E-Portfolio: A storage, workplace and showcase of Allied Health Professional standards
Montebello, V. (2015). E-Portfolio: A storage, workplace and showcase of Allied Health Professional standards (MSc Blended and Online Education). Edinburgh Napier University (Fotheringham, J.,
A substantial amount of literature supports the value of e-Portfolios as storage areas for evidence of personal, professional and academic accomplishments. There is a general consensus of their potential ability to foster reflection and self-assessment and to display experiential work-based learning over time. However, e-Portfolios are valuable tools that if used effectively, have the capacity to expand beyond these boundaries of familiar functions. This research investigates how e-Portfolios can scaffold Allied Health Professionals to demonstrate their standards of practice and upkeep of professional competence to warrant accreditation and continued registration. A mixed method paradigm was used to explore the multi-faceted perceptions, issues of acceptance and barriers that might influence the successful introduction of professional portfolios. This study was undertaken through a survey and interviews carried out amongst a purposive sample of Allied Health Professional bodies, the regulatory council, administrative authorities and the Allied Health practitioners within the Maltese Health Care Institution. From the findings emerged a clear image of how the research participants positively embrace e-Portfolio use in the professional regulation process. A number of challenges are reported, ranging from strategic to operational with the most pressing being a need for cultural change at all levels. The conclusion provides practical and grounded implications for adequate institutional support and health practitioners’ empowerment to engage with e-Portfolios. The study is limited to Allied Health Professionals within a Maltese context; however, further analysis could be extended to other professions and also to international settings to increase the evidence on the use of e-Portfolios as a platform for sustained professionalism and standards of practice for regulation purposes.