and Portfolio Assessment
Bal Chandra Luitel
University of Technology
notion of assessment has been changing because of the emerging context of
outcome-based education. In order to attain an outcome, students
are required to learn multiple skills and knowledge, and develop understanding
of learning through the integrated approach of instruction and assessment. This
implies the fact that traditional assessment system such as the use of
examination and summative tests no longer serves the purpose of assessment in
the context of outcome based education
In addition, the “exit outcomes” are not simply a list of content
matter but are the integration of what, why and how
mathematics. Simply speaking, in order to assess the attainment of an outcome
and measure the passage of time using non-standard units,
it is better to adopt multiple methods such as observation, investigative
activities, journal writing
that can better
authenticate the attainment of the outcome rather than by the traditional
paper-pencil test. We should also note that the significant change to the
traditional add-on notion of assessment by the notion of integration
between instruction and assessment in the sense that both can go together which
apparently supports for the enhancement of learning
. Within this context,
this essay seeks to discuss the authentic assessment, concept of portfolio, use
of technology in portfolio, items for portfolios, selection of contents,
instructional use of portfolio, and issues in portfolio assessment.
critics of objective and structured types of assessment have pointed out a major
weakness of such assessments of not being capable of portraying the overall
performance of a learner and being rather helpful in investigating and probing
understanding of mathematics learning. Authentic assessment is a process of
involving multiple forms of performance measurement reflecting student learning,
achievement, motivation, and attitudes
. The term
authentic assessment is also coined to denote the notion of alternative
practices, which are different from the traditional summative examinations, are
appropriate in the contexts of outcome-based education for realistic and
learner-centred instructional decision
the term is used in education to enhance the practice of realistic student
involvement in assessment of their own achievements
by which they
can develop a positive attitude towards mathematics learning. Commonly speaking,
the traditional notion of assessment cannot assess the student learning process
realistically because it views the assessment as the notion of
. On the
contrary, the concept of authentic assessment regards the process of assessment
as a series of interactive situations between the learner and
Comparing with the traditional standardized testing, the authentic
assessment is different in many respects. For instance, it requires students to
perform of what they have understood rather than to memorize; it presents the
students with full array of tasks rather than writing one line answer; it is a
process-oriented rather than guessing and selecting the correct answer; it
probes the reliability and validity by devising a criteria varied to situation
and the purpose of the assessment rather than trying to establish an objective
framework; and authentic assessment comprises of ill-structured tasks from which
students are helped rehearse for complex tasks as were in the real life rather
than drilling and so called practicing in artificial situation
. In the
context of mathematics education, the vital role of authentic assessment has
been realized when the issue of conceptual understanding had started to draw the
attention of educators and teachers
conceptual understanding can better be probed by authentic and informal approach
of assessment rather than by the traditional ones.
The shifting paradigm of mathematics education from classical content that focuses more structural and out-of-context content to more contextual and real life mathematics, has led a change to instructional approaches and assessment practices (Pandey, 1990) . In mathematics, the authentic assessment is best described as to depict the learner’s performance through the natural settings where they learn, perform the task, grapple with the situation, investigate mathematical relations, perform the investigative task, and search the evidence for existence of mathematical concepts in real life or pseudo-real life situation (Pandey, 1990) . For instance, when the learners are assessed on the basis of their classroom activities – group work, investigative task, reflective writing, informal testing, and the like – it gives a clearer picture of student performance and learning process than that of the traditional assessment.
continuous assessment approach is more authentic than the after-lesson-testing
approach. Similarly, the assessment, which incorporates student
participation in contextual problem solving, is more authentic rather the
teacher-oriented summative test. For instance, it will be a more realistic task
for student assessment if we ask the learner to identify the possible geometric
shapes through observing various shapes on the pavement of their school. In the same line, if we
assess them constantly through various methods and prepare a database regarding
their progress, this will portray a more authentic assessment than does a mere
we encounter with the confrontation of what we have to assess in mathematics.
