Self discovery through digital portfolios: a holistic approach to developing new library and information professionals

Hallam, Gillian C. & McAllister, Lynn M. (2008) Self discovery through digital portfolios: a holistic approach to developing new library and information professionals. In Digital discovery: strategies and solutions : 29th annual conference of the International Asociation of Technological University Libraries (IATUL), 21-24 April 2008, Auckland, New Zealand. (Unpublished)


Library educators face ever-increasing challenges in terms of delivering a curriculum that will adequately prepare students for the dynamic digital environment they will be working in. Graduates require a balance of discipline specific knowledge and personal attributes that will enable them to transition smoothly into employment and plan their future careers. At Queensland University of Technology (QUT) the postgraduate library and information management program has introduced a whole-of-course approach to professional practice studies, using an ePortfolio to support the students on their learning journey.

The subject ITN280 Professional Practice has been developed as an overarching unit in the Master of Information Management course spanning the three semesters of study. The innovative study program seeks to establish meaningful links between the various coursework subjects and to introduce students to contemporary professional practice in information agencies. The learning activities focus on the students’ own personal and professional development, enabling them to participate in industry seminars, fieldtrips, work placements and career mentoring. The development of skills in critical reflective practice underpins the process of building an ePortfolio to document the students’ insights into and their experiences in the information profession.

While the ePortfolio processes and tools for organisation and communication directly support the learning outcomes of students in a broad spectrum of skills, the students clearly benefit from the confidence they gain by working in a digital environment. The scaffolded development of technical skills, professional knowledge and self-understanding represents a holistic approach to academic learning and career planning. The paper presents a case study prepared as part of the Australian ePortfolio Project, a multi-university research study funded by the Carrick Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, led by QUT.

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ID Code: 14048
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: The contents of this conference can be freely accessed online via the conference's web page (see hypertext link).
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Library education, LIS education, Professional practice, ePortfolios, Electronic portfolios, Digital portfolios, HERN
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Educational Technology and Computing (130306)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > LIBRARY AND INFORMATION STUDIES (080700) > Librarianship (080706)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Division of Technology, Information and Learning Support
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 Gillian Hallam and Lynn McAllister
Deposited On: 14 Jul 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 13:01

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