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Undergraduate health science students' development of reflective practice on communication skills via e-Portfolios https://ro.uow.edu.au/jutlp/vol15/iss3/5
Abstract and Figures
Abstract Background: Whilst e-Portfolios have been used in a variety of learning contexts, disciplines and academic levels, its effectiveness amongst tertiary health science students in Australia has yet to be explored. Investigating students’ development of reflexivity through an individually assessed e-Portfolio will produce more information about how best to teach and assess these skills in line with key professional competencies. Aim: This project aimed to evaluate students’ development of reflexivity by engaging in an individually assessed e-Portfolio within a large, interprofessional, first year health science unit on Communication in Health. Methods: Using an adapted version of Groningen’s Reflection Ability Scale (GRAS) students were surveyed before beginning and after completing their e-Portfolios. Participating students’ concluding summaries on their development of reflexivity were extracted from their e-Portfolios for qualitative analysis. Results: 289 students completed both the pre- and post-survey. The e-Portfolio enhanced reflexivity for 54% of students, 38% perceived that their reflexivity had decreased and 8% had no change between their pre and post scores. Qualitatively the students found the process of developing reflexivity to be positively challenging. They cited reflection on communication skills, using contemporary media, interprofessional reflection and cultural responsiveness as key elements learnt through the reflective process of the e-Portfolio. Conclusion: A nuanced approach to interpreting the results is important as even those who seem to have become less reflexive may have realised that they were less so after engaging in reflective practice. With the right resources, technology and support the findings attest to the value and merit of e-Portfolios in developing reflexivity amongst tertiary interprofessional health science students
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