Preparing Future Career Ready Professionals: A Portfolio Process to Develop Critical Thinking Using Digital Learning and Teaching
It is uncommon to learn, work and grow up in a world without technology and so it is pertinent to explore exactly how digital learning assists in preparing our future workforce. Employers often note that new graduates (or the ‘new’ employees) lack critical thinking and problem solving skills and have poor communication, as their experience is often restricted to a worldview limited by a digital communication lens. This brief paper argues, therefore, that the need for developing critical thinking skills has never been more apparent as graduates/new workers transition to employment. The conference theme is Teaching and Learning in a Digital World and this paper investigates the what, how and why technology benefits learning. The Rowley and Munday (2014) Sense of Self model underpins the theoretical paradigm that encourages individuals to experience digital technologies to support critical thinking by exploring their own self-efficacy as a learner. Authentic learning is discussed via a simulated learner setting where individuals create evidence of their own professional or personal identity (or a hybrid of both) and discuss how utilising a reflexive process to create a portfolio (as both a learning and teaching tool) can support improvements in critical thinking. The paper concludes with strategies for exploring how we encourage students and/or new employees to reflect on the what, how, why and who of themselves through a critical thinking process associated with self-reflection and portfolio creation. Understanding the progressive ways portfolio process and products can be used to develop a professional identity through encouraging students to reflect and connect themselves to multi faceted professional identities benefits life long learning for future work readiness.
KeywordsIdentity development ePortfolios Reflective practice
My co-author of the Sense of Self Model, Dr Jennifer Munday, and second co- author, Associate Professor Patsie Polly are acknowledged for contributions to the model and the original workshop concept for this practical application of the model.
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