The use of ePortfolios is helping Nursing students manage their learning.
In 2015 our School of Nursing started using an ePortfolio platform with first and second year students in the Bachelor of Nursing programme. The selected platform, Pathbrite, was integrated with Otago Polytechnic's existing teaching technology, Moodle. Students were trained how to use the platform, to upload and capture evidence of their learning for assessment by staff. Support was available as staff and students began using the ePortfolio platform.
Nursing lecturer Emma Collins and Ray O'Brien, a Learning and Teaching Specialist, carried out an evaluation using the Technology Acceptance Model, focussing on perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and attitudes towards usage of the new technology. They carried out voluntary surveys to gather feedback from both staff and students involved, then held focus groups to ask questions that had emerged from the survey results.
The results showed support for the ongoing use of the platform. Benefits identified by students included support for more reflective learning and increased security of information. Staff felt that it was easier to give feedback to students using the platform and the ePortfolios helped prepare students for the workplace. Some students and staff appreciated that ePortfolios supported sustainable practice - no hard copies are required to be handed in. The researchers recommended more consistency by staff in the use of the feedback features, and a need for ongoing support and resourcing was identified.
EPortfolios have now been rolled out to all three years of the Bachelor of Nursing programme, as well as our Enrolled Nursing cohort and Competency Assessment Programme students from overseas. This evaluative project was instrumental in ensuring that the roll out of this platform to the wider programme was successful. The School of Nursing can’t imagine going back to paper now, and others at Otago Polytechnic have also begun using the same platform.