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Academic Portfolios - HDR Supervision

December 12, 2017


Building an Academic/Professional Portfolio - HDR Supervision

In 2018 I'll be facilitating a number of (repeat) workshops that engage academic & professional staff in conversations about building an eportfolio in the context of HDR Supervision. The workshops are included on the 2018 Calendar. In essence, the workshop will pose the question 'What evidence demonstrates good HDR Supervision?' as I recently teweeted:

My background using Portfolios

My first use of portfolios in the context of Higher Education was when I was a Lecturer B at the University of Western Sydney teaching in a number of UG and PG adult education courses. Like many who identify as an adult educator I placed value on professional learning, the recognition of prior learning & authentic and workbased learning. In pre-digital days, I asked students to develop collaborative paper-based portfolios as both learning activity & assessment tool.


Since those times I've used numerous ePortfolio platforms. At Charles Sturt University I was involved in the PebblePad Pilot, and went on to use this ePortfolio tool to communicate research, and to facilitate professional learning. Eg: Poole 2010 using PebblePad:

At the University of Wollongong I used Mahara as a tool to demonstrate my own annual achievements against yearly targets.


Evidencing Professional Learning

The process of evidencing, valuing and accrediting learning has been my focus for a long time. (eg Childs, Ingham & Wagner 2002 through to Childs & Wagner 2016). Although as an academic theorising is part of the gig, I'm interested in lived experience, and what van Manen called 'the practice of practice' and his early thinking (1977) about linking ways of knowing with ways of being practical. Famously, Argyris & Schön (1974) called their related thinking as a person's 'theory in use' (what I did, how I demonstrated theory through what I did, how I reflected through action). But this Blog post is not a treatise on my influences - these are but a few.


Evidencing Learning in the Context of HDR Supervision

Historically academics have reported 'completions' as the only way of demonstrating good supervision practices. This focus ignores the many complex activities that make up research supervision - a 'completion' is an outcome, but it does not express what was done to support the research supervision journey. A 'completion' is important, but it provides little insight into a supervisor's practice, or into the professional practices that supported a candidate's journey.


Through the new MQ Promotions Criteria academics seeking promotion need to be able to demonstrate a wider set of criteria for HDR Supervision. In addition, the Office of the Dean of HDR will be introducing an HDR Fellowship Program in 2018 for academic and professional staff. Applications for a Fellowship will be evidence based, tied together with a reflective narrative about impact and outcomes.


The workshop

Throughout the year I'll facilitate workshops and webinars for academic and professional staff. Participants will:
1. Understand the usefulness of an portfolio
2. Consider the use of a portfolio in the context of HDR Supervision
3. Explore the types of evidence that might demonstrate good practice in fostering good HDR Supervision
4. Consider different types of portfolios and eportfolios


Keep your eye out for a a date and time that suits!





Want to know about recognition of practice in the context of a digital age?



















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