Celebrating Student Excellence: Reflect Eportfolio Showcase and Awards

Yesterday, April 8th, 2021, the Teaching Enhancement Unit (TEU) at DCU hosted the annual Eportfolio Student Showcase and Awards event.

These annual awards have been an integral event of the eportfolio intiative in DCU since its launch in 2016. The Showcase is a celebration of student excellence in eportfolio practice and all students from programmes using the Reflect learning portfolio (based on the Mahara platform) were invited to enter. Students could submit an eportfolio developed for a module during 2020/2021 or develop one specifically for the Showcase. 

The DCU eportfolio eterns ran a social media campaign to promote the event and this, as well as the increasing numbers of DCU students now using Reflect to support alternative and authentic assessment, resulted in a 33% increase in entrants over the previous year.  

A panel of judges reviewed submissions based on the following criteria:

  • Effective showcase of knowledge/skills/attributes through relevant argument and artefacts
  • Level of reflection
  • Design and originality

The judging panel was impressed this year with the excellent standard of entries from all Faculties and the increased use of rich media to showcase students’ knowledge and skills. The digital skills of students were evident in the use of embedded images and videos, clean navigation, and the degree of creativity and personalisation. Judges comments included:

 “Very engaging for reader; great mix and use of artefacts to express learning; comprehensive reflections”, “very informative, using different types of media, creatively presented, “evidence of learning and growth through reflection”. 

These comments speak to the authentic representation of learning; allowing students connect their learning, to reflect on their learning, and to intentionally engage with their learning as it is happening (Rhodes, 2018). 

A snapshot of all submitted entries can be viewed in this video carousel…

Ten students were shortlisted for the top prizes. Billy Kelly, Dean of Teaching & Learning, recognised these students for their excellent work and virtually presented the awards in front of faculty and peers. 

The overall winner was Chelsea Thompson, who developed her eportfolio as part of the requirements for the Bachelor of Education programme in DCU’s Institute of Education. The judges agreed that this was an all-round excellent eportfolio which surpassed the competition criteria.

Laura Furlong, also from the Institute of Education, Ore Jalaade, DCU Business School, and Lucyann Kehoe, Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences were also recognised for their rich and innovative eportfolios.

We would like to thank all of the students who submitted entries and look forward to seeing even more creative and critically reflective examples of Loop Reflect over the next year. We would also like to acknowledge our colleague Lisa Donaldson who organised the showcase event and leads the use of and support for Loop Reflect within and across DCU.


Rhodes, T. (2018). Lift every voice: ePortfolios for creating and integratingInternational Journal of ePortfolio8(2), 87-89.

DigiTeL Pro Strategic Partnership Gets Underway…

The NIDL team is pleased to be a member of the DigiTeL Pro Strategic Partnership (Professional Development for Digital Teaching and Learning) supported by funding through the Extraordinary Erasmus+ Coronavirus response. This project involves seven European university partners and is being led by EADTU, with the first full-day kick-off meeting taking place next week.

Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

About DigiTeL

The COVID-19 crisis required many higher education institutions throughout Europe to switch overnight to online distance education. Attempts were made under challenging circumstances to create solutions for online active learning, online student interactions, both synchronously and asynchronously, and e-assessment. With the commencement of the new academic year came increased emphasis on improving the quality of the student online learning experience.

Set against this backdrop, the objective of the DigiTeL Pro Strategic Partnership is to build the capacity of higher education institutions to provide high quality, inclusive digital education, responding to the needs of universities for the remainder of the Corona crisis and beyond. The project team brings together a group of experienced online educators well-known for their research and innovation in digital education. Project outputs include an analysis of major lessons from the COVID-19 crisis, support for maturing institutional policy and strategy for the post-pandemic environment, the design, development and implementation of continuous professional development for a range of delivery modes (blended, hybrid and online distance education), and several initiatives to enhance students’ readiness for digital learning. The NIDL team is leading the student-focused work package and related deliverables.

Learn more during Empower Webinar Week

If you would like to learn more about the DigiTeL Pro Strategic Partnership, then next Tuesday, April 6th, at 13:00 (Irish time) members of the project team will be sharing further details as part of the Empower Webinar Week (6th-8th, April). During the week, you can participate in a series of webinars dedicated to better understanding the opportunities of digital education during and after the pandemic. In a webinar starting at 12:30pm (Irish time) on Wednesday April 7th, Dr Eamon Costello from the NIDL, for example, will be sharing his speculative educational futures post-pandemic. In each session there will be time reserved for reflection and questions from you, the participants.

More information on the full programme and a registration link appears on the Empower Webinar Week webpage. We look forward to sharing more over the course of the week.