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2021 Publications

Bramley, A., Thomas, C.J., McKenna, L., & Itsiopoulos, C. (2021)  Design, implementation and evaluation of novel work-based clinical assessment tool: An e-portfolio with embedded Entrustable Professional Activities.  Nurse Education Today (in press), 



A new concept in work-based assessment, Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) describe key activities a work-ready practitioner can perform independently. EPAs are widely used in medicine to support competency-based education and are gaining acceptance in other professions such as nursing, pharmacy and dietetics. There is currently no widely accepted work-based assessment tool for student clinical placement assessment in dietetics and EPAs offer potential to address this gap.


To design, implement and evaluate a work-based assessment tool using EPAs embedded in an e-portfolio for use in clinical dietetics.


An accredited dietetic training program in Australian university and affiliated metropolitan and rural hospitals.


Three consecutive cohorts of final year dietetic students (n = 126) and their professional placement supervisors (n = 101).


A working party consisting of dietetic academics with experience in clinical dietetics and education developed clinical dietetic EPAs and milestones that were mapped to the National Competency Standards for Dietitians in Australia. A design model incorporating multiple rounds of user feedback was used to create an e-portfolio with the EPAs embedded. Students and supervisors were invited to complete anonymous on-line surveys with Likert responses (1 = highly dissatisfied, 5 = highly satisfied) to evaluate the face validity, acceptability and feasibility of the tool.


A total of 37 EPAs were developed with an accompanying four-point entrustment scale to measure performance. Evaluation survey response rates were high and ranged from 35 to 45% for students and 57-83% for supervisors across the study period. Both students and supervisors evaluated the tool positively with a mean overall satisfaction of 4.12 ± 0.69 and 4.03 ± 0.68, respectively. Survey items evaluating face validity, feasibility and acceptability scored >3.75 for both groups of users.


The EPA based e-portfolio demonstrated face validity, feasibility and acceptability and offers potential for a widely accepted tool for work-based assessment of clinical dietetic students.

Duret, D., Terron-Canedo, N., Hannigan, M., Senior, A., & Ormandy, E. (2021)  Identifying the barriers to incorporating reflective practice into a Veterinary curriculum.  Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. 


A portfolio with good reflective content can play a large role in learning and setting up the lifelong learning practice required by veterinary surgeons in practice or in research. The aim of this project was to investigate students’ experience with their reflective diaries within an electronic portfolio (e-portfolio). Focus groups were conducted with veterinary students at the University of Liverpool in years 1–4 to explore student perceptions of the e-portfolio, with an emphasis on reflection. Three themes emerged from the qualitative analysis: assessment, understanding the assignment (i.e., is it a useful and fair exercise?), and student well-being (i.e., stress, professional accountability, anxiety). Students had clear concerns about the assessment and did not see the relevance of the reflective diaries to their future career and learning. This has led the university’s School of Veterinary Science to restructure the reflections on professional skills in the portfolio. 

Roberts, P., Barblett, L., Boylan, F., & Knaus, M. (2021)  Revitalising reflective practice in pre-service teacher education: developing and practicing an effective framework.  Reflective Practice: International and Multidisciplinary Perspectives, DOI: 10.1080/14623943.2021.1881888 


Reflective practice plays a significant role in effective teaching. However, for pre-service teachers (PSTs), it can be a difficult process to not only think reflectively but to understand its importance in their teaching practice. This research focused on the development of a framework for written reflective practice embedded within professional experience (PEx) units. In tutorials, PSTs were provided with video technology to film themselves performing teaching tasks. A reflective framework provided a structure to assist in reflecting on the teaching task. Dialogical teaching and coaching by tutors as well as peer discussion scaffolded the reflective process. At the end of the semester, PSTs and tutors were invited to complete a survey on the reflective processes they had used. This paper focuses on the development of the reflective framework and the feedback received on the use of the framework as a reflective tool. The findings reveal that the PSTs and most tutors found the format useful in structuring reflective practice. The framework and its repeated use over time has potential to build professional knowledge and skills and sustain ongoing reflective practice into the PSTs professional careers. 


2020 Publications

Payne, B., Paredes, T., & Cross, B. (2020)  Student perceptions about the production of electronic portfolios: Technology, process and showcase insights.  Education, 141(2), 67-78.


