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E-Portfolio Developed to Assess Millennial Med Students

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine has developed complex system to chart performance

THURSDAY, Nov. 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Electronic portfolios are being used to transform medical students’ assessments and track progress as students advance through medical training, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

Portfolios have emerged as a tool to assess student learning. At the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine a complex e-portfolio system has been developed that charts students’ performance across a core set of competencies. Faculty have created new ways to collect data on students; the data are linked to each student’s individual e-portfolio profile and used to create performance measures.

Each student is assigned a portfolio coach for their education; coaches work with 10 students each, reviewing educational data and determining which areas need more work. Educators can use e-portfolios to chart student progress, with the ability to analyze grades over time and track assessments. The fluid functionality of the portfolio system allows faculty and students to ask multiple questions about performance, explore progress trends, and compare student assessments. In addition, a mobile app has been launched for clinicians to provide narrative reports or record audio notes and send them to the e-portfolios in real time.

“Accumulating and sorting this information for personal feedback is a part of creating individualized learning, especially for students on clinical rotations,” Anderson Spickard III, M.D., assistant dean of educational informatics and technology at Vanderbilt, said in the AMA article.

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