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.

Professor George Veletsianos Awarded Fellowship: Join a Transatlantic Conversation on the Future of Universities

We are pleased to announce that Professor George Veletsianos from Royal Roads University, Canada will be hosted by the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) at Dublin City University (DCU) in March. This virtual academic exchange is possible thanks to the support of the Ireland Canada University Foundation who have awarded Professor Veletsianos a prestigious D’Arcy McGee Beacon Fellowship. George holds the Canada Research Chair in Innovative Learning and Technology and the Commonwealth of Learning Chair in Flexible Learning. 

Professor George Veletsianos awarded D’Arcy McGee Beacon Fellowship

As part of his Fellowship, Professor Veletsianos will feature in a free online Masterclass on  Higher Education 4.0: Certifying Your Future starting on March 8th and will be giving an invited presentation on the changing nature of higher education in the digital-era. Details of this presentation appear below. 

Title: Learners and Universities in the 21st Century – Future-ready?


Drawing upon his significant experience as an educational researcher, Dr. Veletsianos will offer a presentation on how social and technological trends, such as automation, are disrupting and transforming the nature of skills development for 21st century learners, and in particular, how these changes are reflected in educational practices and systems. Students in higher education today face many challenges, from a changing world of work, a sustainability crisis, and core questions of equity and participation which require bold, socially-sustainable solutions.

Dr. Veletsianos will question common assumptions, such as that technological change inherently leads to wider participation in education, and invite us to consider how “…flexible education…can support better—more equitable, just, accessible, empowering, imaginative—educational futures” (Veletsianos & Holden, 2020).

This presentation will be conducted on the week commencing the 8th of March, 2020, and will consist of a 30-minute presentation, and a 15 minute Q+A session, and will be embedded in DCU’s online learning masterclass, Higher Education 4.0: Certifying your Future. Participants are strongly encouraged to consider the following questions as reflective prompts before the session: 

  • What does flexible learning mean to you? 
  • What kinds of learning models do we need to support today’s learners?
  • What types of skills do you feel that students should be developing in Higher Education, to become 21st century learners, and global citizens? 
  • From whom is greater flexibility required? 
  • How can we build more socially-just systems and ways of teaching and learning? 

Participants need to register for this event, which will be an opportunity to hear one of the leading researchers in digital educational practice speak, and give voice to both local, and global perspectives on these critical issues. 


The Ireland Canada University Foundation is also thanked for the generous support through the D’Arcy McGee Beacon fellowship’s mission, which…

“… provides light, guidance and hope in challenging times.”

The foundation was established to provide a “positive contribution to society, through the promotion of such shared values, which it does through the organisation of scholarly exchange and related events, and the support of academic and research networks linking both countries.”. For more information regarding the foundation’s work, please visit the ICUF website.

Background reading 

Veletsianos, G., Houlden, S. (2020). Radical Flexibility and Relationality as Responses to Education in Times of Crisis. Postdigit Sci Educ 2, 849–862. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42438-020-00196-3

11th March, 17:00 (GMT)

Where: Zoom: 

Register in advance for this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting

You can also register here for our online masterclass, Higher Education 4.0: Certifying Your Future, starting on March 8th.