About my research methodology

To be competitive in the international job market new talent needs to be highly educated, experienced and flexible. Design and knowledge based skills are highly sought after by industry and academia as they are seen as tools that will add competitive advantage expressed in new products and processes. Transferable skills and accreditation then become important enablers in documenting and accrediting these skills sets. This combined with a new category of workers, trans-locatable people, raises questions about how industry and academia can validate or qualify which talented people are best for their organisation. For the trans-locatable employee how they represent themselves in virtual spaces such as electronic portfolios is becoming a passport which will allow them to participate in new work opportunities and gain entry into study programs more easily in an increasingly distributed geographical environment.

An examination of the literature that examines the use of I.C.T and Web Technologies shows that there is the potential for a new relationship to be created between the student and their design work, the student and the employer and academia and the global economy. This is a radical departure from the previous view of many electronic portfolio theorists. This is because the electronic portfolio was seen as a tool for sharing academic or creative design work. This research discusses these new relationships and provides examples of the literature and contexts that evidence and discuss these views.

This study utilises an interactive design based practice led enquiry to ask how electronic portfolio designers can design ePortfolios for Music postgraduate study? Practice led enquiry according Schon and Haseman is about examining :

“the situations of practice – the complexity, uncertainty, instability, uniqueness and value conflicts which are increasingly perceived as central to the world of professional practice” (Schon, 1983: 14 in Haseman, 2006.pg:3). (You would be better citing primary source!)

Schon ‘s notions of reflective practice underpins the design of this study through developing the idea of ‘knowing-in-action’. In applying these processes designers reflect on the activity of practice iteratively informed by ‘making work- design’ and critically reflecting on it and further interrogating the process by reflective consultation of peers (Schon, 1983). This study which has developed a prototype electronic portfolio system that embodies and extends upon a conceptual framework for ePortfolios use in tertiary music research. It adapts Schon’s theories to present a tangible model that enables us to see the problems of design of ePortfolios for research with a new lens.

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