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Med Educ. 2000 Sep;34(9):754-61.

Practice-based learning: views on the development of a reflective learning tool.

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St Bartholomew's and the Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London, UK.



This study reports the first part of a funded project to develop a tool to improve and record learning, known as a Progress File. A Progress File typically contains an element of reflection and a means of recording achievement.


The aim of the study was to collect and understand the attitudes and experiences of students and tutors with regard to reflection, and to determine their views on the development and implementation of a Progress File for one member of the dental team, the dental therapist.


A consultation exercise was undertaken in four institutions which train dental therapists. A total of 76 students and tutors were interviewed individually or in groups. Examples of reflective tools were used to prompt discussion and feedback. Emergent themes were derived from content analysis.


Participants identified many uses for the Progress File within and beyond their courses. They also expressed concerns regarding the effectiveness and feasibility of Progress File learning within present educational environments.


Successful integration of the Progress File into courses of medical and dental education may depend upon institutional culture change and a move towards a system which facilitates and rewards reflection on learning. The results will inform development of the File.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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