DCU launches new online learning portfolio to enhance student employability
DCU has today launched an online tool which will allow its students to create a ‘virtual portfolio’ of their academic, professional and personal achievements. The new platform will provide a lifelong support to DCU students in securing meaningful employment on graduation and remaining employable for the rest of their careers.
The Reflect platform allows students to curate their coursework and assignments, create shareable online CVs, upload certificates of achievement and maintain monthly journals of internship experience which can be used to create personal blogs. This will, in turn, create a living portfolio which will assist future employers in visualising the breadth of a student’s learning and experience.
Today’s launch, attended by Minister for Education & Skills, Mr Richard Bruton TD, marks the completion of the pilot phase of Reflect which has seen more than 5,000 students sign up to use the portfolio across a range of disciplines and in a range of different contexts.
Professor Brian MacCraith, President of DCU explained the importance of this new initiative,
“DCU is committed to providing its students with a transformative learning experience, that will enable them to flourish in the workplace and society. The world of work requires citizens with transferable skills who are resilient and adaptable, and capable of reflective and critical thinking. The Reflect portfolio challenges traditional approaches to teaching, learning and assessment, capturing all facets of student learning and providing our students with an opportunity reflect on their personal and professional as well as learning development.”
Reflect is the latest development in the university’s Generation 21 programme which seeks to enhance the employment prospects of DCU students, by creating well-rounded individuals, ready to make an impact on society and in the workforce. It is centred around the 6 key graduate attributes (Creative & Enterprising, Solution-Oriented, Effective Communicators, Globally Engaged, Active Leaders, Committed to Continuous Learning) DCU has identified in partnership with employers as being critical to future employability.
Matt Moran, Director of BioPharmaChem Ireland applauded this new approach to continuous learning,
“Getting that first job can be difficult for a graduate, therefore, they really need to distinguish themselves. As well as having a strong academic education, they need extra skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, communications, skills which employers value. Portfolio learning, such as Reflect, is a flexible way of learning and an ideal way for them to acquire these skills. An additional advantage is that once they get that job as graduates, they can continue to develop themselves through portfolio learning professionally.”
The platform allows students to develop their profiles against these graduate attributes and other DCU initiatives including:
- the Uaneen module, a pioneering development in Irish education which recognises the role of extracurricular interests in graduate preparation;
- the INTRA work placement, a core element of the majority of DCU’s undergraduate programmes, which sees DCU students take up paid internships with companies in Ireland and worldwide each year; and
- the Study Abroad experience where over 100 international partner institutions provide study opportunities for DCU students.
The platform will now be rolled out across the full DCU student body of more than 17,000 students.