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Medical Education

Portfolio assessment


GG Ponnamperuma

Medical Education Development and Research Centre (MEDARC), Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, LK
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Portfolio in contemporary history has been used in many contexts. It all began with architects carrying with them a portfolio that showcased their past work, so that a prospective client could make an informed decision whether they should hire the architect or not. Portfolios, however, have evolved since then to become an educational tool that demands somewhat specific "cognitive input" from the person responsible for the portfolio; i.e. the portfolio builder.

Given the wide range of contexts in which they have been used, portfolios have been defined variously. A modern-day portfolio could be defined as „a collection of papers and other forms of evidence that learning has taken place, annotated with the student's reflections on what has been learnt in terms of the learning outcomes, over a period of time. As indicated in italics, the key concepts that define a contemporary portfolio, therefore, are the evidence for learning accompanied by learner reflection on the learning that would signify achievement of learning outcomes over a considerable period of time. If a portfolio is to be assessed in some summative form, the clarity of purpose that leads to a clear-cut format for developing a portfolio becomes imperative. This article intends to provide such a clear-cut format that could perhaps offer both the trainer and the trainee a clear road map to follow when implementing portfolio assessment, in postgraduate medical education.


Journal of the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine 2014; 1: E4:1-8

How to Cite: Ponnamperuma, G., 2014. Portfolio assessment. Journal of the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine, 1, pp.E4:1–8. DOI:
Published on 29 Aug 2014.
Peer Reviewed


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