Assessment portfolio: a novel experience in the Introduction to Comprehensive General Medicine course


Assessment portfolio: a novel experience in the Introduction to Comprehensive General Medicine course

Portafolio de evaluación: una experiencia novedosa en la asignatura Introducción a la Medicina General Integral


Milagros Rodríguez Cardenas1*
Osvaldo Paz Paz1
Ileana Ivelice Sanchez Perez1
Lidia Antonia Pérez Rodriguez1


1 Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences. Cuba.


* Author for correspondence. Email:




Reference is made to the novel application of the portfolio in the Introduction to Comprehensive General Medicine subject in the first year of the Medicine degree for the evaluation of the in-service training activities. The portfolio represents a new scenario for evaluation, it is a technique that informs about the competences that the student can demonstrate, as well as the nature and use of the learning process, allows the accumulation of evidence and includes the evaluation of educational aspects in an indissoluble link to the instructive. Due to its relevance and novelty, the authors consider it appropriate to share their experiences on this type of evaluation through this research paper.

MeSH: educational measurement; programs; learning; students, medical; education, medical.


Se hace referencia a la novedosa aplicación del portafolio en la asignatura Introducción a la Medicina General Integral en primer año de la carrera de Medicina para la evaluación de las actividades de educación en el trabajo. El portafolio representa un nuevo escenario para la evaluación, es una técnica que informa sobre las competencias que el estudiante puede demostrar, así como la naturaleza y el aprovechamiento del proceso de aprendizaje, permite acumular evidencias e incluye la evaluación de los aspectos educativos en vínculo indisoluble a lo instructivo. Por su pertinencia y novedad, los autores consideran oportuno compartir sus experiencias sobre esta modalidad de evaluación a través de la presente comunicación.

DeSC: evaluación educacional; programas; aprendizaje; estudiantes de Medicina; educación médica






In the 2018-2019 academic year, at Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences, Plan D was implemented for the Medicine degree; The course Introduction to Comprehensive General Medicine with improved curricular design corresponds to the first semester of the first year and constitutes the first contact of the Medicine student with its profession.(1,2)

In the program of the subject Introduction to Comprehensive General Medicine,(2) the in-service training stands out as an organizational form of teaching, in which the student receives teaching at the same time that it participates in the medical care function, it´s trained in the same area of the exercise of the profession: the health service; its object of study and its learning methods are those of professional work.

Professional work methods are the driving forces of study activities; they are concretized in teaching tasks based on health problems. These tasks are carried out progressively, with increasing complexity and the active participation of the student, who learns by working by carrying out teaching-learning activities in real and productive conditions.

In this context, the subject incorporates the portfolio for the evaluation of the in-service training activities.

The authors of this research paper intend to emphasize the use of the portfolio for educational purposes and how it has been extended to other university contexts with positive results. It is used for teaching and learning; and in the assessment of skills and student-centered learning.(3,4,5,6)

A learning portfolio is a selection of student´s works that presents in a reflective way the progress and achievements made in the teaching-learning process in a specific area. It is a technique that informs about the competences that a person can demonstrate, as well as the nature and use of the learning process that they have had to reach those achievements, it allows accumulating evidence, demonstrating how and what to do.(3) The reviewed literature recognizes the usefulness of its use in the teaching of Medicine both in undergraduate and specialization and successful experiences are published, as it has happened in the Faculty of Medicine of the Autonomous University of Mexico.(3)

The design used in the portfolio of the course Introduction to Comprehensive General Medicine establishes a well defined way to be followed by students, it´s well defined in concrete terms about the tasks to be performed.(4,5) Notable is the presence of the evaluation guide which is expressed in the signing of the professional skills and values to be mastered by the student.

The use of the portfolio requires a correct orientation from the professor to the students who are just starting at university, and they must shed traditional forms of evaluation and understand their leading role in the construction of autonomous learning, while being an integrative tool that develops other skills such as oral and written communication.(7)

The authors consider it very beneficial to motivate and explain to the student about the use that is given to the portfolio as an evaluation resource, providing reflection and analysis by them on the evolution of their learning (7) as it is not a new way of publishing the grades; its use is to promote participatory evaluation in dialogue, pointing out mistakes and errors for their timely correction; in this way it appropriates knowledge, skills, values, attitudes and competences.

