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The Portfolio Assessment Method

Updated on January 26, 2019



  1. This is a purposeful collection of student works.
  2. This includes the student participation in selecting contents the criteria for selection.

Portfolio assessment

  • -this is one of the several authentic and non-traditional assessment techniques that have been used in education.

Important Features and Principles of Portfolio Assessment

It is very important that a portfolio assessment possesses essential characteristics. These characteristics are good indicators that a portfolio is conducive in assessing the student.

  • It is an assessment where students and teachers do together.
  • It represents of what the students believe related to the concept being studied.
  • It provides all the sample works of the students where it can show if the students really learn and grow.
  • It must provide a clear mindset and criteria of how the portfolio be assessed.

Purposes of PA

  • It relates and connects the assessment into teaching.
  • It has clear goals that must have to achieve.
  • It gives profile to the student of their ability and how they grow as a learner.
  • Serve as a tool for better assessment for variety of skills in a classroom setting.
  • It develops the awareness of the students’ own learning to their environment.
  • It makes the students be sociable and be engaged in a series of activities.
  • Provides a heterogeneous classroom setting.
  • It produces independent and active learner.
  • It motivates the student for learning and achievement.
  • It provides student-teacher conference.

Essential Elements of the Portfolio

  • Cover letter- this talks “about the author” and shows the progress as a learner written at the end but put at the beginning. This is where you see the profile of the author and how they tackle and how they go on to this process in making portfolio.
  • Table of contents- it shows the chronological contents or entries of the portfolio with numbered pages.
  • Entries- this involves all the contents and/or related topics to the subjects and also those topics in which the students want to include.
  • Dates of all entries- as a learner because it facilitates you and gives you substantial proof about your growth over time.
  • Drafts of aural/oral and written products and revised of versions- this is important to include because it shows how you take such effort and time to document and search information about the subject.
  • Reflection- this is may be formative and/or summative purposes. This includes all the learning gathered and being realized. It shows all your thoughts, ideas, and opinions about the subject. Also reflection, can appear in different stages especially in lower level they may express their thoughts through their mother tongue if they find it difficult to express in English.

Student assessment via
Student assessment via | Source

These are some examples what students choose to reflect:

  • What did I learn from this?
  • What did I do well?
  • What do I have to improve?
  • How I rate my performance?
  • What were the problem areas?

Stages in Implementing Portfolio Assessment

  • Stage 1

You must identify first your teaching goals in assessing the students through the portfolio. You must have a clear goal in which you’re trying to keep and achieve in teaching. And those goals will serve as your guide on how you assess your students' work.

  • Stage 2

You have to introduce the idea of portfolio assessment to your class. Though some of the students had already ideas about portfolio you may still explain it to them by stating what the word “portfolio” means.

  • Stage 3

You have to specify on what is the content of the portfolio. You have to explain what those topics are and information they have to include related to the subject. You have also to specify for each entry how it will be assessed.

  • Stage 4

Give clear and detailed guidelines for portfolio presentation. These guidelines will serve as limitations to the students in presenting evidence. Always remember that there’s a tendency that the student can present evidences as many as they can, especially when left on their own. Therefore, setting goals can avoid those situations.

  • Stage 5

You have to inform the key school officials, parents and other stakeholders. As an assessor, you have to consider the other factor of using this method. You have to notify your department, dean or principal because it will serve a precaution in case the students complain about your assessment method.

  • Stage 6

This is the development of the portfolio. This is where the students do their tasks, gather information and search substantial information about the subject. Also, students and teachers must have supports to each other as they go on to the development of the portfolio.

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Types of Portfolio

Portfolio differs from each depending to purposes and objectives. These types are:

  • Documentation portfolio- this is commonly called as “growth portfolio” in the literature because it includes all the works of the students over time showing their growth and improvement. Also, it includes the best and weakest work of the student.
  • Process of portfolio- in contrast to first type it includes all the facets and phases of the learning process. It shows the number of reflective, journal, and then logs and other meta-cognitive processing. This is where you see the mastery of the subject of the students.
  • Showcase portfolio- from the word itself, it includes only those best works of the students through the combination of students and teachers' selection. It does not only include the text information, it also has pictures and audio-visual artifacts that supports and completed the students’ work.

Portfolio Assessment
Portfolio Assessment | Source

How to assess and evaluate the portfolio

According to Paulson and Meyer, “portfolio” is a way of assessing the students’ learning that is very different from the traditional assessment. This provides an opportunity to both students and teachers to a broader dialogue to develop creative solutions about the problem through making judgment about their performance.

How to rate the portfolio

  1. Thoughtfulness- this shows the comprehension, meta-cognitive reflection, and productive habits of mind.
  2. Growth and development in relationships to key curriculum expectancies and indicators. This shows if the work of students really jives to the subjects and to what was really want to be achieved.
  3. Understanding and application of key processes- this is the reflection of the students and how they internalize the portfolio processes.
  4. Completeness, correctness, and appropriateness of products and processes presented in the portfolio- it said that the portfolio must have its complete elements for it may be useful and valid.
  5. Diversity of entries- this includes on how the students present information and how they support their output example by using multiple formats to demonstrate achievement.


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