From the classical notion of assessment, mathematical expressions, logical
structure, and mathematical representations are important to assess. However,
the recent focus is on the assessment of multiple aspects of mathematical
concepts including thinking and reasoning, setting, mathematical tools, and
attitudes and dispositions
Wilson, 1994; Pandey, 1990)
the examinations cannot assess the aspect of mathematical disposition as do journal
writing, reflection of own task, and investigative activities.
Furthermore, when we see the student reflection, it helps to draw comprehensive inferences of what students think of their task, learning process,
and the mathematics. In the recent research, reflection of their task is
found to be very powerful tool in developing understanding of mathematics
notion of authentic assessment has been predominantly coming into the forefront
of the process of reform in education. A number of successful projects and
programmes have been introducing the authentic assessment practice in school
education. The [state] education departments of Canada have been carrying out
different projects on authentic assessment in order to improve instructional
& Bachor, 1998)
. For instance,
Manitoba Education Training and Youth (2001) has expressed the notion of
meaningful and authentic assessment as:
“The purpose of meaningful assessment is to inform instruction by providing information about student learning. This information can then be used to provide direction for planning further
instruction. Assessment should occur in authentic contexts that allow students to demonstrate learning by performing meaningful
discussion suffices to say that the term authentic assessment focuses on more
realistic and contextualised assessment that takes into account of learning
process, settings, subject matter and the learner. In mathematics education, it
has clearly been differentiated from the traditional notion of assessment from
three perspectives: From the perspective of time, it depicts a continuous and
ongoing nature of assessment; from the perspective of method, authentic
assessment seeks to use multiple methods; and from the perspective of
orientation, it is more student-oriented and focuses on student participation in
is a variety of ways exist for authentic assessment of student learning and
learning process: open ended questions, observations, interviews, pre- and
post-assessments, peer- and self-assessments, journal, portfolios, annotated
classlists, practical test in mathematics, student-constructed test items,
student investigative project, solutions to challenging problems in mathematics
Jasper, 1994; Schulman, 1996)
. Among the
above-mentioned types of assessment, portfolio has been extensively used since
the late eighties
. The portfolio
helps access the multiple sources of evidence regarding the student learning and
learning process. Furthermore, it can help enhance mathematics learning through
the strategy of reflection upon, and self-assessment of the task. In this
connection, the rest part of this discourse concentrates to portfolio
literary meaning of the term “portfolio” is a collection of the past work.
However, in the context of assessment, portfolio does not represent only a mere
collection of the past work. The Northwest Evaluation Association urges that the
portfolio is a purposeful collection of student work that tells the story of the
student’s efforts, progress or achievement in given areas
& Spandel, 1992)
According to Simon and Forgette-Giroux(2000), the portfolio is a cumulative and
ongoing collection of entries that are selected following a given framework, and
reflected upon by the student, to assess his/her development of a specific but
complex competency. Similarly, portfolio is also known as a record of the
child’s process of learning that portrays the learner’s style of thinking,
questioning, analysis, production, creation, and the like
In other words, portfolio can be a better representation of the learner’s
learning process rather than the summative examination. Commonly speaking, the
portfolio can be viewed as a systematic and organized collection of evidence
used by the teacher and student to monitor the growth of student’s knowledge,
skills, and attitudes in a specific content area
Diego County Office of Education, 2002)
The curriculum documents have suggested that the portfolio is an indispensable
tool of authentic assessment. For instance, Education Department of Western
Australia (2002) urges that the portfolio is collections of student work that
connect separate items to form clearer and fuller pictures of each student as a
learner whereas the Government of Alberta (2002) has mentioned it as a main
assessment approach of mathematics learning
instance see, Education Department of Western Australia, 2002a; Government of
These examples help probe the viability of portfolio in our day-to-day teaching
even from pre-primary to tertiary education.
the portfolio assessment espouses the notion of learning as constructing and
sharing that underlines an active involvement of learners to construct their
In the early grades, students are required to perform the assigned task as
expected by the curriculum frameworks (for example, reading, writing, and other
creative endeavours), which can be developed as a portfolio. In the secondary
level, the portfolios are subject and content base. In mathematics, students can
be assigned project work, journal writing, problem solving and other innovative
enterprises, are generally included in the portfolio. In higher education, the
portfolio has been extensively used in the field of teacher education in which
portfolio has a vital role in developing an in-service or a pre-service trainee
teacher into a trained one
& Garman, n. d.)
