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The influence of portfolio aims and structure on student attitudes towards portfolios as a learning tool: a scoping review

Stewart, H, Roddam, H, Wisby, D and Selfe, J (2017) The influence of portfolio aims and structure on student attitudes towards portfolios as a learning tool: a scoping review. Physical Therapy Reviews, 22 (1-2). pp. 86-94. ISSN 1083-3196

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Abstract

Background: Portfolios are widely used in undergraduate health professional education, however the majority of literature suggests that these are poorly received by students, in terms of being an effective learning tool. Objectives: to evaluate whether the aims/purpose or structure/level of standardisation/content of student portfolios influences their attitudes to and perceptions of its use as a learning tool. Major Findings: Aims/purpose and structure/level of standardisation/content of portfolios were analysed in relation to student responses in order to determine any relationship between these. The level of information provided in the studies was variable, making analysis difficult, however there appeared to be no clear link between any of these factors and student responses. The interplay of level of support and guidance, the time required for completion of the portfolio, and the role of assessment appear to have the greatest influence on student views. Conclusions: Considering the wide use of portfolios in health professional education, student support for these is limited, and further research is required to determine if alternative approaches to portfolio learning can positively influence student attitudes and perceptions.

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