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ePortfolio Development

The University needs to know what learning and development has been achieved during your studies. Since the training does not rely solely on taught modules, you are required to record your learning and experiences and to identify what you have learned through reflection. Because of this, the University regulations for the PhD state:

“In the case of a candidate for the Degree of PhD, PhD with Integrated Studies, MD, DDSc, EngD or EdD a candidate may not be permitted to transfer to that status from candidacy for a Master’s degree, (in the case of a candidate commencing the programme of study and research before 1 August 2012), or to pass the Confirmation Review (in the case of a candidate commencing the programme of study and research on or after 1 August 2012), unless the candidate has presented a portfolio demonstrating that they have undertaken the agreed programme of training and skills development and have achieved an appropriate level of competency as agreed by the supervisory team.”

Purpose of an ePortfolio?

The DDP ePortfolio will be the principal means by which your progress on the DDP is monitored. The purpose of the ePortfolio is to provide a record of your personal development at the University of Sheffield. The ePortfolio is designed to assist you to get the most from your postgraduate research experience, helping you to plan and reflect upon your research and how it will relate to future aspirations. It will help you to identify areas of strength and those areas you feel need more attention. By completing your ePortfolio you will be able to build on the learning and results you achieve, which will provide an ongoing record that can contribute towards your personal growth and career planning. You can use the software called Pebblepad to keep a record of all your training or alternatively use another system to keep an adequate electronic record.

What are the requirements?

The following are the minimum requirements which must be summarised in your ePortfolio:

  • A copy of your TNA/Development Plan Research Skills;
  • Techniques & equipment usage (if applicable);
  • List of training courses attended, both within and without the University (including DDP modules, health & safety training);
  • List of completed and submitted items of work (e.g. Literature Review);
  • List of seminars and conferences attended and whether you presented at these;
  • List of any outreach activities;
  • List of any extracurricular activities you wish to note.
How to evidence?

When putting together your Development Plan you need to specify how you will evidence what you have achieved and put this together in the form of an ePortfolio. Some of the evidence will form part of your thesis and you will need to cross reference to the appropriate section/s. Other items will include a record of courses and activities, professional courses (VITAE, Sponsors) reflections on these activities, copies of posters, papers, and other outputs. The e-portfolio is assessed purely on the basis of you having met your training needs and evidencing the skills identified.

Creating an ePortfolio on PebblePad?

The University has adopted a software called PebblePad that you may use to to gather, reflect upon, and produce evidence for your DDP ePortfolio. It may be a requirement set by your department/Faculty that you use Pebblepad to build your ePortfolio. Alternatively, you may use a different software such as MS Word to create your electronic ePortfolio.

PebblePad ePortfolio system is a standards-compliant and web-based platform developed specifically for higher education, to gather, reflect upon, and produce evidence for your DDP. You can also use the system as a personal learning space, where you can reflect and plan your own personal, educational and career objectives.

Everything that is created in PebblePad can be kept private or be shared with others such as peers, supervisors or external users such as placement supervisors or potential employers.

DDP ePortfolio Summary

It is recommended that the DDP ePortfolio summary should be submitted by month 36 of a PhD. If the DDP ePortfolio summary has not yet been completed this will not prevent students from submitting their thesis or undergoing their viva, but it may delay the award of their degree if action is not taken quickly.

Doctoral Research Students in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry & Health

Students commencing from 2015/16 onwards are expected to complete the “Evidencing the DDP” workbook in PebblePad at the time of confirmation review, submission review and at thesis submission.