Academic journal article College Student Journal

Use of ePortfolio Presentations in a Baccalaureate Nursing Program

Academic journal article College Student Journal

Use of ePortfolio Presentations in a Baccalaureate Nursing Program

Article excerpt

Portfolios are an essential tool for demonstrating professional accomplishments and documenting professional growth in a variety of professions. Because of the competitive job market for new graduate nurses in health care, the development and use of an ePortfolio can be an essential tool for the application and interview process. The purpose of this paper is to report the use of ePortfolio presentations in a course at Indiana University, Bloomington campus. The implementation of an ePortfolio for seniors grew out of the previous practice of students displaying their work in a three-ring binder. As technology progressed the portfolio presentation practice grew into the use of a digital portfolio template, and then more recently, the ePortfolio emerged and was implemented through the online course management system offered by the university. Students were asked to write a reflection about their assignments, and overwhelmingly choose the resume and portfolio assignments as the most valued in the course. The experience is invaluable for the students as they exit the BSN program and launch their careers as professional registered nurses.

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The value of professional portfolios has been documented in professions such as art, architecture, and photography. However, until the last decade or so, we seldom saw the use of portfolios in the field of healthcare. Portfolios are an essential tool for demonstrating professional accomplishments and documenting professional growth in a variety of professions (Williams & Jordan, 2007). It is for this reason that nurses and nurse educators have pushed the use of portfolios, and more recently ePortfolios, to promote and display the professional growth and development of registered nurses (RNs). The electronic nature of ePortfolios allows even greater flexibility and fluidity than their traditional paper-based counterpart, which opens the door for a more streamlined, iterative reflective process (Bryant & Chittum, 2013). For educational purposes, research has found that portfolios provide a valid way for students to display their knowledge and skills to a potential employer (Jones, Downs & Repman, 2012). Typical portfolios include a resume and clinical evaluations, as well as work completed over a course of time. These documents are usually organized in chronological order (Jones, Sackett, Erdley, & Blyth, 2007) and are often tied to course and program outcomes.

The purpose of this paper is to report on our use of ePortfolio presentations in a course at Indiana University (IU) School of Nursing (SON), where I teach seniors in the baccalaureate of science in nursing (BSN) program on the Bloomington campus. The following areas will be discussed in this paper: ePortfolios in the literature, the use and design of ePortfolios in our program, implementing the ePortfolio at IU, reflection and students' success, the benefits for students and potential employers, and recommendations for the future.

ePortfolios in the Literature

Though many schools of nursing have adopted portfolios recently, a review of the literature indicated that most of the published articles on portfolio assessment in these schools focused on using portfolios as a method to assess individual course outcomes and/ or student competencies (Rossetti, Oldenburg, Robertson, Coyer, Koren, Peters, et al., 2012). Research literature within the past 10 years has supported the integration and use of student electronic portfolios (ePortfolios) in institutions of higher learning (Wassaf, Riza, Maciag, Worden & Delaney, 2012).

Traditionally, portfolios were created using a paper-based format, but by the late 1990s digital portfolios began to make their appearance (Barrett, 1998). Variously referred to as electronic portfolios, ePortfolios, eFolios, and web folios, digital portfolios are digitized, computer or web-based versions of traditional portfolios (Bolliger & Shepherd, 2010, p. …

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