Specifically the use of portfolio in teacher training is carried out to monitor
the overall performance that he/she developed during the course of training. The
author, himself, when involved in an in-service primary teacher training program
in Nepal, had observed that it used to be a coherent approach to document the
change in teachers’ overall performance through the teachers individual record
[portfolio] – they comprised of lesson plans, assessment rubrics, classroom
observation and other creative endeavours of teachers.
are various ways of preparing portfolios depending upon the purpose and other
overt and covert reasons. However, the four general steps – collection,
selection, reflection and connection
Education Network Inc., 2002)
to be common to all portfolio development process. In the first step,
students are required to collect their tasks, which meet the criteria. The
selection process is based on the type of portfolio, which is stipulated to
construct. Commonly speaking, students select their collected tasks that are
appropriate for their portfolio. The level of students is also significant
factor affecting the process of selection—in the lower classes students may
need frequent help of the teacher while the upper graders may accomplish
independently. The most important process of portfolio construction is
self-reflection upon the task. Because of this characteristic, the portfolio has
become capable of addressing the metacognitive aspect of learning, which is a
perceived weakness of the traditional assessment. Generally, the reflection is
carried out by writing, however it can also be accomplished verbally.
Specifically, reflection is a strong approach of self-assessment and
enhancement of the learning process. The notion of connection is the consequence
of reflection. In addition, students have to establish a connection between the
schoolwork and the value of what they are learning
Education Network Inc., 2002)
. Moreover, the
process of establishing connection has a significant role in developing
understanding of mathematics learning, which is concerned with the connection
across the curriculum. Similarly, the connection metaphor also focuses on how
the portfolio is connected with the world outside the classroom.
the perspective of content framework, there are five content dimensions in a
portfolio: cognitive, affective, behavioural, metacognitive and developmental
. The cognitive
dimension’s emphasis is rich in the application of acquired competency
. The affective
dimension is related to pre-disposition in relation to the application of the
competency whereas behavioural dimension focuses on evidence-based performance
Self-reflection and self-regulation are the characteristics of
metacognitive dimension, which is followed by the developmental dimension that
comprises of documentation of the progress of learner over time
are many genres of portfolios that can be useful for sharing purposes of both
instruction and assessment. Generally, portfolios fall into three main
categories: working, showcase and record-keeping. The working portfolio, which
is also known as process and teacher-student portfolio, generally includes the
sample of learner’s task that shows his/her progress over a certain period. It
also depicts the story of student growth in performance.
For instance, in a process of writing portfolio task, the learner can
include the earlier draft, improved and final version of his/her task. Moreover,
this type of portfolio also includes the self-reflection upon, and
self-assessment of, the accomplished task that helps assess how the learner has
progressed over time, and estimate the limitation of his/her learning as well as
the constraints that shape his/her learning process.
product or showcase portfolio
Education Network Inc., 2002; Koca & Lee, 1998)
collection of such tasks that the learner considers his/her best among the
accomplished and representative ones. Despite
its limitation in incorporating developmental tasks, it helps motivate the
learner to demonstrate outstanding performance. Generally, student-led
exhibitions have many elements of product-oriented portfolios. Even students can
publish magazines and books and develop projects and other educational materials
which all serve the purpose of product-oriented portfolios.
