Midwives are required to maintain a professional portfolio as part of their statutory requirements. Some midwives are using open social networking tools and processes to develop an e-portfolio. However, confidentiality of patient and client data and professional reputation have to be taken into consideration when using online public spaces for reflection.Question
There is little evidence about how midwives use social networking tools for ongoing learning. It is uncertain how reflecting in an e-portfolio with an audience impacts on learning outcomes. This paper investigates ways in which reflective midwifery practice be carried out using e-portfolio in open, social networking platforms using collaborative processes.Methods
Using an auto-ethnographic approach I explored my e-portfolio and selected posts that had attracted six or more comments. I used thematic analysis to identify themes within the textual conversations in the posts and responses posted by readers.Findings
The analysis identified that my collaborative e-portfolio had four themes: to provide commentary and discuss issues; to reflect and process learning; to seek advice, brainstorm and process ideas for practice, projects and research, and provide evidence of professional development.Conclusions
E-portfolio using open social networking tools and processes is a viable option for midwives because it facilitates collaborative reflection and shared learning. However, my experience shows that concerns about what people think, and client confidentiality does impact on the nature of open reflection and learning outcomes. I conclude this paper with a framework for managing midwifery statutory obligations using online public spaces and social networking tools.