The Perceptions of e-Portfolios for Nursing Practicum Courses: Preliminary Findings of Clinical Nursing Instructors

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Ting-Ting Lee, PhD, RN
School of Nursing, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences, Taipei, Taiwan

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to identify elements of the needs assessment explored with clinical nursing instructors in evaluation of the use of e-portfolios.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to state the issues related to the use of e-portfolios in curriculum design and development.

Purpose: E-portfolios have been proposed as an effective education intervention which can be designed for students to facilitate the learning process. While most studies have focused on students learning outcomes, few have explored how faculty view this new teaching tool. Before any new technology is adopted, it is vital to conduct a needs assessment to determine the impact of the planned change on educational practices. This study explored the perceptions of clinical nursing instructors toward the use of e-portfolios in practicum courses.

Methods: A pilot study with one-on-one in-depth interviews has been conducted. Volunteers were recruited from among a local university’s part time clinical instructors who had experience in teaching “the last mile” practicum course. A trained doctoral student conducted the interviews with semi-structured interview guidelines including: “What do you think about using e-portfolios to obtain students’ past academic performance records? What kind of impact will it have on your clinical teaching strategies? What kind of issues concern you regarding the use of this new teaching media in the future?” Data collection was performed in November 2012. Each participant was interviewed once and the dialogue tape recorded and transcribed. Data analysis is based on the content analysis method including data reduction, data display and conclusion verification processes to emerge clustered themes.

Results: Three volunteers participated in this initial pilot study. The following four major themes emerged: students’ profile needed for patient assignments; interactive zones for individual student’s learning assistance; technical support for uploading/downloading files; and, intellectual property protection for teaching content.

Conclusion: When formal data collection is completed, the final results will be reported in the conference. The results will enable educators to improve their clinical teaching strategies and to incorporate e-portfolio technology into the future design of practicum courses.