Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 31584
The Engineering Eportfolio: Enhancing Communication, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving and Teamwork Skills?

Authors: Linda Mei Sui Khoo, Dorit Maor, Renato Schibeci


Graduate attributes have received increasing attention over recent years as universities incorporate these attributes into the curriculum. Graduates who have adequate technical knowledge only are not sufficiently equipped to compete effectively in the work place; they also need non disciplinary skills ie, graduate attributes. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of an eportfolio in a technical communication course to enhance engineering students- graduate attributes: namely, learning of communication, critical thinking and problem solving and teamwork skills. Two questionnaires were used to elicit information from the students: one on their preferred and the other on the actual learning process. In addition, student perceptions of the use of eportfolio as a learning tool were investigated. Preliminary findings showed that most of the students- expectations have been met with their actual learning. This indicated that eportfolio has the potential as a tool to enhance students- graduate attributes.

Keywords: Eportfolio, Communication Skills, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills and Teamwork Skills

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1551


[1] Ahmad, A. R. (2005, March 20). Opinion: The unemployable Malaysian graduate. New Sunday Times online. Retrieved February 28, 2007, from unemployable 200305.php
[2] Overseas graduates lack soft skills too. February 4, 2007. The Star Online. Retrieved February 28, 2007 from
[3] Engineers Australia. (2005). G02 Accreditation Management System - Education Programs at the Level of Professional Engineer - Accreditation Criteria Guidelines. Canberra, Australian Capital Territory: Engineers Australia.
[4] Love, T., & Cooper, T. (2004). Designing online information systems for portfolio-based assessment: Design criteria and heuristics. Journal of Information Technology Education, 3, 65-81.
[5] Maiden, S. (2004). Employers urge uni ÔÇÿbasics-, The Australian. Retrieved July 1, 2009, from,5744,10345263p ercent255E12332,00.html
[6] Tosh, D., Light, T. P., Fleming, K. & Haywood, J., (2005). Engagement with eportfolios: Challenges from the student perspective. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 31(3).
[7] Christy, A. D., & Lima, M. (1998). The use of student portfolios in engineering instruction. Journal of Engineering Education, 87(2), 143- 148.
[8] Rogers, G. M., & Williams, J. M. (1998). Asynchronous assessment: Using electronic portfolios to assess student outcomes. In 1998 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition (pp. Session 2330).Seattle, WA: American Society for Engineering Education.
[9] Bennett, N., Dunne, E., & Carre, C. (1999). Patterns of core and generic skill provision in higher education. Higher Education, 37(1), 71-93.
[10] EPC Assessment Working Group. (2002). The EPC engineering graduate output standard - assessment of complex outcomes. London: The Engineering Professors Council.
[11] Barrie, S. (2006). Understanding what we mean by the generic attributes of graduate. Higher Education, 51, 215-241.
[12] Curtis, D. & P. McKenzie (2001). Employability skills for Australian industry: Literature review and framework development. Report to BCA and ACCI. Melbourne: Australian Council for Educational Research.
[13] Sumsion, J. & Goodfellow, J. (2004). Identifying generic skills through curriculum mapping: a critical evaluation. Higher Education Research and Development, 23(3), 329-346.
[14] Barrie, S. (2005). Rethinking generic graduate attributes, HERDSA News, 27(1), Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia, 1-6.
[15] Bowden, J., Hart, G., King, B., Trigwell, K., & Watts, O. (2000). Generic capabilities of ATN university graduates. Canberra: Australian Government Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs. Retrieved June 6, 2009, from
[16] Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia (2006). Development of Soft Skills Module for Institutions of Higher Learning. Universiti Putra Malaysia. (Modul) ISBN 983-3663-05-2. Universiti Putra Malaysia. 2006
[17] Hassim, M. H., Abd. Hamid, M. K., Abu Hassan, M. A., Mohd. Yusof, K., Syed Hassan, & S. A. H., Esa, M. (2004). Enhancing learning through cooperative learning: UTM experience. Proceedings of Engineering Education. Kuala Lumpur.
[18] Vijan, P. (2007). Infosys Ready to offer jobs to 29 Malaysian graduates. Retrieved May 8, 2008 from
[19] The Star Newspaper (2004). Fong: Review the education system to meet job Needs April 10th.
[20] Henwood, R. Careers in Malaysia. Retrieved May 2, 2009 from
[21] Asma, A. & Lim, L. (2000). Cultural dimensions of Anglos, Australians and Malaysians. Malaysian Management Review, December, pp. 9-17.
[22] Yogeesvaran, K. (2005). Addressing skills gap: Malaysian case study. Paper for the Regional Conference on Investment Climate and Competitiveness in East Asia.
[23] Sibat, M. P. (2005). Leaping out of the unemployment line. Retrieved February 26, 2007, from
[24] Human Development Sector Reports East Asia, & Pasific Region the World Bank (March 2007). Malaysia and the knowledge economy: Building a world-class higher education system. Retrieved March 30, 2008,from -Knowledge-economy2007.pdf
[25] Times Higher Education Supplement, 5 November, 2004. Tracer study of graduates. Report to the Ministry of Higher Education, National Higher Education Research Institute, February 2006.
[26] Innovation Associates (2004). Development of a new funding methodology for Malaysian Public Institutions of Higher Education. Report commissioned by the Ministry of Higher Education
[27] Ayala, J. I. (2006). Electronic portfolios for whom? Educause Quarterly, 1, 12-13.
[28] Hartnell-Young, E., & Morris, M. (Ed.). (2007). Digital portfolios: Powerful tools for promoting professional growth and reflection (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
[29] Pallister, J. (2007). Blog. Retrieved October 20, 2008, from:
[30] Kolb, D. (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
[31] McGill, I., & Brockbank, A. (2004). The action learning handbook: Powerful techniques for education, professional development and training. Routledge: New York. Retrieved February 15, 2009, from
[32] Jonassen, D. H. (1994). Thinking technology: Toward a constructivist design model. Educational Technology, 34 (4), 34-37.
[33] Du, S. H., & Wagner, C. (2006). Weblog success: Exploring the role of technology. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 64(9), 789-798.
[34] Maor, D. & Fraser, B. J. (2005). An Online Questionnaire for Evaluating Students- and Teachers- Perceptions of Constructivist Multimedia Learning Environments. Research in Science Education, 35, 221-244.