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Project Management Case Studies: WMS e-Portfolio

Project Manager: Louise Goodyear

Why the University needed this project

Today’s junior doctors are entering a career in which they will learn and develop throughout their working lives. With this in mind medical students are required to maintain a personal development portfolio throughout their training period. Warwick Medical School (WMS) had been using a paper based portfolio but whilst this was easy to use and alter, there were growing expectations from students for a more interactive electronic experience and method of tracking.

What we did

WMS undertook a feasibility study to review the different electronic options and identified NHS Education for Scotland to provide an e-Portfolio system. The WMS e-Portfolio project, instigated in 2015, had several aims:

  • To put in place the new e-Portfolio.
  • To carry out training for students and staff who used the e-Portfolio.
  • To raise awareness of the new solution.
  • To arrange for support to be carried out by the e-Learning Team at WMS.

As well as liaising with the external supplier to ensure that the e-Portfolio was introduced on time and on budget Louise also engaged with the numerous stakeholders at WMS to consult on a change in working practices. A series of training workshops was then organised for staff and students.

What benefits the project brought about

Once in place the new e-Portfolio brought about a number of benefits:

  • The WMS solution mirrored the foundation year portfolio for junior doctors, and therefore prepared students for their future training needs after qualification.
  • Students developed life-long skills to build and maintain a full record of their personal and professional development.
  • The e-portfolio provided a mechanism to encourage students to solicit feedback from peers, staff and patients.

Moving foward

Reporting on e-Portfolio completion levels and content will enable WMS staff to monitor, audit and evaluate student development. The introduction of the e-Portfolio also brought about an additional benefit that had not been previously identified, in that WMS was able to compare our consultants’ engagement with the other 13 UK medical schools using the system allowing performance monitoring and quality control.

Several weeks after its introduction an audit of support calls showed that students had adapted easily to using the e-Portfolio and feedback had been positive.