The ePortfolio: developing leadership skills through self-regulated learning in physiotherapy students

Dr Karen Donald1, Mrs Anastaszia Ward-davies1, Ms Carolyn Cracknell1

1University Of Melbourne, Parkville, Melbourne, Australia

Contemporary scholarship claims that it is more necessary than ever for allied health professionals to possess strong leadership skills furthermore leadership skills and knowledge should be introduced as part of health professional tertiary education. However, there is little data about the most effective way to develop or assess leadership curriculum. ePortfolio discourse across the health sciences suggest that authentic ePortfolio pedagogy can support students to develop leadership skills by honing self-regulation and metacognitive capabilities.

This study had two main aims:

  1. To evaluate how reflective ePortfolio pedagogy and practice can support physiotherapy students understanding of leadership
  2. To determine the acceptability of a Leadership ePortfolio in physiotherapy students.

Final year Doctor of Physiotherapy students who had completed formal leadership module within a subject Leadership and Management completed an ePortfolio assessment. Following submission students were invited to complete an anonymous survey to evaluate the implementation of the ePortfolio pilot and evaluate shifts in leadership skills and knowledges as well as their experiences of using the platform.

Results related to the acceptability of the platform, student engagement with and perception of ePortfolio-based assessment task will be presented.

This study will be of interest to anyone wanting to develop leadership skills in health professional students and/or use ePortfolios for learning and assessment.


Dr Karen Donald is a Senior lecturer and Course Coordinator of the Doctor of Physiotherapy Program (DPT), The University of Melbourne. She is currently working on the introduction and integration of ePortfolios throughout the DPT program to encourage self-regulated and flexible learning.

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