e-Portfolios and assessment in Health Sciences: Supporting Professional Development in a Clinical Setting - Case Study 2


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Presentation delivered by Judith Lane at eAssessment Scotland 2010

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  • My case study will focus on the types of assessment that we use and how these support a students development throughout their two year programme.
  • Before I go on, I just want to give you some back ground information on these students. The MSc (pre-registration) Physiotherapy is a 2 year M-level programme for graduates of any discipline. Upon successful completion, graduates are eligible to apply for registration with the HPC as a Physiotherapist and are also eligible to join the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. The programme is basically university based for the traditional academic year with placements undertaken mainly during the summer period.
  • The Health Professions Council now consider it mandatory for registrants to maintain a record of their professional development. Furthermore the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy consider that a professional development portfolio is not only an important record of activities and achievements undertaken during ones professional working life, they consider that professional development occurs through reflection and evaluation of those activities. In order to make the most of the opportunities portfolios offers, it is crucial that students become familiar with such activities early in their professional journey. Of course traditional paper based portfolios also offer these kinds of opportunities but the eportfolio allows the student to develop a very dynamic document which can be easily shared, updated, assessed and used in a range of different ways depending on the individuals requirements.
  • Therefore, we introduce eportfolios right at the start of the programme. Maintaining a record of professional development is a habit that needs to be nurtured. Students need to become familiar with the varying tools offered by the eportfolio and thus a range of activities are encouraged. When we first introduced the eportfolio, I had hoped that the students would engage with activities and see their intrinsic value. However, as with many students, if it ain’t assessed, they don’t value it. I didn’t want to place an additional assessment burden on students so a range of both formative and summative assessments were developed.Each QMU based year contains a professional module which considers what it means to be a professional and what it means to be a physiotherapist. A summative reflective assignment submitted via the eportfolio gateway introduces the student to the software and starts them on their journey of gathering evidence for a portfolio. During the clinical placement that are undertaken at the end of year 1, the student has the opportunity to undertake two formative actvities via the eportfolio which involve ‘sharing’ content. When the students return to university, they undergo a refresher and update on their eportfolio skills. During the year 2 clinical placements, they again have the opportunity to undertake formative eportfolio activities which culminates in a summative PDP assignment.I’ll now go on to describe these activities in a but more detail
  • There are a number of activities that the students undertake during the placements which give them an opportunity to develop their reflective skills and also encourages students to collect evidence for their portfolio through the use of different tools.
  • In placement 1, students complete a critical incident report. This report is based on the forms that the CSP encourage physiotherapists to use for personal development. Recording critical incidents is one way to encourage this. In placement 1, QMU tutors will provide feedback on the form, encouraging students to reflect upon the event.The purpose of this activity is to 1) get the student to think about gathering evidence for a professional portfolio, 2) given them another opportunity to gain feedback on their professional development, 3) to foster good practice in reflection.The activity is entirely formative which gives the students an opportunity to see how their reflections could be strengthened and what aspect are already strong without the stress of the mark contributing to a final degree classification.
  • At the end of year 1 a formative eportfolio assignment gives the student the opportunity to gain feedback on developing their skills in developing a professional development portfolio. The assignment asks students to reflect on their learning in relation to the placement learning outcomes. They are encouraged to add evidence by providing links to references, blogs, forms etc. This assignment is similar to the summative assignment that they undertake during year 2 so provides a good opportunity to get useful feedback. Students in the past have often given the feedback that they feel unsure about reflective writing so formative activities are an ideal opportunity to develop skills with the security that what they say ‘doesn’t count’.
  • A review of wider functionality of the eportfolio is provided during year 2 and a further two formative activities are undertaken during the year 2 placements.In year 1, students ‘shared’ their critical incident report with their QMU tutor however eportfolio activities are not only shared with tutors, or developed into a larger assignment for feedback, students are also encouraged to undertake activities which they share with their peers. Our students although highly competitive, highly motivated and high achieving, generally tend to lack confidence when faced with clinical educators and patients. Hopefully, by sharing their thoughts about their strengths and weaknesses, they can gain confidence in what they do well but gain support from seeing what others believe to be their weaknesses.
  • Finally all the work that students have undertaken is brought together to develop a personal development plan.
  • By the end of the programme, the student should have built up a portfolio of activities that they have undertaken and have demonstrated an ability to reflect upon their learning. Importantly, they will also have a learning plan for their first year of employment which they can take to prospective employers. One of the most useful benefits of beginning this journey with Pebblepad as an eportfolio is that the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy have adopted Pebblepad as their eportfolio software and students can transfer their portfolio seamlessly to the CSP system. Even if they do not go on to join the professional body, they can access their portfolio as a QMU alumni for up to one year following graduation.
  • Hopefully this short presentation has given you some ideas of how the eportfolio can be used to develop formative activities as well as summative assignments which can be submitted through the eportfolio gateway. The eportfolio activities are continuously present throughout the programme, encouraging students to develop good practice in recording and reflecting upon their personal development.
  • e-Portfolios and assessment in Health Sciences: Supporting Professional Development in a Clinical Setting - Case Study 2

    1. 1. E-portfolios & Assessment: Supporting Development in a Professional SettingCase study 2<br />Judith Lane,<br />Programme Leader<br />MSc (pre-registration) Physiotherapy,<br />Queen Margaret University,<br />Edinburgh<br />
    2. 2. Programme<br />
    3. 3. Why (E)portfolio?<br />a record of your professional development and experience<br />specific to your work practices and roles<br />reflective and evaluative content, not just a record<br />confidential documentation<br />useful as an historic, current and future learning tool<br />Dynamic document which can be tailored to specific needs<br />
    4. 4. E-portfolio activities<br />
    5. 5. Formative activities<br />Placement 1: Critical incident report – shared with QMU tutor via the eportfolio.<br />Placement 2: Submission of formative reflective account of learning over placements 1 & 2<br />Placement 3: SWOT analysis – shared with peers via the eportfolio<br />Placement 4: Development review – shared with QMU tutor via the eportfolio.<br />
    6. 6. Placement 1 activitycritical incident form<br />
    7. 7. Placement 2Formative eportfolio assignment<br />
    8. 8. Placement 3SWOT Analysis<br />Shared with peers<br />
    9. 9. Evaluation <br />of applied<br /> learning and<br /> development<br />Jointly produce Personal<br /> Development Plan<br /> - identify needs<br />& agree goals<br /> Supported<br />learning & development<br />Placement 4Development Review<br />Review of individual’s<br /> work against post outline<br />
    10. 10. Summative assignmentPersonal Development Plan<br />Stage 1: Identifying learning needs from gaps in skills, knowledge and abilities. <br />3 dimensions of a Band 5 post outline<br />Stage 2: Define needs by writing learning outcomes<br />First year of employment<br />SMART outcomes<br />Stage 3: Match activities and undertake learning<br />Identify action plan<br />
    11. 11. And finally…….<br />
    12. 12. Summary<br />Email: jlane@qmu.ac.uk<br />Website: http://www.qmu.ac.uk/ph/<br />