Objectives: The ability to teach one’s self is a skill that will greatly enhance students in their future professional lives. To this end, learning portfolios have often been used longitudinally as a development tool. The objective of this study was to design and implement the use of an electronic portfolio to individualize student learning experiences in a one-semester pharmacy elective course.
Methods: In a forensic toxicology pharmacy elective course, students were asked to find specific articles related to lecture material but geared toward their individual interests, attach it to an online portfolio, and answer four short reflective questions. Students then brought the assignments to class and discussed their findings in small groups. The portfolios were maintained throughout the semester and were graded for completeness only. At the end of the semester, students were asked to participate in a survey rating the relevance, usefulness, productiveness, and overall impression of the portfolios using a Likert scale of 1-5 (1= strongly disagree; 5= strongly agree).
Results: Students responded portfolio assignments were a productive use of time (4.29/5), relevant to the course (4.71/5), a good way to individualize the course (4.71/5), provided a good basis for discussion (4.57/5), and would recommend use of portfolios in the course in the future (4.6/5).
Implications: The use of individual portfolios helped to promote self-learning within an elective course in pharmacy school. As students were evaluated only for completeness, students felt able to reflect freely on the topics they chose, promoting fruitful discussion and an effective learning environment.
Lull, Melinda E.; Mathews, Jennifer; Utter, C. R.; and Bova, R. J., "Individualized Reflective Learning Through Portfolio Use in Pharmacy School Education" (2012). Pharmacy Faculty/Staff Publications. Paper 18.
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