One type of assessment that has been popular a long time is the portfolio. A portfolio is usually a collection of student work over a period of time. There are five common steps to developing student portfolios. These steps are
- Determine the purpose of the portfolio.
- Identify evidence of skill mastery to be in the portfolio.
- Decide who will develop the portfolio.
- Pick evidence to place in portfolio
- Create portfolio rubric
1. Determine the Purpose of the Portfolio
The student needs to understand the point of the portfolio experience. This helps in creating relevance for the student as well as enhancing the authenticity of the experience. Common reasons for developing portfolios include the following…
- assessing progress
- assigning grade
- communicating with parents
2. Identify Evidence of Skill Mastery
The teacher and the students need to determine what skills will the portfolio provide evidence for. Common skills that portfolios provide evidence for are the following
- Complex thinking processes-The use of information such as essays
- Products-Development of drawings, graphs, songs,
- Social skills-Evidence of group work
3. Who will Develop the Portfolio
This step has to do with deciding on who will set the course for the overall development of the portfolio. At times, it is the student who has complete authority to determine what to include in a portfolio. At other times, it is the student and the teacher working together. Sometimes, even parents provide input into this process.
4. Pick the Evidence for the Portfolio
The evidence provides must support the skills mention in step two. Depending on who has the power to select evidence, they still may need support in determining if the evidence they selected is appropriate. Regardless, of the requirement, the student needs a sense of ownership in the portfolio.
5. Develop Portfolio Rubric
The teacher needs to develop a rubric for the purpose of grading the student. The teacher needs to explain what they want to see as well as what the various degrees of quality are.
Portfolios are a useful tool for helping students in assessing their own work. Such a project helps in developing a deeper understanding of what is happening in the classroom. Teachers need to determine for themselves when portfolios are appropriate for their students.