  • Provide examples of completed work 

Your Learning and Teaching Consultant can suggest ways of optimising the use of PebblePad for your teaching practice. 

Next Steps

  • We'll continue to promote PebblePad as our platform of choice so that students develop a familiarity with it.
  • Further develop online support resources

Griffith Graduate Attributes

This assessment item aligns with the following Griffith Graduate Attributes:

  1. Knowledgeable and skilled with critical judgement;
  2. Effective communicators and collaborators.

In this assessment item, students are encourgaed to draw upon their meta-cognitive abilities to reflect upon their career plan and articulate their personal strengths.

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Preferred Citation

Shaw, A., & Learning Futures (2019). Enhancing employability through ePortfolios. Retrieved from https://app.secure.griffith.edu.au/exlnt/entry/7468/view