Answer to "How to document longitudinal development of the mentee?"


Topic Editor: Sylvia Heeneman

Mentoring is considered to be helpful for development of the mentee by providing or supporting (i) educational development, ensuring that new learning or self-direction of learning takes place; (ii) personal development, supporting mentees to make (career) choices and manage transitions; and (iii) professional development, by advancing a consciousness of professional and/or vocational identity.


Progress is often longitudinal and spanning several phases or years of the educational program, and then it is important to keep track of the mentees progress and collect and document evidence for progress and development. This collection and documentation of longitudinal development is often done in a portfolio. This can be a paper-based portfolio, but increasingly portfolios have an electronic format, the e-portfolio. Assessment results, feedback and workplace-based evaluations can be collected and documented in both paper-based and e-portfolios. In an e-portfolio, assessments, feedback and evaluations can also be provided via the e-portfolio (digitally) and automatically logged. An advantage of an e-portfolio for mentoring processes is the ability to integrate performance data through automatically generated overviews of assessments, narrative feedback and levels of proficiency. This gives both the mentor and the mentee an instant overview, identify what areas are on target and what can be improved. An (e-)portfolio can also contain personal development plans or reflective practice (also see question 10).



Ehrich L, Hansford B, Tennent L (2004). Formal Mentoring Programs in Education and Other Professions: A Review of the Literature. Educ Adm Quart, 40:518-540

Hall P, Byszewski A, Sutherland S, Stodel E (2012). Developing a sustainable electronic portfolio (ePortfolio) program that fosters reflective practice and incorporates CanMEDS competencies into the undergraduate medical curriculum. Ac Med, 87:744-751.

Strivens J, Ward R. An overview of the development of Personal Development Planning (PDP) and e-Portfolio practice in UK higher education. Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, 2010.