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Portfolios and practice-based learning : a student perspective

Heron, Gavin and Lerpiniere, Jennifer Anne and Church, Stephanie (2010) Portfolios and practice-based learning : a student perspective. The Journal of Practice Teaching in Health and Social Work, 10 (1). pp. 5-26. ISSN 1460-6690

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Abstract

Whilst the practice placement is widely regarded as an integral component of social work qualifying courses there is less agreement about the most effective way of assessing student learning during this period on the course. This study explored students’ perceptions of a portfolio that was linked to the practice placement. The findings suggest the portfolio contributes positively to the learning process; however, this may be determined more by the separate parts of work than the compilation of an integrated or ‘holistic’ portfolio. If the portfolio is to be an effective assessment tool, it needs to complement fully students’ experience on placement rather than detract attention from it. Improvements in design will have to be mirrored by effective communication between tutors and practice teachers if the portfolio is to maximise practice learning.