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For ten years the physician teachers of the Medicine Faculty of Paris Descartes have focused their
efforts on the structuration of knowledge and on self-apprenticeship.
The medical students’ program of studies is collected in a portfolio which stays with them
throughout their three years of study. This follow-up was achieved through the use of a paper
portfolio compiling each student’s work.
The teachers wished to use an online tool that was easy to use, reachable from everywhere, that
allowed a fine management of access rights, that could broadcast protected contents and insure the
progressive validation, by tutors, of the skills acquired during the three years of study.
An experiment on the social network of Paris Descartes University, in collaboration with the TICE
department (ICT for Education) lead to the creation of an educational plan for skill acquisition and
A system of e-Portfolios of medical students was set up in 2010. It is an original solution relying on a
community of learners in a network. It is a virtual space, which is not a simple on-line copy of paper
documents, but an environment in which collaborative work can occur.
The interface personally involves all members of the medical practitioners department. It is
organized on a personal workspace allowing the user to present him or herself and to be identified
within the university.
The student uses his or her e-portfolio, bringing together his work, alternating editorial sections
(clinical narratives, track of learning, balance assessment of the meetings with the tutor) and
declarative sections (index cards of training course, self-assessment of the skills with link towards
the contents described in the other sections).
The tutor sees a follow-up and assessment board, allowing him or her to guide the student in the
progress of his/her work and writing, to spot possible delays and failures before formal on-line
The work produced by the student is easily useable for research: it contributes to the description of
the practices and the situations, made exploitable by the tool, which allows the transverse export
of the data. This is a flexible tool, in the service of the evolution of needs.
This e-portfolio favors the emergence of innovative educational solutions, harmonizes the various
places of learning, federates the teaching team and facilitates interactions. It brings the students
into a dynamic of educational research. It increases the digital visibility of the students, the
teachers and the course within Paris Descartes University. The medical is a precursor within the
Paris Descartes University of the use of on-line e-portfolios.
This social Learning tool is extremely useful for students who alternate brief periods in the Medical
College with training periods in a medical office and/or in a hospital. It allows a simplified teaching
follow-up for the tutors of medical studies.