ePortfolios, assessment and professional skills in the medical sciences

Patsie Polly*, Richard Vickery, Thuan Thai, Jia-Lin Yang, Thomas Fath, Cristan Herbert, Nicole Jones, Trevor Lewis, Nalini Pather, Suzanne Schibeci, Julian Cox

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Medical Science students are generally unaware of their developing professional skills related to graduate capabilities during their initial training and at a program level it is a challenge for administrators to evidence development of such capabilities. In the Bachelor of Medical Science program at the University of New South Wales, staff have instigated alignment of assessment with graduate capabilities, combined with program-wide tracking of student achievement in teamwork tasks. Teamwork was chosen as a focus as anecdotal evidence suggested that this graduate capability is hard to master. Tracking was achieved by mapping and aligning assessment tasks that built authentic teamwork skills, and by implementing standards-based criteria addressing development of teamwork skills. This curriculum strategy is program-wide and cross-disciplinary, integrating content knowledge and technical skills that articulate with professional skills across all medical sciences. Implementation was via Workshop UNSW (a guided learning space) in Moodle with Wordpress used as a digital site to create ePortfolios that facilitated and captured student reflective practice related to developing deeper understanding of key teamwork elements such as contribution, collaborative behaviour and role play. ePortfolios allow students to curate evidence that facilitates recognition of teamwork skills and use of Workshop UNSW allowed monitoring of student narratives in skills development, and enabled student self and peer evaluation. Student peer evaluation is an important aspect of the intended process for learners with complimentary implementation of ePortfolio pedagogy to engage students in professional skills development in teamwork. This is a first stage approach to building professional skills for Medical Science students that will have life-long learning effects and can be easily adapted to other skills and other programs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationePortfolios in Australian Universities
EditorsJennifer Rowley
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9789811017322
ISBN (Print)9789811017315
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


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