What is it?

A portfolio or e-portfolio is an assembly of student work over a course or semester. A student’s portfolio is akin to a catalog of achievements and skills enabling them to demonstrate their experience and abilities. The most meaningful way to engage students in this is to have them select specific work with the goal of analyzing and reflecting on each. For example the instructor could require students to select the three best pieces and two weakest pieces of work over the semester, and comment on their choices and what they demonstrate of their learning. Additionally, in a course that ...

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A portfolio or e-portfolio is an assembly of student work over a course or semester. A student’s portfolio is akin to a catalog of achievements and skills enabling them to demonstrate their experience and abilities. The most meaningful way to engage students in this is to have them select specific work with the goal of analyzing and reflecting on each. For example the instructor could require students to select the three best pieces and two weakest pieces of work over the semester, and comment on their choices and what they demonstrate of their learning. Additionally, in a course that has students developing multiple drafts or iterations of a work, students could be required to select the artifact that demonstrates the most tangible improvement (started off somewhat poorly and improved greatly) and comment on the process they undertook to improve.

Purpose: The purpose of a portfolio is to provide instructors and students the opportunity to oversee learning development and improvement over time. By generating a portfolio of work, students can review and reflect on their journey through the various course assignments. As an assessment tool, a portfolio can show abilities beyond grades. Taken further in today’s job market, the portfolio can be an essential tool for employers to see firsthand the achievements, experience, and relevant skills of potential candidates.

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When to use it?

Context & Requirements

Level
All levels
Discipline
All disciplines
Class size
All class sizes
Classroom settings
No specific classroom setting required
Technological requirements
Dependent on the type of activity

Skills Promoted

  • Self-regulation
  • Knowledge management
  • Self-assessment

Who’s using it?

SALTISE community members who use this strategy and are willing to share advice and/or resources.

Level College
Institution CÉGEP ANDRÉ-LAURENDEAU
Discipline Chemistry - Organic
Instructor Caroline Cormier
Class size 30-40
Classroom setting Access to YouTube
Resources used View More
Level College
Institution Dawson
Discipline Languages (Contemporary American Fiction)
Instructor Jeff Gandel
Class size 30-40
Classroom setting Computers / Internet access
Resources used View More

Why use it?

The benefit of a Portfolio is it can provide a collection of student work over time. This provides the opportunity for students and teachers to better assess progress and demonstrate achievements by containing in progress and finished work. It can be an effect way for students to monitor and appreciate their own progress over the course of their studies. A portfolio used for assessment puts students in the position to reflect and self-evaluate their work.

It is important for teachers to define the purpose of the portfolio to students.  Parameters on what is acceptable work needs to be made clear. If not student contributions to their portfolios will not be the best reflection of their work. Some students may feel uncomfortable sharing work this way.

Ready to try it out?

Helpful resources

References

Babcock, R. L., & Francis, R. W. (2018). Prior Learning Credit Via Portfolio: A Case Study of Central Michigan University’s Prior Learning Assessment Program. PLA Inside Out: An International Journal on Theory, Research and Practice in Prior Learning Assessment, (6)..

Chang, C. C. (2001). A study on the evaluation and effectiveness analysis of web‐based learning portfolio (WBLP). British Journal of Educational Technology, 32(4), 435-458.

Cevik, A. A., Shaban, S., El Zubeir, M., & Abu-Zidan, F. M. (2018). The role of emergency medicine clerkship e-Portfolio to monitor the learning experience of students in different settings: a prospective cohort study. International journal of emergency medicine, 11(1), 24.

Clarke, J. L., & Boud, D. (2018). Refocusing portfolio assessment: Curating for feedback and portrayal. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 55(4), 479-486.

Xiao, Y. A. N. G., & Hao, G. A. O. (2018). eaching Business English Course: Incorporating Portfolio Assessment-based Blended Learning and MOOC. Journal of Literature and Art Studies, 8(9), 1364-1369.

Zubizarreta, J. (2009). The Learning Portfolio: Reflective Practice for Improving Student Learning. John Wiley & Sons.

Video

An example of an excellent ePortfolio  – Mark Morton, University of Waterloo.

An Introduction to the Learning Portfolio  – McMaster University, MacPherson Institute

ePortfolio Project – Mohawk College, Ontario

How to Create a Free Professional ePortfolio Using Google Sites

Learning Portfolio Showcase  – Helen Chen Stanford University, MacPherson Institute

What is an ePortfolio? – University of Derby

Websites

ePortfolio – University of Calgary, Faculty of Social Work

Learning Portfolio Resources – University of Utah

Learning Portfolios – University of Alberta

Steps to Creating a Portfolio – University of Maryland

Teaching Portfolios – University of Saskatchewan

Why use Learning Portfolios in your Course – Loyola University Chicago

To Learn More

For more reading resources go to Articles and Books