Society for Research into Higher Education 2013

Attending the SRHE conference was a really inspiring experience, I was able to present my EdD research which has been on supporting reflective and creative practices with students through ePortfolios. The constructive feedback was really helpful towards my action research study. I have felt very vulnerable during the research process as the aims of the project have evolved from the outset. I began with an aim of implementing support interventions into the eportfolio support process, but by the end of cycle 2 my outcomes became an exploration of my own practices as an educator. I realised if wanted to support students to engage in reflective and creative eportfolios I needed to examine how my practices and intentions helped students to achieve this. I questioned my values, questioned if my actions and practices were aligned to my values as an educator.

My findings so far have been that role modelling of reflective practice and traits of creativity are important if I want to students to produce creative and reflective eportfolios. Creativity and reflective practice need to be continually practiced and encouraged during the learning process and within the learning environment. Also an atmosphere that fosters trust, positive collaboration and encouragement to try new things should be encouraged. This study has had a positive outcome in terms of student’s eportfolio, at the end of December 2012 the eportfolios demonstrated that students engaged more in reflective practice, showed increase in usage of multimedia within eportfolios to demonstrate learning and increased participant and online social interaction within the eportfolios.

Overall the action research was valuable to my practices and  a learning development opportunity for myself as an educator while having a positive impact on student learning and eportfolios. 

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About Muireann O'Keeffe

I am an educational developer currently working at DCU. I have a passion for researching and evaluating technology that can support and enhance learning. In the past I have taught on Masters programmes (Msc Applied elearning & Postgraduate Diploma in Third level Learning and Teaching) as well as Leadership development programmes.
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