The core objectives of this module are that students will be able to:
Demonstrate how artefacts enhance reflections and act as additional evidence
Describe the range of artefacts that may be used to demonstrate understanding of the subject material
Use relevant artefacts in connection with reflections
Having completed this module, participants will be able to:
Demonstrate the application of the theory into practice i.e. create artefacts that accompany reflections
Select and create relevant artefacts
Portfolio Reflections and Artefacts
What, Why and How?
A key focus of the associate degrees is reflective practice. Students are expected to engage in reflective writing about their experiences, largely through blogging in WordPress, or keeping a journal or diary within their E-Portfolio (or that is uploaded as a file). To enhance reflection, and further demonstrate understanding, students can also create and upload artefacts as evidence.
Reflective portfolios typically including written pieces that enable students to become more familiar with how they learn, but they also tend to include work samples, photographs, and all kinds of evidence. What we recommend for the associate degree program is that students use their WordPress website as a reflective portfolio that additionally showcases achievement – using a range of items, not only written, as evidence.
Even if students prefer to keep hardcopy notebooks, diaries or journals or draw sketches and maps, these can be photographed or scanned and uploaded to WordPress.
In the practice and portfolio subjects in particular, we are looking for evidence of genuine engagement with the course material and the work integrated learning experiences. Such evidence may be in the form of reflections and artefacts that demonstrate your school, work and personal development; and, your understanding of applying discipline theory to practice.
We want to see reflections and evidence about tasks you’ve completed, the skills they helped you to develop, the situations you found challenging and moments of insight – sometimes called critical incidents. Critical incidents are written summaries that reflect on experiences that enhanced learning – these can be positive or negative.
The key concern of the portfolio is for students to become more self-aware and develop critical analysis skills around their own development; so as to identify strengths and weaknesses, and plan accordingly. In addition, it is to help build confidence as students start to see they are learning how to apply theory to practice. Portfolios allow students to reflect back on feelings, thoughts, and entire experiences over the degree.
Artefacts for the University College Associate Degrees
A Taste of Fieldwork - Core Farm Apple Orchard
Our class recently had a site visit to Core Farm, one of Tasmania’s apple orchids in the Huon region. During the field trip, we observed some operational matters and talked with the farm managers about the upcoming picking season. Prior to our class visiting Core Farm, we had to develop a set of questions to ask the farm managers about human resources. One of the farm managers, Susie, said they needed a HR management plan for the 2017-2018 season (i.e. harvest to farm gate) to ensure the team reached their hoped-for performance targets.
I asked questions about the size of the workforce at Core Farm, the work expectation of the apple pickers and what the optimal performance targets were that they had in mind for 2017-2018. In hindsight, I wish I had prepared questions about what strategies they employ at the orchid to help them achieve the targets. I also think I should have thought about asking Susie or one of the other farm managers, how they reward staff for reaching the acceptable outputs or exceeding them. Some of the other students, had prepared questions about how to attract, train and retain staff, including for example, apple pickers, leading hands, and tractor drivers and how the chain of command worked.
In future, I think I need to prepare more questions. Perhaps I should consider recording some of the things I learn from the tutorials and readings to help me do this. Also, I didn’t have a notebook or think to use the notes application or google docs on my phone. If I had thought of these things, then I wouldn’t have to rely so much on recall now.
On a positive, I completed some fieldnotes as soon as I got home from the fieldtrip, and I went back and reviewed some of the course material. Then I talked to other students and looked at discussion board posts. So, I had enough to prepare a draft HR Management Plan for Core Farm’s 2017-2018 picking season. On the fieldtrip, I had also taken a few photographs that jogged my memory. One that was really useful was a photograph of the apple crates that they used (see above on page one) because it reminded me of what Don, one of the farm managers, said about how many of those crates they hope to sell on average per day. It was good I did that because it helped me remember what I heard about performance targets.
Ideally, to ensure I really understand the real world of work at Core Farm and the HR, it would be good to visit when the apple pickers start. Then I could observe how it all works, and have a deeper understanding of whether my HR management plan that I drafted would have worked (had they used it); or, at least asked them to show me what plan they did end up putting in place and how that was going. I might talk to one of my lecturers, Stephen, about that, or Mark or Cherie who are in the Practice (WIL) and Portfolio area.