Case study: OneNote class notebook

E-portfolios with OneNote Class Notebook

Leah Kirk – Lecturer, School of Community Health and Midwifery

Within midwifery, as an assessment strategy for one of our first-year modules (40 credits), students are asked to complete a portfolio on OneNote. In preparation for this, a session is facilitated where students are introduced to the program and have time to become familiar with OneNote, with support from the lecturer as required. Students are then provided with guidance about how to develop this portfolio throughout the duration of the year, with regular assignment briefs and additional guidance contained with the Blackboard page. This programme is accessible to all students via Blackboard and is submitted at the end of year one via Turnitin.

OneNote has many advantages for both students and the academic team. For students it allows clear documentation to be inputted in a variety of formats, automatically saved, with work never lost, and enables clear organisation as they build this piece of work. It can easily be accessed by those who are given permission (i.e. lecturer and student), which creates an excellent level of transparency and enables students to feel continuously supported as they progress with this portfolio. OneNote can take a little bit of time to become familiar with, particularly for those who are not used to a digital portfolio. However, when some time is dedicated to becoming used to and familiar with the features and the benefits, users become great fans of this programme and feedback from students is that they find this an excellent method to collate their work.

When used an assessment, lecturers can set formative dates throughout the year to review progress. This also works excellently using group supervision sessions, where students can work on their assignment plans and develop this piece of work, keeping it as their original, personal portfolio, with support of the facilitator.

This is a tool that has been used for some time now in midwifery, and feedback from students is that they really enjoy using it. It’s environmentally friendly and enables organised, structured and creative portfolios to be developed, which students can take with them as they embark of their careers.