Last week, I explored the CPD organiser provided by GP Online, the online portal for GPs provided by Healthcare Republic. This was discussed in my post – The eportfolio comparison: part 1.
Today I will be looking at GP Online’s news-worthy competitor – Pulsetoday.
Pulsetoday similarly to GP online does not offer a complete eportfolio solution, but what they call a CPD log. This is found on their Pulse Learning site. They offer you two options. One is to use the free CPD log of which most of this article will cover. The other is a paid for service at £49. 95+ VAT which will allow you access to the Pulse learning repository of CPD modules, case-based modules and other learning incentives, in addition to the free CPD log.
When you log into the CPD log, you are greeted with a simple dashboard. It shows a simple introduction, followed by a search function (the top part of Fig 1) which allows you to calculate all your CPD points over a period of time. Below this is the dashboard of your CPD activity as shown in Fig. 1.
Fig 1. My Pulse Learning CPD log.
The dashboard has two sections. The first shows current activity, split into CPD activity from the Pulse repository (free or paid version) and activity on other sites. The log of entries from Pulse based learning is simple, showing the name of the session, credits earned, date, certificate and if there has been any impact. When completing a module, you are able to add in any learning points you may have achieved, so a simple reflection section, unfortunately this is not visible from the dashboard. The log then does allow you to link each entry with a learning need. As I said, simple. This however is populated only when you have done a module from the Pulse repository and has no edit function.
Below this is a section on learning needs assessments which have been completed. I must say I am not sure what this section is for, as I could not populate it with any information, very frustrating.
If you wanted to add an entry from another site, or a free text entry, then you can use the add new button on the lower section. If the above was simple, then this is rudimentary. The option for adding an entry is a simple text box, date stamp and a box to add in a website. Nothing for learning, credits, or reflection. You can upload evidence of impact, which does offer a text box for a ‘short description’. This function however only works if you upload a file with the description. This does make it feel like ‘badge collecting’ in function.
The other aspect of this log is the learning needs/PDP section. Again the only phrase I can use is that it has a simple interface. The log allows you to make a ‘short description’ learning need which is then time stamped. If you then do a module from the Pulse repository, then you can link this to the learning need you have created. Fig 2 shows a summary of this from my log.
Fig 2. My PDP from the Pulse Learning CPD log.
Again this interface is simple. I do question the term ‘short description’, as it is the only description that can be given ( permitted about 50 words) and again no sections for reflection are available. It is also a shame that you can not link external learning to your PDP. I assume this is part of the model to get users to sign up for the premium content, but is still a little frustrating.
The other feature of note is the exporting section. A user can export the CPD log into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, which covers such issues as date, learning credits, and topics covered. Again it does neglect external learning entries.
The Pulsetoday CPD log is in a word simple. It is easy to use, with a basic interface and credit driven. It is obvious that it is designed to be used with the content enabled if you become a premium member of the site, and useful to record the learning that takes place from this site. However the CPD log has very limited use with content away from the Pulse repository and that I feel is the main failing.
It is easy to compare the GP Online and the Pulsetoday CPD recording offerings. Both do not constitute as a fully functioning eportfolio, though each does a reasonable job of acting as a log. However the GP online bookmarklet (to add any web page easily into your CPD organiser) and effective learning entry system make it a better offering. I will point out, both are also providers of elearning content and that aspect is not taken into account.
‘Til next time, ta ta for now….