Answer to "What IT support is needed?"


Editor: Cees van der Vleuten


A central instrument in programmatic assessment is an electronic portfolio. The advantages of having an electronic portfolio over a physical one includes:

  • Improved portability

  • Easy access and storage of information

  • Electronic support in assessment data gathering (for example in organizing and administering a multi-source feedback round)

  • Automatic aggregation of data facilitating an efficient overview and judgment of a portfolio (for mentoring or high-stake decision-making)

  • Easy navigation and filtering of data

  • Attractive feedback reports (for example in graphs, spider diagrams etcetera)

There are many providers where such software may be purchased or licensed. Web-based access and use of personal devices are a requirement for such systems. Please note that often these electronic solutions have their own framework of organization. This should match your implementation of programmatic assessment. Also note that electronic aggregation is only possible if the structure across data-points allows that. So instruments used for getting data-points should have similar structures (for example by a competency or APA framework.


Below are some examples of feedback reports from an electronic portfolio used in Maastricht University in The Netherlands.


Figure 1: A spider diagram presenting aggregate information from multiple data points on the CanMEDS competencies. Individual performance is related to cohort performance. The number in brackets represents the number of observations.

Figure 2: Overview of narratives on a single learner filtered for communication.



Driessen, EW, Muijtjens, AM, van Tartwijk, J & van der Vleuten, CP (2007) Web- or paper-based portfolios: is there a difference? Medical Education, 41, 1067-73.

Spider graph.png
Overview of narratives.png