This qualitative study assesses students’ perceptions about electronic portfolios. A survey including two open-ended questions focusing on what students learned and what they would recommend to others about electronic portfolios was administered to current enrolled students majoring in criminal justice, cybersecurity, or leadership. We analyzed the responses of participants who reported creating an electronic portfolio for their course or program. Five themes were identified related to discovery (technology, e-portfolio as a process, e-portfolio as a product, age and e-portfolios, and the multifaceted nature of e-portfolios) and four themes were identified characterizing the tips students had for developing electronic portfolios (showcase tips, technological advice, process guidance, and just say no to electronic portfolios). In addition, older students appeared to have less favorable attitudes about electronic portfolios. Implications for future efforts using electronic portfolios include clearly demonstrating the purpose of the tools, making sure students see portfolios as a process and not an event, providing faculty and students the support they need, and involving qualified students as tutors/mentors to other students doing electronic portfolios for the first time. In addition, future research regarding the enhancement of electronic portfolios is recommended.

Minerva, M. & Calimag, P. (2021)  The ePortfolio: Technology-enhanced authentic assessment in the continuum of medical education.  In Moura, A.S., Reis, P., & Cordeiro, M.N. (Eds) Handbook of research on determining the reliability of online assessment and digital learning.  IGI Global. http://doi:10.4018/978-1-7998-4769-4


As we stand at the threshold of enhanced higher education curricula to meet global standard, this chapter contributes to the on-going discussion on reforms in higher education by clarifying the important role of e-portfolios as technology-enhanced formative and summative assessments of authentic tasks across the continuum in medical education. Medical educators should become adept with technological advancement and apply the same in designing learning experiences that effectively integrate technology in building a conceptual understanding of medical concepts. e-Portfolios are best suited for evaluating skills such as communication, critical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making, leadership and management, and other real-life skills needed to cope with the global demands of the 21st-century global healthcare workplace. The use of portfolios as a workplace-based assessment tool has emerged as an exciting opportunity for learners to record and analyze their learning in a digital environment. The role of reflective learning in a constructivist approach is emphasized. 

Bramley, A.L., Thomas, C.J., McKenna, L., & Itsiopoulos, C. (2020)  E-portfolios and Entrustable Professional Activities to support competency-based education in dietetics.  Nursing and Health Sciences. DOI: 


The concept of Entrustable Professional Activities, recently pioneered in medical education, has emerged to support the implementation of competency‐based education. Although competency‐based frameworks are widely used in healthcare professional education to develop outcomes‐based curricula, assessment of student competency in professional placement settings remains challenging. The novel concept of Entrustable Professional Activities together with established methods of competency assessment, namely e‐portfolios and self‐assessment, was implemented in the “[La Trobe University Dietetic program in 2015–2016. This study aimed to appraise the e‐portfolio and evaluate the use of Entrustable Professional Activities to assess competence. A mixed‐methods evaluation, using qualitative and quantitative surveys with follow‐up structured consultations, was conducted with final year dietetics students and their supervisors. Dietetics students were comfortable with Entrustable Professional Activities and competency‐based assessment, whereas supervisors preferred Entrustable Professional Activity based assessment. All stakeholders valued student self‐assessment and the ongoing use of structured e‐portfolios to develop and document competency. The use of structured e‐portfolios, student self‐assessment, and the emerging concept of Entrustable Professional Activities are useful tools to support dietetics student education in professional placement settings. 

Johnston, B. (2020)  Students as partners: Peer-leading in an undergraduate mathematics course.  International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology.  DOI:


This study examines undergraduate student attitudes to acting as peer-leaders in Applied Mathematics computing workshops. Through the use of data from end-of-trimester surveys and an on-line reflection worksheet, it is shown that students had positive attitudes to being leaders and were engaged in the experience. Benefits mentioned by students included an increased understanding of the content, increased confidence in communicating with and approaching others, and an improved connection with peers. The worksheet also gave students the option of suggesting improvements for the workshops. It was found that those who took up this option provided valuable feedback to the instructor from a student perspective, and that this improved the workshops for the next iteration of the course. Finally, it was concluded that the students acted as partners, not only by collaborating in the re-design of the workshop materials, but also because they were engaged in and contributed to learning and teaching in the course.

Burkhart, S. & Craven, D. (2020) P161 Digital Workbooks to develop and evidence learning in a flipped classroom in Higher Education.   Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 52(7), S92-S93.  



To evaluate student use and perceptions of a digital workbook in 3 undergraduate nutrition courses taught with a flipped classroom approach (FCA).

Use of Theory or Research

Within the FCA, 3 phases of learning are aligned with Bloom's Taxomony: prepare (self-directed pre-class activities: remember and understand); participate (facilitated in-class activities: apply and analyse) and recap (self-directed post class activities: evaluate and create).  While technology can support the delivery of the FCA, there is little evidence for the most effective delivery of FCA learning experiences for nutrition students.

