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Assess students

Types of portfolios

Type Purpose Examples of potential materials
Growth portfolios

To show change over time

  • Beginning and ending pieces of work/tests/writing drafts
  • Essays or journals on reflections of growth or goals

To track the development of a skill

  • Pieces of reflecting development of a specific skill
  • List of goals and reflections on advancement toward them
  • Essays identifying strengths and weaknesses

To gauge levels of performance

  • Drafts of the specific item or performance being tracked
  • Reflections on drafts
  • Feedback from instructors or peers

To identify strengths or weaknesses

  • Pieces of work representing identified strengths and weaknesses
  • Reflections on work samples
  • Goal lists and reflections on progress
Presentation portfolios

To present semester-end accomplishments

  • Examples of best work
  • Test scores and other important grades
  • Awards and other recognitions
  • Earlier and later works to show progress
  • Earlier and later instructor and peer feedback

To present examples of best work for employment of admissions

  • Cover letter
  • Examples of best work
  • Reflective pieces on growth and skills
  • Instructor and peer feedback
  • Descriptions of what skills and knowledge examples represent

To present discernment of most important or favorite work

  • Examples of student’s favorite work
  • Student reflections on why it is their favorite work
  • Student reflections on what was learned
  • Comments on strengths and weaknesses of work
  • Instructor and peer feedback
Evaluation   portfolios

To record student achievement for grading

  • Works on each topic/subject graded
  • Examples of work demonstrating achievement of grade level/goals
  • Tests and scores
  • Student reflections of how the samples indicate certain levels of achievement
  • Instructor and peer feedback

To record progress

  • List of goals and standards
  • Examples of work paralleling goals and standards
  • Criteria for evaluating work
  • Instructor feedback on attainment of goals and standards
  • Student analysis of progress made toward goals during the semester or year

To use as a placement test

  • Samples of current work reflecting abilities
  • Earlier work samples showing progress
  • Test scores from class or external agencies
  • Self and instructor reflections on student aptitudes
  • Other professional reflections on student aptitudes

Page last updated: Sep 21 2011
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