The use of eportfolios in pre-registration health professional clinical education: An integrative review

Nikki Tickle, Debra K. Creedy, Amanda G. Carter, Jenny Gamble

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: ePortfolios are increasingly used in health professional clinical education. However, the nature of ePortfolios varies greatly amongst programs, as does the software, purpose, and institutional cost. Objectives: An integrative review of the literature was conducted to determine how ePortfolios are being used in pre-registration health programs to enhance clinical learning. Data sources: A systematic search of relevant databases (Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Education Resources Information Center, Cochrane, Medline, ProQuest, PubMed, Turning Research Into Practice, and Web of Science) was performed and reported according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Retrieved papers were assessed using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme tool and findings were analysed. Review methods: A total of 272 records were identified. Thirty papers were assessed in detail. Five themes were identified by content analysis; feedback and communication; student-centred learning; experiences and competencies; access, attitudes, and digital literacy; and technological support. Conclusions: ePortfolios offer a range of pedagogical benefits. Clinical learning is enhanced by student-focused ePortfolio design which includes clear learning outcomes; development of relationships with peers and instructors via ongoing communication and feedback; use of templates; links to time-saving applications; and guided, assessed reflections. Poor technological support, negative attitudes by clinical supervisors, unreliable access, instructor-focused design, and excessive or repetitive documentation in ePortfolio design hindered clinical learning.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105476
JournalNurse Education Today
Early online date12 Jul 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Jul 2022


  • Assessment feedback
  • Competency-based education
  • Computer literacy
  • Digital technology
  • ePortfolio
  • Online education
  • Online systems
  • Student-centred learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Education


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