EPICA: The Student Perspective
Experiences with the ePortfolio and the Benefits It Could Bring in the Lives of Students
By Patience Atukunda and Christine Linah Nanyanzi, Makerere University (Main Campus)
October 2018 is when we and other students of Makerere University were blessed to be part of the EPICA project. The ePortfolio, in particular the EPICA ePortfolio developed by MyDocumenta, is a platform where one can display their competences in various skills such as communication skills, accounting, marketing, and team work among others. The ePortfolio has, and still is, preparing us to be workers of the 21st century and beyond by enabling us to acquire 21st century skills.
Our participation in the pre-pilot was such a good experience that widened our thinking capacity and improved our collaboration capacity. Through the online activities given to us by our lectures on the ePortfolio, we were guided on how to plan, organize and present our evidences which improved our interaction with fellow students and lecturers, and hence made our learning easier and better.
The EPICA ePortfolio was user-friendly and easy to understand. It was easy for us to update our evidences and profiles in different formats such as text, graphics and videos. Activities had to be done in a chronological order which helped us present our work in an orderly and organized way. This exposed us to planning, organizing and information technology skills.
We could share evidences with our fellow students and also know the extent to which we have developed the respective competencies through the remarks that our professors would give us during evaluation and assessment. The many benefits of the EPICA ePortfolio can even increase further with the addition of a ‘Help’ icon.
We are filled with joy every time we think of how beneficial the ePortfolio is going to be when we join the corporate world after university. Even now as students, we can still benefit from the corporate world since our potential employers will be able to view our evidences as we apply for part-time employment and/or internship trainings. Our employability will be enhanced because potential employers will be able to view our competencies and discover more about us since the EPICA ePortfolio is a repository or archive for evidences of our competences which may not appear in writing. This means that there will be less paperwork, making job applications and interviewing quick and easy.
Since the world is a global village, and with evidence of our competencies uploaded on the ePortfolio which is accessible all over the world, our mobility is enhanced because we can work anywhere in the world.
As students of Makerere University, we are greatly indebted to the EPICA team for the tremendous project, since it has enabled us to acquire skills in communication, collaboration, planning, organizing and other 21st century skills. Our employability and mobility have been improved as well as our creativity, which has boosted our entrepreneurial abilities. We therefore implore all other students, lecturers, teachers and employers to embrace this initiative for a better tomorrow.