Evaluation of student-prepared portfolio of guidelines in undergraduate clinical skills using a mixed methods study

Carole Khaw, Lynne Raw, Anne Tonkin and Hugh Kildea

Medicine Learning and Teaching Unit, School of Medicine, University of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Submitted: 03/06/2012; Accepted: 14/09/2012; Published: 26/09/2012

Int J Med Educ. 2012; 3:183-189; doi: 10.5116/ijme.5052.e985

© 2012 Carole Khaw et al. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use of work provided the original work is properly cited. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Objectives: The aim of the study was to assess the acceptance and usefulness to students of a student-developed portfolio of Guidelines (GLs) in clinical skills, as a tool for competency development in the early years of the undergraduate medical program.

Methods: A mixed-method design was employed to explore students' perceptions of the general usefulness of their portfolio of GLs in focus group discussions. From the results of these discussions, a questionnaire was developed to ascertain the prevalence of the views that emerged from the qualitative data amongst a whole cohort of Year 6 students.

Results: Students rated the usefulness of their portfolios very highly and the uses of the portfolios evolved as students progressed to their final year, when they were also able to perceive the importance of the acquisition skills required whilst developing their own GLs, for use in subsequent years.

Conclusions: Based on the students' responses in Year 6, the student- developed portfolio of GLs in clinical skills was accepted and found useful. Other than being used as a tool for competency development, it also seems possible that the portfolio could be used as a tool for reflection in clinical skills, even in the early years.