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BMC Med Educ. 2017 Aug 22;17(1):141. doi: 10.1186/s12909-017-0981-5.

Longitudinal evaluation of a pilot e-portfolio-based supervision programme for final year medical students: views of students, supervisors and new graduates.

Author information

1
School of Medical Education, Newcastle University, Level 2, Ridley building 1, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. gillian.vance@ncl.ac.uk.
2
School of Medical Education, Newcastle University, Level 2, Ridley building 1, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Little is known about how best to implement portfolio-based learning in medical school. We evaluated the introduction of a formative e-portfolio-based supervision pilot for final year medical students by seeking views of students, supervisors and graduates on use and educational effects.

METHODS:

Students and supervisors were surveyed by questionnaire, with free text comments invited. Interviews were held with new graduates in their first Foundation Programme placement.

RESULTS:

Most students used the e-portfolio (54%) and met with their supervisor (62%) 'once or twice' only. Students had more negative views: 22% agreed that the pilot was beneficial, while most supervisors thought that e-portfolio (72%) and supervision (86%) were a 'good idea'. More students reported supervision meetings benefited learning (49%) and professional development (55%) than the e-portfolio did (16%; 28%). Only 47% of students felt 'prepared' for future educational processes, though graduates noted benefits for navigating and understanding e-portfolio building and supervision. Factors limiting engagement reflected 'burden', while supervision meetings and early experience of postgraduate processes offered educational value.

CONCLUSION:

Final year students have negative attitudes to a formative e-portfolio, though benefits for easing the educational transition are recognised by graduates. Measures to minimize time, repetition and redundancy of processes may encourage use. Engagement is influenced by the supervisor relationship and educational value may be best achieved by supporting supervisors to develop strategies to facilitate, and motivate self-directed learning processes in undergraduates.

KEYWORDS:

E-portfolio; Foundation Programme; Medical student; Postgraduate medical education; Transition

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