Portfolio-based learning and general practice vocational training

Med Educ. 1996 Mar;30(2):148-52. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2923.1996.tb00733.x.


This action research project developed a portfolio-based learning system, based around a 'log dairy,' with the trainers and general practitioner registrars of one training region in the UK. For those that found benefit from the system, the diary became an important way of holding all the events of a training year together; a way of looking back, in order to view the progress made, and looking forward, to view potential learning needs. Such portfolios were not found to be effective formal assessment mechanisms because the threat of assessment influenced the type of material collected. The enthusiasm of trainers was crucial in encouraging use of the model. The action research process was fundamental in stimulating explorations of ideas on reflective learning. There remains some resistance to the idea of reflective writing, and in this context, portfolios may be one educational tool for use by some, but which may not be universally applicable. Their development and implementation requires considerable local support through facilitation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Family Practice / education*
  • Learning
  • Scotland
  • Teaching / methods*
  • Vocational Guidance / methods*