The educational continuum in general healthcare

This work package aims to investigate the impact of an ePortfolio along an educational continuum following three different perspectives:

  1. Continuity between educational levels within the same healthcare profession (e.g. HBO5-nursing and bachelor nursing); and within different healthcare professions (nursing, midwifery, speech pathology, audiology, podiatrics, rehabilitation therapy, oral health)
  2. Continuity between internships at home and abroad
  3. Continuity after graduation

The ultimate goal is to visualize competency development in the newly designed state-of-the-art ePortfolio.

Cooperation through subcontracting: Mw. Marijke Verfaillie en Mw. Frances Martens, IVV Sint-Vincentius Ghent

Current research

The focus group interviews that took place for work package 1 also yielded interesting findings for work package 6. The different steps of a science-based model for supporting workplace learning in healthcare were evaluated. In this way the areas for improvement within workplace learning were revealed. This study will be presented at the CARE4 conference from 7 to 9 January in 2022 (online). You can read the abstract here.

In addition, we conducted a review of the current use of the ePortfolio in general healthcare. And because it is important to use a clear and workable competence framework, a Delphi study was set up to validate the CanMEDS competence framework within the general health care system. Both studies were presented during the virtual INTED conference in Valencia and the ICME conference in Indonesia.You can read the abstracts here.

Important lessons from the State-of -the-art review about ePortfolio use in 8 undergraduate healthcare educational programs:

  1. Determine the purpose of the online portfolio before starting a design and selecting a platform.
  2. More research is needed to understand the effect of online portfolios on workplace learning. Tips:
    • Do not limit your research to perception studies
    • Include all eportfolio users in your research, do not limit your research to the students
    • Include all contexts (internship/work) in your research and do not limit your research to the hospital setting
    • Include all disciplines in your research so that the effect of the eportfolio on interdisciplinary collaboration can be investigated

From the scoping review, we also learned that the current ePortfolio literature focuses mainly on students, while other stakeholders should have at least an equally important place. Furthermore, the many features that ePortfolios contain allowed us to distinguish two types of ePortfolios.

It also described different purposes that ePortfolios can serve. We should consider whether the ePortfolio should be tailored to "who" will use it, "when" it will be used and "in what context" it will be used. In this way, it will be possible to develop an overarching ePortfolio that will allow different programmes to promote the features and goals they consider important.

Finally, it is important to note that a very limited number of studies have examined the effect of ePortfolios on measurable outcomes. The results of this scoping review provide a nice impetus for further research!

Important lessons from the Delphi study to validate the CanMEDS competency framework in the context of undergraduate healthcare education in Flanders:

The CanMEDs competency framework is a useful framework in the context of eight undergraduate healthcare professions. An online Delphi study was used to validate the framework. All CanMEDs roles and key competencies were validated for relevance and clarity. Two key competencies were not validated for measurability:

  • Manages career planning, finance and human resources of the practice (role of leader)
  • Demonstrates commitment to society through recognition of and answering to society’s expectations of health care (role of professional)

Future research

As previous research has shown that the focus on technical competences is high while transferable, generic competences remain in the background, further research will focus on measuring and optimising generic competences.