15b) Building an ePortfolio to capture students’ learning and reflection: Our story so far

Dr Christopher Stokes, Sandra Zijlstra-Shaw, Ashley Towers, Paul Jinks, Dr Adrian Jowett (School of Clinical Dentistry)

Third Session (14:00 – 15:00) 
Discovery Room 2


What is this about?
The School of Clinical Dentistry ePortfolio was developed to help students and tutors track progress and engagement in personal tutorials and clinical practice by entering online what had been recorded on paper. Reflection is encouraged throughout the curriculum and the ePortfolio was designed to facilitate, enhance and monitor this. This session describes the design and development of the system, and reports on evaluations and feedback we have collected so far. The pilot moved documentation of the Personal Tutor system online. We are now working towards the more substantial goal of having students enter grades, feedback and reflection of clinical procedures, enabling them to see summaries of performance. Over 30,000 procedures have been entered by students so far. A comparison of second and third year entries showed that despite a fourfold increase in data-entry workload, students continued to enter reflection with a minimal decrease in quantity.

How will colleagues benefit?
The ePortfolio system described has been designed for a specific need in the Dental School, but the project has had to confront the same problems that any department wanting to introduce the large changes that a Portfolio-type system can impose on staff and students. Colleagues interested in how technology can enhance the process of reflective learning will find themes relevant to their own practice. The Personal Tutorial system is a transferable case-study for how a department went about this process of change, and could apply to the use of any Portfolio system (e.g. PebblePad) in any department as the process of obtaining staff and student ‘buy-in’ and feedback for development is critical for success. We will describe our experiences using staff and student reflections, and quantitative data.

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