2019 Publications

Dray, K. & Howells, K. (2019)  Exploring the use of ePortfolios in Higher Education coaching programs.  International Sport Coaching Journal, 6(3), 359-365.  DOI:


The contribution of higher education to the development of the coaching workforce worldwide has been most recently emphasised by the development of the ICCE’s Coaching Degree Standards (2016). These standards recognise the increasing value of learning technologies, suggesting that the use of technology in such coaching programs should aim to a) “enhance the learning experience of the student-coach” and b) “gain relevant theoretical and practical knowledge to make the most of technology whilst coaching” (p. 23). This article presents one coach developer’s experience of using e-portfolios with undergraduate students on a BSc. Sport Coaching Science undergraduate program that represents an effort to address both of these aims simultaneously. Drawing from a broader field of education research and through the provision of examples, it is suggested that e-portfolios might afford the coach learner a number of benefits including their accessibility, the role they play in developing meta-cognition, and their ability to provide a space that can bring together the different communities that influence the learner. Lastly, the benefits and challenges are presented through the eyes of the academic tutor and the relevance for coach education contexts outside of HE are discussed.

Gray, M., Downer, T., & Capper, T. (2019)  Australian midwifery student's perceptions of the benefits and challenges associated with completing a portfolio of evidence for initial registration: Paper based and ePortfolios.  Nurse Education in Practice, 39, 37-44.  DOI:


Portfolios are used in midwifery education to provide students with a central place to store their accumulative evidence of clinical experience for initial registration in Australia. Portfolio formats can be paper-based or electronic. Anecdotal discussion between midwifery students in Queensland debated the best format to document the requirements for the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC) standard 8.11. Midwifery students using paper-based portfolios envisioned that an ePortfolio would be streamline, simple, safe to use, and able to be used anywhere with WIFI, while some students using an ePortfolio expressed a desire to have a paper-based portfolio as a hard copy. This situation called for evidence of a comparison to resolve the debate.

The aim of this study was to investigate midwifery students’ experiences of the benefits and challenges between paper-based and ePortfolios when compiling evidence to meet the requirements for initial registration as a midwife in Australia (ANMAC, 2014).

For further information contact Terri Downer:

Carter, C., Bray, J., & Read, K. (2019)  The Admiral Nurse Competency Framework: Encouraging engagement and putting it into practice.  The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 50(5), 205-210.  DOI:



Admiral Nurses undertake complex work with families living with dementia. Dementia UK commissioned The Association for Dementia Studies to refresh the Admiral Nurse Competency Framework and enable Admiral Nurses to articulate and critically reflect on their own practice progression. The Admiral Nurses were involved throughout the process to refresh the framework to ensure it was evidence based.


To encourage engagement with the framework, The Association for Dementia Studies worked with the Admiral Nurses during a roll-out phase. An exercise was developed to initiate critical reflective discussion. Critiquing a colleague's practice is a skill, provoking defensiveness if not facilitated thoughtfully.


An exercise combining art cards with case study analysis worked well, promoting critical reflective dialogue between Admiral Nurses as peers. Engagement and feedback were positive, and the neutrality of the exercise provided a safe environment with the flexibility to allow in-depth and meaningful discussions.


This technique could benefit work-based learning, facilitating creative critical reflection within practice.

2018 Publications

Reitenauer, V.L. & Carpenter, R.L. (2018)  Assessment as Critical Programmatic Reflection.  The Journal of General Education, 67(3-4), 226-245.


This article argues that general education assessment is an opportunity for engaging faculty and the general education program as a whole in critical reflection on the practices and pedagogies that affect the entire undergraduate body. Through intentional assessment practices tied to learning outcomes, pedagogical expectations, and faculty and student classroom experience, an assessment program can meet accreditation expectations while serving as a rich location for critical reflection and continuous improvement. To illustrate, this article takes the reader through a year in the life of University Studies' assessment at Portland State University. It provides details about the individual elements of our assessment program (e.g., review of student ePortfolios, mid-term feedback, and course evaluations) and how these each provide opportunities for faculty and programmatic critical reflection. It describes both long-standing practices as well as new or experimental elements that arise from the current programmatic context, providing examples of the ways in which we continually evolve our practices. Finally, it weaves the elements together and identifies the strengths and challenges of our approach, as well as opportunities for deeper, increasingly impactful critical practice in the future.

Oh, A., Williams, I., & Hodgson, Y. (2018)  Radiography students' preferences regarding assessment and feedback.  

Focus on Health Professional Education: A Multi-disciplinary Journal. 19(3), 23-39.


Assessment and feedback are important aspects of higher education. In allied health degrees, including radiography, the successful completion of assessments demonstrates that a graduate meets accreditation standards for clinical practice. Feedback within a degree program provides critical information to students on their attainment of these skills. Using a framework of discourse, emotion and identity, this study investigated the preferences of radiography students regarding the assessments and feedback they experienced during their degree program at an Australian university.

