ePortfolios for NURS758, Leadership and Ethics in Healthcare

The project was designed to transcend the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) curriculum, however, the specific course for implementation was NURS758 Leadership and Ethics in Healthcare, Spring 2015. The students are in the inaugural cohort of the DNP program, the first doctoral program in the School of Nursing & Health Studies (NHS) that began in Fall, 2014 and this was the initial launch of the course in which I was the course architect and coordinator. All 10 DNP students from Georgetown were enrolled in this required course, and one DNP student from Marymount University enrolled in the course, for a total of 11 students. Specifically technology was utilized for the development and implementation of an e-portfolio.

Integrative learning is the process of establishing connections among concepts and experiences so that information and skills can be applied to novel and complex issues or challenges. An ePortfolio represents an integrative learning approach to assist faculty and students to plan, track, and evaluate learning, performance, and the presentation of the materials of the educational experience. With the ePortfolio my goals were to assist students in understanding and articulating how experiences in the classroom and outside of the classroom, including didactic activities and assignments, clinical experiences, executive sessions, student activities, and employment have impacted their learning and visibly showcase what was learned. The ePortfolio served to provide a collection of artifacts (assignments or other tangible products) of learning, scholarship activities and reflections of learning over the course of the program and in totality reveal the development of specific knowledge, competencies, and skills. The broader use of technology advances teaching and learning as it informs modalities to integrate multiple technologies into the ePortolios to collect, organize, analyze, guide, design and communicate their student experiences.

The implementation of the eportfolio occurred late in the semester, and is an ongoing assignment. Data is currently being collected and utilized as a component of the self-study for CCNE (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education) accreditation of the program. The self-study is due in the Fall with the accreditors visit planned for January 2016. The portfolios are serving as a strategy to allow the DNP program leaders to document how students as a whole are meeting the program and Georgetown University's learning outcomes and to inform programmatic improvements.

From the opportunity to participate in the cohort, I was able to improve my knowledge of a variety of ePortfolios, select an eportfolio modality, and translate this information into a relevant, timely and comprehensive assignment and experience for the doctoral students.

One implication is that the timing of beginning the eportfolio would be best during the end of the first semester, or earlier in this second spring session. Additional implications or actions are pending completion of the project and obtaining student and faculty feedback. During the implementation of the eportfolio, I had the opportunity to increase the knowledge of other faculty members working with the DNP students and the DNP director - it will continue to be an ongoing and iterative process. The primary challenge is having an eportfolio that can serve many functions and be sustainable for the students even after graduation. The university can address this by integrating this type of technology in a platform throughout the university.