Student Engagement
What makes my heart sing?: exploring and communicating professional purpose with images
Vida Voncina and Janice Jackson

This project focuses on using images to explore students’ professional purpose and represent it efficiently on the welcome page of their digital portfolio. The workshops utilise Adobe Spark and Adobe Portfolio, allowing students to create 3 images, use them efficiently to represent their professional purpose in the context of their digital portfolio. Exploring professional purpose fuels students’ desire to learn and engage, gives them clear direction, and a deep sense of meaning in the process of learning and developing their employability in particular.
Resources
Shareable teaching and learning resources for this project coming soon! ​​​​​​​
Findings
The project was piloted with international masters students with majority of them having only basic digital literacy skills. In this project named students use self-created images to explore their professional purpose and use them to represent themselves professionally on a welcome page of their digital portfolio. Students responded well to the invitation to create and share the sequence of 3 images as the most simple and efficient form or storytelling. We used images as exploratory tool for self-discovery and for learning to communicate with visual language from an intercultural perspective. Images afford us to enter rich discussions allowing for engaging dialogic and building classroom relationships needed to feel safe to share personal accounts of their professional purpose.

The workshop guided students in understanding and deciding what kind of images can best represent their professional purpose in the context professional portfolio, using Adobe Spark and Adobe Portfolio to complete the tasks.

From students’ feedback we understand that they learned how images can tell a story and speak clearly an across intercultural barriers, but still allow them to stay authentic. 
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All of the students in the pilot (80) successfully created a welcome page for their digital portfolio and presented their professional purpose trough their images.

Thomas Jagan Mathew's portfolio side

Student feedback
“This was a wonderful activity as it was super simple. The website is set up in few minutes and it is with no charge. I have used Spark and Portfolio for the first time.” 

“Previously, I thought that I could work in any  field  that  I  could  earn  money  for  my  living  without  considering  my professional purpose. Thus, sometimes I was not happy about my jobs and I lacked the inspiration to work. As a result, my performance was not at the level that I was satisfied with. However, after developing my professional purpose in this unit, I now realize what I really want to do in my future career.” 

“It was so good to have the whole package. It was very easy with Adobe.” 

 “It was tricky to find images that match the values and professional purpose. Images turned out a better way to communicate, they were much clearer what we wanted to say in comparison with statement. Visuals are very catchy and they grab the view of those we intend to present to. “ 

“We use social media all the time so working with images and sharing them was good.” 
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