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Exploring the impact of ePortfolios on work readiness and employability: A study of first year University students in Australia

Thursday 4 July: Conference day two, 11:00am – 11:30am parallel session



Room 10 – 303-B07 Sem



Dr Amie Shaw
Griffith University, Australia

Professor Ruth McPhail
Griffith University, Australia

Dr Andrew Rothwell
University of Loughborough, England

Kathryn Moura
Griffith University, Australia

Catherine Longworth
Griffith University, Australia

Lenka Boorer
Griffith University, Australia



The aim of this research is to explore first year business students’ views about using ePortfolios at Griffith University and to examine how the use of ePortfolios in the business curriculum can improve first year student perceptions of work readiness and employability. The need and rationale for the research is that while some of the literature claims that links exist between ePortfolios in the curriculum, work readiness and employability (Hallam et al., 2008; Woodley & Sims, 2011), research in this area is underdeveloped (Housego & Parker, 2009). This presentation will focus specifically on how student perceptions of ePortfolios, work readiness and employability align to social capital and student success theory.


The Initiative/Practice

This research explores student perceptions around ePortfolios, work readiness and employability (rather than just focusing on ePortfolios as a potential recruitment tool) in order to develop strategies to improve the use of ePortfolios in the business curriculum.


Method(s) of evaluative data collection and analysis

This research employs Nahapiet and Ghoshal (1998) theoretical framework of social capital, which includes three main interrelated components: structural, relational and cognitive, and Lizzio’s (2006) five senses of success framework which conceptualises student success in terms of five domains: sense of capability, sense of connectedness, sense of purpose, sense of resourcefulness, and sense of academic culture. This research uses a qualitative case study methodology of semi-structured interviews. The research consists of 20 semi-structure interviews with first year students from a large foundation course, 1001EHR Work and Employability. The recordings of the interviews were transcribed, and a thematic content analysis was performed using NVivo.


Evidence of effectiveness

This research has the capacity to improve the student experience, enhance student success and further engage students in the area of work-readiness and employability through exploring the use of ePortoflio’s in the business curriculum.



Bridgstock, R. (2009). The graduate attributes we’ve overlooked: Enhancing graduate employability through career management skills. Higher Education Research & Development, 28(1), 31-44. doi:10.1080/07294360802444347
Dacre Pool, L., & Sewell, P. (2007). The key to employability: Developing a practical model of graduate employability. Education & Training, 49(4), 277-289. doi:10.1108/00400910710754435
Hallam, G., Harper, W., McGowan, C., Hauville, K., McAllister, L., & Creagh, T. (2008). Australian ePortfolio Project: ePortfolio use by University Students in Australia. Retrieved from Strawberry Hills, NSW:
Housego, S., & Parker, N. (2009). Positioning ePortfolios in an integrated curriculum. Education and Training, 51(5/6), 408-421.
Lizzio, A. (2006). Designing an orientation and transition strategy for commencing students. A conceptual summary of research and practice. Griffith University.
Nahapiet, J., & Ghoshal, S. (1998). Social capital, intellectural capital and the organisational advantage. Academy of management review, 23(2), 242-266.
Woodley, C., & Sims, R. (2011). EPortfolios, professional development and employability: some student perceptions Carolyn Woodley and Rob Sims. Campus-Wide Information Systems, 28(3), 164-174.


Presentation topic

Students – Wellbeing and Success

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