Have students create reflection essays for individual materials, a collection of similar materials, or the entire portfolio once it is complete. Reflection essays allow you to better assess what and how students are learning and further engage students by having them think about their own learning.
Questions to prompt reflective thinking could include:
- Why did you select this piece to include?
- How does this sample meet the assignment criteria?
- What are the strengths of this work? Weaknesses?
- How has your work changed during the term?
- From looking at my portfolio/this sample I learned…
- In what ways can you improve?
- What is a realistic goal by the end of the term?
- My portfolio indicates that I…
- How does the portfolio as a whole represent your skills and who you are?
Self-reflection also gives students the opportunity to evaluate their own growth and participate in the assessment process. This helps them to realize that self-evaluation is an important measure of learning and the need to concretely demonstrate how this learning was accomplished.
Having students self-reflect can also help you to improve or modify your teaching by understanding what students:
- Value about learning
- Believe your expectations are
- Want to know.