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What is a Student Portfolio? - Ideas & Examples

What is a Student Portfolio? - Ideas & Examples
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  • 0:01 Value of Student Portfolios
  • 1:00 Innovative Portfolio Ideas
  • 3:37 Best Practice Examples…
  • 6:15 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sherri Nash

Sherri’s teaching includes middle school through college. Degrees include bachelor’s marketing education, master’s adult education and doctorate in curriculum instruction.

In this lesson, you'll discover the value of student portfolios for assessing student learning. Identify innovative ideas and best practice examples of student portfolios for elementary, middle, and high school students.

Value of Student Portfolios

A portfolio is a collection of student work that can demonstrate learning and be used as an effective assessment tool. The portfolio complexity can range from a simple collection of teacher-identified student assignments to a more complex student-driven product demonstrating learning standards with the teacher evaluating mastery of content for a grade. A portfolio can be completed as a short-term project or a comprehensive one that spans over the school year. We will discover the value of portfolios, innovative ideas, and examples of best practices to implement portfolios in elementary, middle, and high school classrooms.

Assume you are a middle school teacher exploring the use of student portfolios. You discover this valuable tool could be used as an assessment, provides experiences for students to be creative and reflect on their learning progress, and demonstrates mastery of content standards to parents, teachers, and for future college admissions and employment opportunities.

Innovative Portfolio Ideas

You decide to implement the portfolio process with your students using ideas you discover through research and by talking with other teachers. Innovative portfolio ideas focus on:

Providing assessment guidelines: The student portfolio can be effective to assess student learning if a rubric or checklist is used to objectively evaluate the portfolio. Students should have opportunities to review the rubric or checklist before starting the portfolio to understand the expectations. The rubric (checklist) needs to identify components to guide the development of the portfolio and clearly define how points are awarded for the grade.

Organizing the portfolio in a format: The portfolio can be organized with paper documents in a notebook or scrapbook, or digitally online or in flash drive files.

Reflecting on learning experiences: Students can analyze the content standards for the class and make decisions on what to include in the portfolio to demonstrate learning of these concepts. Reflection allows the student to self-evaluate the learning experience. Students can express their thoughts during learning activities in journals.

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