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Exploring Ways that ePortfolios can Support the Progressive Development of Graduate Qualities and Professional Competencies

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Higher Education Research and Development Volume 32, Number 6, ISSN 0729-4360


Since the late-1990s, the University of South Australia has embedded seven Graduate Qualities across all programs. Subsequently, the higher education landscape has changed dramatically in terms of national policies and standards, as well as technologies available to support learning and teaching. Most higher education institutions now have their own list of qualities or attributes developed by graduates. Further changes in Australia include quality assurance accredited through a national body, such as the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency, and the development of disciplinary Threshold Learning Outcomes under the Learning and Teaching Academic Standards project. Similar changes are underway internationally. A multi-disciplinary research project at University of South Australia explored how ePortfolios might enhance this learning environment with a focus on aligning standards, Graduate Qualities and professional requirements. This paper outlines approaches taken in Engineering and Law undergraduate programs using two different ePortfolio tools (PebblePad and Mahara), where we sought to discover if this would empower learners to articulate their achievements and to understand professional frameworks. Lessons learnt and evaluation data are presented, along with recommendations to support a progressive developmental approach across programs. Whilst the experiences relate to two disciplinary areas, the approach taken can be adapted for other programs. Many of the insights gained also apply to strategies that exclude ePortfolio tools.


Faulkner, M., Mahfuzul Aziz, S., Waye, V. & Smith, E. (2013). Exploring Ways that ePortfolios can Support the Progressive Development of Graduate Qualities and Professional Competencies. Higher Education Research and Development, 32(6), 871-887. Retrieved March 8, 2021 from .

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