oa African Journal of Health Professions Education - Using portfolios to assess professional competence and development in medical laboratory sciences
The use of portfolios in health professions education has increased dramatically over the years. The enthusiastic acceptance of this principle is in part born out of the ever-growing interest in outcomes-based education in all divisions of health science. Portfolios not only stimulate professional development and reflective learning, they also provide opportunity for self-direction, and avenues for faculty feedback. Portfolios have also been recommended for the assessment of professional development in medical education, and several reports document their successful use in the assessment of competence at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. To stimulate engagement and to assess professional development during clinical laboratory training, portfolio development and assessment was proposed for final-year students for the Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Sciences and the Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology, Kampala International University, Uganda, in 2008. This article reports the experience of the use of portfolios to assess professional development in these programmes.
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