Howes, Anne-Marie, Dew, Niall, Harkin, Pat and Treasure-Jones, Tamsin (2011) ALPS ePortfolio Project Report. Project Report. Assessment and Learning in Practice Settings. (Unpublished)

The ALPS ePortfolio project was funded by the Yorkshire and Humber Strategic Health Authority (SHA) to involve students in investigating the use, benefits and requirements of ePorfolios in health and social care education. It was undertaken by the ALPS CETL (, which involved 5 universities and 16 health and social-care professions. Sixteen students were employed to work on the project, reviewing ePortfolio use and designing an ideal ePortfolio for health and social care education.

The main project objectives were achieved; the project team identified benefits that could be achieved through ePortfolio use, wrote guidelines for the effective introduction of ePortfolios and agreed on the specification (a list of desired functionalities) for an ideal ePortfolio. In addition, the use of ePortfolios and reflective diaries increased within the student group and various approaches to championing ePortfolios (to both students and staff) were explored. The students enjoyed working as part of a project team alongside the academic staff; feeling that their work was valued and that they gained important skills and experiences from their involvement. The skills reported as being enhanced were in the common competency areas (teamworking, communication and interprofessional working) that the wider ALPS programme has been supporting.

The students identified two key pieces of further work they thought was needed in this area:
• To build the improved ePortfolio based on their specification.
• To integrate ePortfolios more effectively into the courses and the professions

Suggestions for integrating ePortfolios more effectively into their courses included:
• linking it to other key university systems (email and submissions) to encourage daily use
• ensuring that it provided a place where students could save and manage their own material as well as course reflections
• better support and use by staff so that the ePortfolio acted as an interface between students and staff and
• better links between HE and the professions' use of ePortfolios to ease the transition from education to the workplace

Improved linking between the HE and professional use of ePortfolios is an area that the ALPS CETL is in a good position to investigate further, as the CETL has involved collaboration between the universities and 16 health and social care professions. Work in this area could be taken forward by the ALPS ePortfolio network (ALPS 2010) which was set up in Autumn 2010.

ALPSePortfolioReport.pdf - Accepted Version

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