A recent twitter post directed me to the blog of Dr Fiona Pathiraja, which I encourage you to read. She asks:
Am I the only member of the ePortfolio fan club? If the recent vitriol on Twitter is anything to go by, one would be forgiven for thinking that the fan club comprises n=1.
She suggests that much of the negative press is unfair, and that medics don’t know how lucky we are, especially when compared to the private sector.
However, looking more closely her comments are a mix of praise for the concept of an ePortfolio itself, the structured nature of medical training programmes, and the job security that so many others rightly envy. She is honest about the shortcomings of the NHS ePortfolio in its current form and the need for change.
Of course, the ePortfolio is far from perfect. The end user is typically generation Y and expects technology to have the beautiful aesthetics and seamless functionality of their i-products. Improving functionality e.g. linking curriculum items to assessments, and aesthetics is essential for an improved ePortfolio.
This is exactly the point. We expect more. We deserve more. It is time for investment in the NHS ePortfolio to bring its functionality and aesthetics into the era of generation Y.
She also goes beyond the technical aspects of the current ePortfolio and makes requests for: a better and more transparent evidence-base for assessment tools including WPBAs; more training for supervisors on use of assessments; and the need to treat medics as adult learners:
As a cohort of intelligent, motivated young people, we are able to take responsibility for adult learning, but need to be treated like adults in order to do so. If the ePortfolio gods are listening—engage with us, take constructive feedback, and try to improve the portfolio to inspire the medical generation Y.
I couldn’t have said it better myself. This site is a first step in connecting users, developers, and Royal Colleges. If we can all work together to effect these changes, I might just join the fan club myself!