By having an evaluation guide, the student can self-evaluate and co-evaluate, which expresses one of the advantages of using the portfolio, according to the literature reviewed. (3,4,5,6) However, the authors of this research paper consider that teachers need preparation in the conception of the assessment portfolio, they should not see this tool as a simple compilation of tasks to be graded, but as a form of congruence among the learning objective, the content stated in concrete terms, and the structure of the tasks based on the modes of action that characterize professional activity through participation in solving problems in the real scene, according to the claim of Study Plan E for the Medicine degree.

An outstanding aspect in the portfolio used in the course Introduction to Comprehensive General Medicine is that the evaluation includes the educational aspects in indissoluble link with the instructive one, the mastery of the skill and its progress, the formation and development of values are rated , and the responsible participation of the student in its learning process is promoted; In the tasks, the relationships between the subjects are evident and propitious moments are represented for the implementation of the different curricular strategies declared in the study plan.

Undoubtedly, the portfolio represents a new scenario for evaluation;(4) the quality of its use depends on how the teacher-student binomial applies it. Teachers must promote reflection and analysis on the theoretical references of each activity and its importance for professional performance; In the opinion of these authors, the strengths of the portfolio design are: the application of the evaluation guide, the success-error analysis, the inclusion of educational objectives, the self-evaluation and co-evaluation that allow students to become aware of their own learning process.

In the context of medical sciences, it is necessary to stimulate its use, because it also constitutes an aid to meet the large enrollment that today makes up the teaching scene. The authors consider that teachers should eradicate their traditional conceptions about evaluation and grading, and change it to this modality that requires diligence in their teaching management because the teacher is still responsible for the process.

The evaluation becomes an opportunity for learning, and mistakes are sources for joint teacher-student reflection, where the latter is the protagonist, according to the criteria of some authors(4,5,6,7) who define the portfolio as the authentic evaluation because it integrates knowledge, skills and attitudes in the performance of a specific activity.

These authors bet on its use, its use will be perfected as it goes along meanwhile the teaching staff gains experiences at work with this new evaluation opportunity: the portfolio.



1. Ministerio de Salud Pública. Plan de estudio carrera de Medicina. Perfeccionamiento curricular. La Habana: Minsap; 2018.

2. Ministerio de Salud Pública. Plan de estudio carrera de Medicina. Programa Asignatura IMGI. La Habana: Minsap; 2018.

3. Gutiérrez Morales G, Lara Gutiérrez Y, Alpuche Hernández A, Trejo Mejía A, Sánchez Mendiola. Evaluación de competencias en residentes de neumología pediátrica: uso del portafolio electrónico. Neumol Cir Torax [Internet]. 2019 [citado 05/11/2019];78(1):[aprox. 5 p.]. Disponible en:

4. Alcaraz Salarirche N. La evaluación a través de portafolios: ¿una ocasión para el aprendizaje?. Rev Iberoam Eval Educ [Internet]. 2016 [citado 05/11/2019];9(1):[aprox. 16 p.]. Disponible en:

5. Opazo Salvatierra M, Sepúlveda Obreque A, Pérez Cabaní ML. Estrategias de evaluación del aprendizaje en la universidad y tareas auténticas: percepción de los estudiantes. Rev Electrón Diálogos Educ [Internet]. 2015 [citado 05/11/2019];15(29):[aprox. 16 p.]. Disponible en:

6. García-Carpintero BE, Siles González J, Martínez Roche ME, Martínez Miguel E, Manso Perea C, Álvarez Embarba B. Metodologías de enseñanza-aprendizaje en enfermería: ¿Es el portafolio una metodología acorde con el Espacio Europeo de Educación Superior? Rev Enfer Docente [Internet]. 2017 [citado 05/11/2019];108:[aprox. 5 p.]. Disponible en:

7. Burga Villacorta G. Percepciones de los estudiantes de psicología sobre el uso del portafolio y su aporte al aprendizaje autónomo en una universidad privada de Lima Metropolitana [tesis]. Perú: Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú; 2019. Disponible en:



Declaration of interests

The authors declare no conflict of interest.



Contribution of the authors

Ileana Ivelice Sánchez Pérez and Lidia Antonia Pérez Rodríguez: participated in the search for information on the subject.
Milagros Rodríguez Cárdenas and Osvaldo Paz Paz: in their writing.
All authors approved the article.



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