Online Faculty Development for Implementation and Use of Student Portfolios

Publication ID Published Volume
10436 August 5, 2016 12

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Over the past decade, portfolios have gained popularity in medical education as tools to evaluate and provide feedback about learning and completion of professionally authentic tasks. Though faculty development has been noted to be key for successful portfolios, there are few available resources. As part of an interinstitutional collaborative project, we have developed online faculty development modules that provide pedagogical information about portfolios, practical advice, and resources from the available literature. The materials associated with this publication include downloadable modules, which take approximately 45 minutes to complete and can be paused at any time, and sample questions to facilitate small-group discussion with faculty either in the planning stage of portfolios or as part of program evaluation of an institution’s portfolios. A survey taken by faculty from four medical schools after completion of the modules showed that they were well received, with 41% of participants stating that they were very knowledgeable after undertaking the modules compared to 11% before undertaking the modules. Faculty reported increased interest in the topic and increased confidence in their ability to undertake planning for development of portfolios at their institution and considered using the modules as a mandatory curriculum for portfolio coaches at their institutions. We suggest that these modules could be used for individual self-development, as part of faculty development sessions for portfolio coaches and mentors, and to provide faculty with background information about portfolios during the planning phase of portfolios at an institution.


Zaidi Z, Wright A, Bailey M, et al. Online faculty development for implementation and use of student portfolios. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2016;12:10436.

Educational Objectives

After completing the modules, users will be able to:

  1. Describe a competency-based portfolio.
  2. List the typical contents of competency-based portfolios.
  3. Discuss assessment strategies for portfolios.
  4. Explain factors influencing the successful implementation of portfolios.


  • Portfolios, Faculty Development, Online


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