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E-Portfolios and Student Assessment
For about the last three decades, student portfolios have been viewed as a realistic tool for evaluating student learning and accomplishment. In nursing, these portfolios have been growing in popularity as a means to document a student’s varied educational experiences (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2015). A student portfolio allows student to showcase other skills other than those that are shown in a clinical setting. These skills such as critical thinking, creativity and communication skills, can be featured in a portfolio and allow educators the opportunity to evaluate a student’s understanding of different concepts and ideas presented throughout their education.
The use of portfolios can also keep track of how well a certain program is doing is assessing and compiling data on passing rates for certain tests and skills and assist students in garnering employment after graduation. Other areas where a portfolio can be useful is in graduate school admissions be featuring a student’s strengths and weaknesses in an easy to access format (Alexander, Baldwin, & McDaniel, 2002).
Since a paper portfolio can be cumbersome to keep, more and more colleges and universities such as Aspen University are having students compile and update an e-portfolio. An e-portfolio is a much more manageable style of portfolio in that it can be kept on a computer hard drive and can be updated fairly easily by the user. Other types of media can also be used within the portfolio such as pictures or video that can be easily accessed by those who want to view the information. E-portfolios are efficient and help institutions and potential employers determine the professional development of students, especially nursing students (Oyri et al., 2007).
Implementing an E-Portfolio
In 2013, New Zealand began the process of changing from the traditional paper portfolio to an e-portfolio. 15 nursing schools were surveyed to determine the use of portfolios and whether or not they were considering an e-portfolio system. Of the 14 programs that already used a portfolio system, 2 already used e-portfolios. The portfolios, both traditional and electronic, were used for a variety of purposes such as professional development, clinical assessment and directed learning (Collins, & Crowley, 2016).
The majority of the schools surveyed stated they were looking to transition to an e-portfolio soon, and were looking into different platforms. Based on the results of the survey, there were 10 platforms that were chosen for study to implement into the New Zealand colleges. After extensive research, a platform was chosen and installed for testing and research within one of the colleges in the survey. A research study was undertaken in 2015 to look at data and student input from the e-portfolio trial that was conducted using first and second year nursing students at Otago Polytechnic School of Nursing (Collins & Crowley, 2016).
For now, I don’t feel that I will be using information contained within an e-portfolio in my current role as an ER nurse. However, as I continue my career and education, I can see where the information gleaned from an e-portfolio could be useful when it comes to evaluation and personal development of students and professionals alike. I might try to implement an e-portfolio or traditional portfolio with the next student nurse I am paired with for their final capstone semester.
Alexander, J. G., Craft, S. W., Baldwin, M. S., Beers, G. W., & McDaniel, G. S. (2002). The nursing portfolio: a reflection of a professional. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 33(2), 55-59.
Collins E, Crawley J. Introducing ePortfolios into nursing schools. Kai Tiaki Nursing New Zealand [serial online]. June 2016; 22(5):34-35.
McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. (2015). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge. (3rd. ed). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Oyri, K., Newbold, S., Park, H., Honey, M., Coenen, A., Ensio, A., & Jesus, E. (2007). Technology Developments Applied to Healthcare/Nursing. Studies in health technology and informatics, 128, 21.
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