Showcasing Interdisciplinary Capabilities: Employers Perceptions on Reflective ePortfolios Conference Paper uri icon


  • Disciplines in isolation cannot furnish solutions to the worlds complex problems. Trends within the materials science and engineering fields revealed materials development was slow to offer solutions for the practical needs of advancing technology. The Materials Genome Initiative (MGI), announced by the White House in 2011, recommended an interdisciplinary approach utilizing an informatics framework in materials discovery and development. With more employment opportunities brought about by the MGI, it is important to teach the next generation of engineers and scientists how to show employers their interdisciplinary capabilities. Creating an ePortfolio is a common, useful solution in engineering education. Students not only can display their learning experiences and research projects, but also can enhance their reflection ability, a critical skill for interdisciplinary education and research. However, few ePortfolio studies have indicated the perceived value employers have on a students reflective ability. To fill the literature gap and provide suggestions on developing ePortfolios, our study investigated how a reflective ePortfolio enhances students competitiveness for future positions from the perspective of employers. We recruited seven doctoral students from an interdisciplinary program designed at the intersection of materials science, engineering design, and informatics as a response to MGIs call. With the completion of two-year training, these students have finished their ePortfolio including personal profiles, learning experience, and reflection posts. We invited employers from the academia, industry, and national lab to review their ePortfolio and complete a survey. Based on the results, we presented comprehensive suggestions for developing an impactful ePortfolio.

name of conference

  • 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings

published proceedings

  • 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings

author list (cited authors)

  • Chang, C., Patterson, C., Lavadia, C., Fowler, D., & Arroyave, R.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Chang, Chi-Ning||Patterson, Clinton||Lavadia, Courtney||Fowler, Debra||Arroyave, Raymundo

publication date

  • January 2019