E-Portfolios: Are they useful in occupational therapy education? (Published 2014)
Apr 06, 2016
Isbel S, Wicks A and Nuessler S
E-portfolios can be a useful teaching, learning and professional tool. This study aimed to determine if an e-portfolio (Mahara) could be use to map occupational therapy student competency as they moved through a graduate entry course.
Context: E-portfolios can be a useful teaching, learning and professional tool. This study aimed to determine if an e-portfolio (Mahara) could be use to map occupational therapy student competency as they moved through a graduate entry course. The study also aimed to determine whether an e-portfolio was a useful tool in developing reflective practice and to report on student perceptions when using an e-portfolio.
Methods: A longitudinal, mixed methods design was used. Questionnaires were given to all first year students (n=16) in the first semester of study and then again in the final semester of study (n=9).
Results: Students reported that using an e-portfolio is a potentially useful teaching, learning and professional tool, particularly as a tool to develop reflective practice. However, students preferred existing methods of recording and storing this information and did not engage with the e-portfolio if the associated tasks were not assessable. Students were more engaged with an e-portfolio when using it as a tool during practice education to develop critical reflection skills. The main barrier to using an e-portfolio was the perceived ease of use of the technology.
Discussion: In this study, an e-portfolio was not successful in mapping student competency, but was useful as a tool for reflective practice. An e-portfolio can be useful in occupational therapy education, however teachers should carefully consider the purpose of the portfolio, the associated tasks and the ease of use of the technology.
Although this paper doesn’t add much new data to our understanding of e-portfolios, I enjoyed reading it for lessons in practical application of e-portfolios, the very clear description of their implementation, from which many can learn, and its useful reference list.
Quite an interesting study- I liked how you took time to really explain how the e-portfolio works. I think e-portfolios are always helpful and interesting for the students if it doesn't require a lot of extra time. The European Junior Doctors PWG is also working on the e-portfolio topic- we really see it as a everyday tool for all junior doctors in the near future. So it is always interesting to read new data and reflections about it.