Abstract Title | Reflexive portfolios as an alternative to subjective global rating


  1. Márcia AR Freitas
  2. Helena BMS Paro


Portfolios and ePortfolios




Federal University of Uberlandia, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Uberlandia, Brazil


Students' grades were more discriminative when reflexive portfolios were introduced as assessment tools.


The Obstetrics and Gynecology (ObGyn) clerkship at the Federal University of Uberlandia has long been using subjective global ratings in students’ assessments. We observe that such ratings are not discriminative since students are traditionally assessed with equal grades.

We aimed to introduce a new tool in the assessment of ObGyn clerkship students with the use of reflexive portfolios.

Summary of Work

Students undergoing the ObGyn clerkship during August-October 2011 were assessed by subjective global rating (Group 1) and those undergoing the clerkship during October-December 2011 were assessed by reflexive portfolios (Group 2).

Frequencies of ObGyn clerkship students’ grades in groups 1 and 2 were analysed.

Take-home Messages

In contrast to the merely summative proposal of subjective global ratings without feedback, we should also consider the formative goals of portfolios as learning tools. 

Reflective portfolios may represent a good alternative to bridge the gap between summative global rankings and innovative formative tools in traditional schools.




We are currently introducing new assessment tools with ObGyn clerkship students such as the mini-CEX.


We would like to thank our students who accepted the challenge of using an innovative assessment tool in a traditional learning environment such as ours.

We recognize their effort in making the formative proposal of their portfolios a reality to be replicated in our school.

Summary of Results

All references are listed in the details.

Summary of Work

In order to accomplish their portfolios, students were requested to:


- Choose an experience(s) they have had during their practical activities based on reflection upon their performance

- Establish learning goals according to their reflection

- Search different sources to achieve learning goals

- Link learning to the experience chosen so that changes in performance could be implemented

  • Each of the above criteria was included in students’ summative assessment.
  • Assessment was performed in two different moments of the ObGyn clerkship (after one and three months of practice).
  • Tutors were available for guidance whenever students felt necessary.
Take-home Messages
Summary of Results

All group 1 students (100%) were assessed with maximum grades, as traditionally observed at our instituition. Although group 2 students' grades were consistently high, only 19% of students achieved the maximum grade.


Buckley S, Coleman J, Davison I, Khan KS, Zamora J, Malick S, Morley D, Pollard D, Ashcroft T, Popovic C, Sayers J. The educational effects of portfolios on undergraduate student learning: a Best Evidence Medical Education (BEME) systematic review. BEME Guide No. 11. Med Teach 2009; 31(4):282-98. 


Buckley S, Coleman J, Khan K. Best evidence on the educational effects of undergraduate portfolios. Clin Teach 2010; 7(3):187-91.


Michels NR, Driessen EW, Muijtjens AM, Van Gaal LF, Bossaert LL, De Winter BY. Portfolio assessment during medical internships: How to obtain a reliable and feasible assessment procedure? Educ Health 2009; 22(3):313.

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