Lessons from an E-portfolio Experience in Health Science: The school of Nursing and Midwifery Perspective
Mather, CA, Lessons from an E-portfolio Experience in Health Science: The school of Nursing and Midwifery Perspective, Australian Society for Microbiology Annual Scientific meeting book of abstracts, 4th - 8th July 2011, Hobart, pp. 257. (2011) [Conference Extract]
Three schools within the Faculty of Health Science at the University of Tasmania took part in an inter-disciplinary academic collaboration with an aim to develop, implement and evaluate the e-portfolio experience of undergraduate nursing, medicine and pharmacy students. The Centre for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching was a key player in the andragogical integration of the e-portfolio into a demonstration unit within the Bachelor of Nursing program. PebblePad was the e-portfolio application that was used to support learning and teaching activities associated with the project.
The students piloted use of the tool whilst on professional experience placement or work integrated learning environments during 2010. Both staff and students were new to the use of e-portfolios so simplicity was paramount. Multiple approaches were employed to ensure students and staff were well supported in their use of the new technology.
The key findings of the evaluation provided valuable lessons for others planning to embed the use of digital technology into their curricula. Positive findings included students enjoying using the blog tool for reflection; it enabled students to feel connected to peers; and the use of e-portfolios supported their integration of knowledge and skills. The most significant weakness of the implementation methodology was timing. The time frame for introducing the new technology was considered too short; staff and students needed to feel comfortable using the technology before using it for assessment purposes; and sufficient training for staff and students was required. In addition, to discussing the findings, this presentation will reflect on the other bonuses of collaborative cross-discipline effort when integrating new technology into the learning and teaching setting.