According to the Office of Research Consumer Guide, portfolios are “a collection of student work representing a selection of performance.” While artists have kept them for hundreds of years, portfolios emerged in modern education (PDF) from college writing courses in the 1980s. Electronic portfolios are online versions of this tool.
If done well, portfolios can aid students in metacognition (PDF), reflection, and ownership of learning (PDF). If done poorly, students and teachers may feel like portfolios are a waste of time. While some see portfolios as excellent qualitative measures instead of standardized tests, we know that the subjective nature of portfolio assessment can make it an unreliable comparison between schools.
You’ll face 11 essential decisions in your pursuit of portfolio excellence.