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Wednesday, June 22 • 16:45 - 18:00
POSTER.44 - Exploratory Research on Themes found within Student Learning Portfolios developed during a First Year Undergraduate Business Course

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Student Learning Portfolios (LPs) take many forms, depending on purpose and individual or programmatic design. This study suggests a simple LP model predicated on three fundamental components: 1) Reflection 2) Documentation and 3) Collaboration/Mentoring. Such an approach parallels successful models for professional teaching, course and administrative portfolios, and more specifically, the focus of this research, individual student portfolios (Jenson, 2011). LPs are beneficial in fostering deeper student learning and aiding skill development (Miller & Morgaine, 2009). A related concept referred to as metacognition (Bransford, Brown & Cocking, 2000) points to the positive impact of having an “internal conversation”, more specifically, an enhancement of student achievement and development in students’ ability to learn independently. The purpose of this exploratory research was to uncover themes within LPs written by 600 students in a mandatory first year Organizational Behavior course within an undergraduate business program. In their LPs, students reflected on their core competency building in the areas of stress management, time management and change management. While current research has shown that LPs foster deeper learning for students, this study goes one step further by suggesting even greater depth can be achieved by initiating LPs in first year, thus setting the baseline for further LP development and critical thinking during the years that follow. Early exposure to LP preparation allows for gradual learning of how to reflect and make progress on identified developmental areas, which ultimately fosters better awareness and understanding. Examples of baseline LP templates are provided along with how they integrate into the scaffolding of courses over a four-year program. Findings from qualitative data analyses provide a better understanding of issues being confronted by the sample of undergraduate business students, and with these challenges in mind, inform instructors on how to lay the necessary groundwork of critical leadership competency building going forward.


Teal McAteer

Dr. McAteer is an Associate Professor at the DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University. She teaches courses in organizational behaviour, human resource management, leadership, strategic change, and business ethics. She is also an independent business consultant who specializes... Read More →

Wednesday June 22, 2016 16:45 - 18:00 EDT
Atrium, Physics & Astronomy Building Western University

Attendees (6)