Using Portfolios to Assess Professional Competence and Development in Medical Laboratory Sciences

Christian Chinyere Ezeala, Mercy Okwudili Ezeala, Ephraim O. Dafiewhare


Portfolios have been recommended for the assessment of professional development. To stimulate engagement and assess professional development during laboratory training, portfolio assessment was proposed for the final year BMLS and DMLT programmes in Kampala International University.
Work Done
The students undergoing clinical laboratory training in teaching hospitals, and engaged in routine laboratory services under supervision of qualified Medical Laboratory Scientists, composed a portfolio detailing their daily experiences, work done, and lessons learned. Their supervisors and facilitators provided daily feedback and endorsed their entries. The portfolios were examined at the end of training by faculty staff and external examiner through oral presentation and interviews. Rating rubric considered quality of presentation, portfolio content, demonstration of progressive development, and ability to make professional judgment. Students’ and assessors’ acceptance of this instrument was determined with questionnaire.
72 % of the students and assessors accepted the method. Many students reported that it improved commitment to training, encouraged reflection, and allowed for frequent feedback. Many believed that it was a rational assessment, but it was time consuming. 88 % of the participants would welcome it as a supplement to the standard tests.
The portfolio assessment was well accepted, rational, and provided a valid assessment of student engagement and progression during professional training.
Take Home Message
The inclusion of portfolio assessment in Medical Laboratory Sciences Education provided valid assessment of students’ engagement in training and professional development over time.

Authors' affiliations

Christian Chinyere Ezeala, Fiji School of Medicine/Fiji National University

Mercy Okwudili Ezeala, University of the South Pacific

Ephraim O. Dafiewhare, kampala International University

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Portfolio; assessment; biomedical sciences; professional development; competence

Cite this article

African Journal of Health Professions Education 2010;2(1):15.

Article History

Date submitted: 2010-01-15
Date published: 2010-08-13

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