For further information contact Yvonne Hodgson

Developing reflection through an ePortfolio-based learning environment: design principles for further implementation

Pauline Roberts

Technology, Pedagogy and Education, DOI: 10.1080/1475939X.2018.1447989

Link to the article:


This article discusses the implementation of an ePortfolio-based learning environment with Bachelor of Education students. The intention was for the platform to be an agency for the development of reflection. The environment scaffolded reflection through (1) exemplars of good practice, (2) the opportunity for discussions and (3) activities to support the development of reflection. There were issues within the research around the introduction of the platform at the particular stage of the students’ degrees but the environment was successful in the provision of a teaching and learning platform. The findings provided design principles for a model to guide the development of similar learning environments including (1) the need for the ePortfolio platform to be embedded across the degree programme with (2) regular tasks for the students to complete that (3) have a clear purpose that the students are aware of and (4) utilise interaction patterns that mimic the structures of social media.

For further information contact Pauline Roberts


Implementation of e-portfolios for the professional development of Admiral Nurses.

Karen Harrison Dening, Debra Holmes, Amy Pepper

Nursing Standard (Royal College of Nursing (Great Britain) : 1987) [01 Jan 2018, 32(22):46-52]

Link to the article:

Nurses are required to maintain their fitness to practise through continuing professional development activities, and must demonstrate this by maintaining a portfolio of evidence that should be available for inspection every three years. The Nursing and Midwifery Council introduced revalidation in 2016 to demonstrate that nurses are practising safely and effectively. Nurses, however, are busy healthcare professionals and, as well as clinical practice, they have other demands on their time, such as providing evidence for annual appraisals. Admiral Nurses, specialist dementia nurses who support families living with dementia, also have a three-tier competency framework designed to demonstrate their acquired expertise and knowledge in dementia care. To support Admiral Nurses in managing these activities, the charity Dementia UK gave them access to the PebblePad e-portfolio system. This article details the implementation and outcomes of this project.

For further information contact Debbie Holmes

Exploring the Potential of a Collaborative Web-based E-portfolio

Annie Venville, Helen Cleak & Emma Bould

Social Work Field Education, Australian Social Work, 70:2, 185-196,

Link to the article:

In most Australian workplaces that provide placement opportunities, social workers are unlikely to receive reductions in their workload for supervising students and completing the administrative requirements of field education subjects. Associated time costs lead to reluctance to supervise social work students. This article investigates the potential for a web-based e-portfolio tool to support and streamline social work field education and assessment processes. Social work students, field educators, and university-appointed liaison staff (N = 110) from a large Australian university completed an online survey administered at the end of placement. The majority of participants reported that the e-portfolio provided a useful framework for recording evidence of student learning; was simple to use; saved time; and had the capacity to enhance the quality and immediacy of communication between parties. We argue that e-portfolios can efficiently capture evidence of student learning and provide a robust mode of supporting social work students on placement.

For further information about this article, contact Annie Venville

For information regarding eportfolio practice in Social Work at La Trobe University contact Fiona Smith

Engaging the wider academic community in a postgraduate certificate in academic practice: the issue of standards

Nicola Reimanna and Linda Allinb

International Journal for Academic Development

Link to the article:


This paper critically reflects on the challenges associated with academic standards in a postgraduate certificate in academic practice, which involved the wider academic community of the institution. It is underpinned by a socio-cultural constructivist view that suggests standards do not exist independently of assessors, but are co-constructed by participation in communities of practice through the process of making assessment judgements. Following an outline of the programme design, the discussion focuses on the uncertainties around standards arising from the fragility and fragmentation of a nascent community of practice comprised of a multiplicity of personal standards frameworks and disciplinary perspectives.

For further information contact Nicola Reimann

Pre-registration clinical skills development and curriculum change

Jo Rutt

British Journal of Nursing, Vol. 26, Issue 2

Link to article


This article outlines and offers an overview of the process of curriculum change and the development and integration of clinical skills. The focus on clinical skills in the essential skills clusters annexe set by the Nursing and Midwifery Council requires innovative strategies in theoretical aspects of the nursing programme to be identified. Based on the constructivist philosophy of curriculum design and in light of the ever-changing healthcare environment, a blended-learning approach was developed for the delivery of clinical skills. Key aspects such as learning styles, pedagogical approaches to online learning and facilitation were taken into consideration. A model of e-learning, facilitated sessions (face to face) and reflection was adopted for clinical skills acquisition in the programme. Although positive feedback was given about the online work, sessions and space for reflection, it was clear that further preparation of both lecturers and students for this cultural shift in teaching and learning would have aided this process.

For further information contact Jo Rutt

Student perceptions about the production of electronic portfolios: Technology, process and showcase insights.