Ghent University (BELGIUM)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2021 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Page: 6086
ISBN: 978-84-09-27666-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2021.1217
Conference name: 15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-9 March, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Background and aim(s):
EPortfolios have attained an established position in healthcare education and studies exploring the use of ePortfolios increased exponentially. Yet, a comprehensive, interdisciplinary overview of the literature is lacking. This review aimed at developing a benchmark about ePortfolio use in 8 undergraduate healthcare professions in order to help optimizing future ePortfolio practices.

A state-of-the-art-review was conducted about the use of ePortfolios in audiology, dental hygiene, midwifery, nursing (bachelor and associate degree), occupational therapy, podiatry and speech therapy. A systematic search strategy of eight literature databases was adopted to track literature about ePortfolio use in educational as well as workplace learning settings. Journal articles and conference papers about ePortfolio use in undergraduate educational programs were included. Non-English texts, book sections, news articles and literature within medical and postgraduate educational contexts were excluded. We identified 8 major themes to structure the data: terminology, samples, contexts, objectives, ePortfolio-platforms, advantages, challenges and recommendations.

Thirty-seven of the 384 analysed articles were included. Samples mostly involved students, both in educational and workplace learning contexts. Studies explored students’ perceptions and satisfaction, outlined characteristics of successful ePortfolio use, overviewed challenges adopting ePortfolios and evaluated ePortfolio implementation. There were no studies investigating the effect of ePortfolios on quality of patient care. Remarkably, advantages of ePortfolios pit forward in one study were sometimes entitled as challenges in other studies, possibly caused by using different ePortfolio-platforms aiming different objectives. For example, one ePortfolio aimed data storage while another had reflection and feedback as main objectives. Finally, we overviewed reported recommendations for example integrating artificial intelligence; using ePortfolios not only to assess, but also to support lifelong learning; not introducing too much ePortfolio functions to mentors and considering the privacy of the student as a major concern.

Discussion and conclusions:
The large variety of samples, contexts, objectives and ePortfolio-platforms complicated the comparability between studies. It could be important to properly deal with this variety because the success of ePortfolios might be dependent on the choice of ePortfolio-platform for a specific target group to serve the appropriate objectives in the appropriate context, applying evidence-based insights. This first interdisciplinary review might help ePortfolios to keep their established position in healthcare education by overviewing available evidence.

Future research:
Future research should consider reported recommendations, involve all ePortfolio-users and focus on quality of patient care.
ePortfolio, undergraduate healthcare education, review.