E-Portfolios: A Model for Quantitative and Qualitative Assessment of Outcomes

Wednesday, 24 July 2013: 10:50 AM

Gail K. Baumlein, PhD, RN, CNS, CNE, ANEF
College of Health and Public Administration, Franklin University, Columbus, OH

Learning Objective 1: Describe a model for quantitative and qualitative assessment for nursing education and practice, using e-portfolio software.

Learning Objective 2: Identify essential components of e-portfolio assessment to demonstrate achievement of outcomes.

In nursing education the use of portfolios has long been documented, primarily as a means of narrative reflection of student clinical experiences (Peacock, Murray, & Scott, 2011). Empirical literature depicts the use of e-portfolios as a showcase for professional development, and qualitative assessment (Endacott, Gray, Jasper, McMullan, Miller, Scholes, & Webb, 2004; Head, & Johnston, 2012). With the emergence of sophisticated e-portfolio software to support quantitative assessment, a new realm of possibilities has been revealed. This presentation describes an evidence-based, quantitative model for assessment of individual and aggregate outcomes, and comprehensive program evaluation. 

The researcher will describe the scope of implementation of an e-portfolio assessment model for university nursing and healthcare programs. Essential components of an effective e-portfolio model, comparative overview of software systems, and the six elements of e-portfolio assessment (accreditation competency standards, program outcomes, course outcomes, assignment outcomes, individual assessment, and aggregate assessment) are depicted in this presentation. Additional layers in the model include 1) learner reflection, 2) professional profile, 3) collection of artifacts, and 4) qualitative and quantitative assessment.  The e-portfolio software provided multi-layered reports, correlating individual and aggregate achievement of program, course, and professional outcomes.  These reports were used for an accreditation self-study to provide rich evidence of the holistic use of e-portfolio software to assess outcomes and competencies.

The model has further implications for faculty professional development and clinical practice applications, as a quantitative method of measuring attainment of promotion and tenure goals or clinical ladder competencies. Universities and healthcare systems would reap extensive benefits from e-portfolio software that facilitates assessment of outcomes and accreditation standards.  With significance far beyond a simple qualitative reflection of student work, the e-portfolio offers a rich, comprehensive assessment tool for education, practice, and professional development.