Implementation of portfolio assessment of student competence in two dental school populations

Cynthia C. Gadbury-Amyot, Michael S. McCracken, Janet L. Woldt, Robert Brennan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The purpose of this article is to describe the process and procedures involved in the implementation of portfolio assessment at two dental schools. Portfolios can be defined as a purposeful collection of student work that involves reflection in which students identify gaps in their knowledge and abilities and develop strategies for correcting those gaps. Framed within the current context of dental education and the calls for change in the ways dental students are taught and assessed, these two dental schools embarked upon an assessment strategy aimed at engaging students in self-directed learning and self-assessment. Where one school chose the implementation of programmatic portfolios based on all program competencies, the other school implemented portfolio assessment around specific program competencies not typically captured easily with traditional assessment measures such as ethics and ethical decision making. In a competency-based dental curriculum in which competence has been defined as the ability to accurately self-assess, it makes sense that strategies aimed at developing the skill of self-assessment should be the goal of every dental education program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1559-1571
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of dental education
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012


  • Competency
  • Competency-based education
  • Critical thinking
  • Dental education
  • Educational methodology
  • Portfolio assessment
  • Problem-solving
  • Self-directed learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Dentistry(all)


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