ePortfolio – Pathbrite Website

Pathbrite ePortfolio

The ePortfolio you will find at the link above shows several projects in medical education that I’ve produced over the years.  It highlights the areas of my active interest.

Mary_MagiMed

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Electronic Portfolio Rant

Electronic portfolios are becoming ever more popular as a assessment tool in programs that truly involve students in shaping their own educational experience. One exciting development at my school is a group of students who have an interest in this application of technology. This is surprising to me!  To understand that they have spontaneously developed a desire to form an interest group around this and other areas of technology in education is fabulous beyond my wildest expectations!  This is because in the U.S., educators have not yet been able to envision how to use ePortfolio evaluation in a widespread and meaningful way.  Medical residency programs are going to require it for newly minted physicians to show their development as professionals.  Medical schools are adopting at least the “narrative medicine” component – true reflection upon learning; and about the experiences that shape learners’ developing expertise as healthcare professionals.

Unfortunately, finding a context to foster the adult education principles of reflection in emerging practitioners has been a barrier in most schools.  Getting medical students involved could enable them to find a way to pioneer ePortfolio evaluation.  In the process, they could put their own program on the map as an incubator for innovation in educational assessment!

When students show an interest in forming Special Interest Groups (SIGs) around technology, please let’s support them in this.  There are SO MANY areas where educational technology has the potential to impact education.  There are emerging iPad applications, virtual patients, and 3D animations of difficult concepts, not to mention Web2.0 possibilities. Students could be engaged in this process as artists, content experts, ideas generators…

As educators, we could just set up an elective course, or tell the students to go off on their own with “our blessing” and hope for the best.  That just does not have the impact of “official institutional support for 21st century teaching and learning methods”.  Giving students the support that would enable them to self-organize in SIGs around educational technology would demonstrate such a wonderful level of confidence in these emerging healthcare professionals.  And possibly, this could engage them in activities that sustain their lifelong learning in ways that we never anticipated!