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Portfolio Reflective Essays

Next submission deadlines

●      12 noon on Friday, 23 February 2018

●      12 noon on Friday, 24 August 2018

Completing your Reflective Portfolio Assignment: guidelines and tips

The full guidance for the Reflective Portfolio Assignment contains details including:

  • what we are looking for
  • our marking criteria     
  • submission dates
  • assignment layout

As well as the marking criteria, you should read our tips on preparing to write your assignment and our tips on completing your assignment before you start.

Example essays 

These are examples of essays which have been awarded a ‘PASS’ (The authors have given us permission to share their work.)

●      Essay 1            Essay 1 markers' comments

●      Essay 2            Essay 2 markers' comments

●      Essay 3            Essay 3 markers' comments

You will notice that the essays are different from one another.  Each one has been awarded a 'PASS’ because it is  a personal, honest and critically reflective account of the author's development as a clinical educator.

Marking scheme  

The standards required for your assignment to pass come from, and are consistent with, those of the University of Edinburgh’s current Postgraduate Common Marking Scheme. 

This means your assignments will be awarded a ‘PASS’, ‘NOT YET PASS’ or ‘FAIL’.  The marker and moderator will compile feedback on your assignment based on our marking guidelines. 

If the Board of Examiners decide that your assignment does not meet the criteria to pass, they will mark it as ‘NOT YET PASS’.  If this happens, you should arrange to have a discussion with a member of the Programme team.

You can resubmit your assignment once. The resubmission date will be the next deadline for assignment submissions for the Programme.

If, when you resubmit it, your assignment still does not yet qualify as a 'PASS', it will be awarded a ‘FAIL’.  If this happens, you will not be able to complete Level 3 of the CEP at this attempt  If you wished to try to attain Level 3, you would need to undertake the whole Programme again, and we would support this.

The UK Professional Standards Framework (Higher Education Academy)

The UK Professional Standards Framework can help you assess your own clinical education practice.

It is a good idea to complete it before you start your assignment. Many participants have found it useful to complete the Framework at different times throughout the CEP. For example, when they start the Programme, after they have had their teaching observation and before they start the assignment.

Clinical Educator Programme learning cards 

The CEP learning cards help you record, and reflect on, what you learn during the workshops. Your reflections will help you gather the evidence you need to complete your assignment.

In case you did not complete the learning cards after you attended the workshops, here are links to all of them:

●      Effective Supervision Learning Card (new 2 hour)

●      Effective Supervision Learning Card (old 3 hour)

●      Giving Effective Feedback Learning Card

●      Impromptu Clinical Teaching Learning Card

●      Introduction to the MBChB Learning Card (old/pre 2016)

●      Introduction to the MBChB Learning Card (new/from 2016)

●      Introduction to Simulation Learning Card

●      Mentoring Skills Learning Card

●      Mindfulness Learning Card

●      OSCE Station Design

●      Planning and Evaluating Your Teaching Learning Card

●      Presentation Skills Learning Card

●      Small Group Teaching Learning Card

●      Using Technology in Your Teaching Learning Card

●      Writing Learning Outcomes Learning Card

Reflective Cover Essay


The Reflective Cover Essay is in many ways the most important element of the WPP. This is your opportunity to introduce the evaluators to yourself and your work, and to connect the artifacts in your portfolio with your experiences as a student and a writer. This reflection should take the form of a fully developed essay with at least an introduction, a conclusion, and a body paragraph for each of the elements in your portfolio—it should not be a list.

A successful Reflective Cover Essay will include the following:

  1. In your introduction, you should include background information about your college career both at USC Aiken and at any other universities or colleges that you may have attended. What is your major? Do you have a minor? Are you a non-traditional student? Are you an athlete? Do you have military experience? Do you have a job besides your career as a student?
  2. Also in your introduction, you should mention each of the essays that you are including in your WPP and briefly (in a sentence or two) connect each to your major/minor and your college experience as both a student/writer.
  3. Your body paragraphs should focus on one of the essays that you have selected for inclusion in your WPP. For each of the artifacts in your WPP you should discuss why you selected that particular paper for your portfolio, and how it shows your growth as a writer. This discussion should include the course you wrote the paper for (including the instructor’s name), a detailed summary of the assignment, and revisions you have made to the paper.  Try to talk about how each essay reflects the rubric.
  4. In your conclusion, you should talk about your progress as a writer and a student over the course of your time at USC Aiken. You should talk about what you hope to accomplish with your degree. How does the writing in your WPP connect with your time as a student and your aspirations after college?

Your Reflective Cover Essay MUST be double-spaced. You should carefully proofread your Reflective Cover Essay because this paper will set the expectation for the entire WPP.  Poor cover essays have revealed odd paragraph development, pronoun reference errors, subject-verb disagreement, incorrect sentence structures, and typographic, spelling, punctuation, capitalization mistakes.

NOTE: If you fail to achieve the minimum benchmark score on your first submission and are deemed eligible to resubmit your WPP (and you elect to do so), the Reflective Cover Essay becomes even more important. Particular attention MUST be paid to revisions made to the originally submitted papers. You must explain why and how you revised each paper.