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Embedding reflection in the curriculum through MyPDP Fiona Smith, Ben Brock and Ed Hall Geography, University of Dundee.

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Presentation on theme: "Embedding reflection in the curriculum through MyPDP Fiona Smith, Ben Brock and Ed Hall Geography, University of Dundee."— Presentation transcript:

1 Embedding reflection in the curriculum through MyPDP Fiona Smith, Ben Brock and Ed Hall Geography, University of Dundee

2 Background University of Dundee –Blackboard Academic Suite ePortfolios adopted. –MyPDP = My Personal Development Portfolio AND/OR My Professional Development Portfolio –Developed through Careers and Learning Centre –Available to all students since 2005. Pilot Projects in Disciplines under SHEEN Project (2007 onwards).

3 Home page of Dundees My PDP resource presented via Blackboard Academic Suite and viewed within Microsoft Internet Explorer

4 Example of a life science students PDP portfolio constructed using templates provided within the My PDP resource

5 Motivations for piloting MyPDP in Geography DisciplinePersonal pathway - Institution and outside university Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Graduation Career planning or Internship Module Placement or internship Vacation or Part- time work Enterprise Gym Representation Societies Sports clubs Volunteering Independent field work Research skills Laboratory and field work Written work Dissertation Analysis, Presentation skills Specialist modules Fundamentals of Geography Personal Development Portfolio Online professional portfolio Geographical sub- disciplines Problem- solving Mentoring evaluation Knowledge and skills – human geography, physical geography, communicate, laboratory skills, report writing, IT skills, research skills, analysis, critical thinking Attributes - teamwork, financial, empathy, problem solving, creative, ambitious, self-motivated, reliable, ethical, diligent

6 PEG programme Branded for Geography Building on existing elements of Geography curriculum 2007-08 innovation = use of MyPDP to develop student reflection on learning and personal development Not assessed but is linked to curriculum activities


8 Using MyPDP… In Level 1, semester 1 –Induction session –Two templates for workshop activities and related assessment Writing skills Data analysis skills –Workshop completing portfolio at end of module In Level 3 –Careers induction and MyPDP induction in weeks 1-3 (part of overall level 3 induction) –Spain field trip – MyPDP template on field work and team working skills

9 Evaluation – Students Level 1: –Activities are like school; dont see the point disconnected from Geography studies C. 35% saw some use in the exercises –Otherwise very positive module evaluation –Around 50% completion –Some reflection, but can be limited Level 3 Students: –Much more willing –Some elements of reflection, but can still be basic

10 Evaluation – Staff Learning curve for staff Technical issues New software, new methods Template design –Too much text, too many questions Pedagogic issues Adding to an already full curriculum Relevance to each year group –Moving from transition to university to careers; developing reflective learning over time Does it actually promote professionalism and employability?

11 Evaluation – Generic Problems with wider design and interface –Set up is often counter-intuitive. –Format options are limited – new work being done by School of Design on this. How useful is MyPDP for reflective learning? –Good students versus weaker ones? –Compare to use of blogs or other activities How to make it sustainable…?

12 Next steps for 2008-09 Scale down demands on students (and staff) Adjust focus in Level 1 to transition to University MyPDP in Advising System Getting started in Geography Avoid PEG branding – integrate into curriculum MyPDP is only part of wider innovations in programme: Placements and internships Award-winning Level 3 Research in Human Geography module - real-world clients

13 Next steps… Re-focus on what professionalism and employability might mean for Geographers MyPDP in itself is not the solution to developing reflection – can we make it work better? –Does the format itself limit reflection and can it be improved? How can it be more student-centred? relies on staff providing templates –Is Level 1 too early? –Are other formats (e.g. blogs) or in-class engagements more beneficial?

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