& Lee, 1998)
is also called teacher alternative portfolio, which includes all the items that
are scored, ranked, graded or evaluated. To some extent, this portfolio is
similar to product-oriented portfolio, which is prepared by the teacher for each
student. This portfolio takes some task of the product oriented and
has a pervasive role in enhancing instructional system. Furthermore,
technological advancement has been increasing the viability of using
sophisticated ideas in instructional practices. In the field of assessment,
technology has a vital role to make it quick, comprehensible and easy to access
at all time. As we know, the portfolio portrays a richer picture of student
performance, the technological portfolio helps make the portfolio realistic by
using multimedia technology
According to Barrett (1997), electronic portfolios are easy to mange, easily
distributable, replayable and reviewable, easy to compare by means of hyperlink
between the portfolio items and the learning outcome, and safer than the
construction of electronic portfolio requires a plan regarding the possible
portfolio entries and available media
For instance, floppy discs may not be appropriate to record audio and video
files because of the lack of sufficient memories. Zip disks and CD-ROMs are
useful in this regard. However, the text and word files are suitable to store in
floppy discs with an optimum care.
process of constructing electronic portfolio starts with defining the portfolio
context and goals which is followed by the process of developing portfolio in
the consecutive stages of working, reflective, connected and presentation
Specifically, the working portfolio is useful to portray the process of learning
while the reflective portfolio seeks to explain why the specific artifacts were
selected for the given [exit] outcome. The connected portfolio focuses on the
technological connection between the corresponding portfolio entries and
learning outcomes. The presentation portfolio deals with the process of storing
and presenting the final product. The working portfolio is better to organize
according to the sequence of learning outcomes or curriculum standards.
Furthermore, the two essential types of link – theoretical—by rubrics and
technological—by hyperlink – between the items of working portfolio and the
outcome are very essential. This implies that the artifact should be linked with
the corresponding outcome(s) as it depicts a whole picture of learning process
The reflective portfolio is nothing new but a mixed feature of working and
presentation portfolio in which reflection plays a vital role in making
portfolio meaningful, contextual and appraisable. According to the Barrett
the level of portfolio development includes development of text only file,
digitization of graphics and audio
and video artifacts, establishment of navigational link (hyperlink)of artifacts
with learning outcomes, and publication on the net as HTML file (Barrett, 2000).
electronic portfolios are the alternative of folder-based portfolio.
Unquestionably, electronically prepared portfolios are easy to use for the
purpose of both instruction and assessment.
is very essential to develop an understanding of what types of item/entries are
included in a portfolio. It seems mediation between open and closed items while
selecting them as portfolio entries. However, the emphasis of the nature of item
depends upon the purpose of the portfolio, nature of the outcome, and the level
its definition, it is clear to us that portfolio construction is a continuous
collection of the task to fulfill the pre-determined curricular objectives. It
should be noted that the stress of definitions is on three facets of portfolio
and its construction: One, the process must be a continuous; two, the task
should fulfill the pre-determined objectives; and the process must be reflected
on the task. With these notions, it becomes clear that the portfolio items
evolve from the classroom activities. Specifically the following are common to
all mathematics-portfolio entries
& Lee, 1998; Lambdin & Walker, 1994)
Writing. Specifically, writing is a main characteristic of the
portfolio. Except in some cases, writing is more useful in mathematical
portfolios. This type of entry includes journal, mathematics autobiographies,
explanations, reflections and so forth.
Investigations or discovery. This entry is very important for
assessing the learner’s understanding of mathematical concepts. Gathering
data, examining models, constructing arguments, and performing simulations are
examples of this type of entry.
Application. This entry comprises of such items that demonstrate
student understanding of concept, principle, and procedures to solve problems in
well-grounded, real world context.
Interdisciplinary. This entry’s focus is on use of mathematics
within other subject areas. For instance, modeling of growth formula for social
studies and finding the velocity of an object in science serve this type of
Nonroutine problems. This type of entry emphasizes the creative
aspect of mathematics learning. Specifically, items related to puzzles and logic
problems for which the solution or strategies are not immediately evident are
called nonroutine problems.
Projects. The focus of mathematical project – by projects we
mean a type of activity that takes a period of days or weeks and requires a
formal presentation of the material learned or investigated – is on the
development of the skill of independent learning and group work.
a list of entries is also suggested (see Table 1) to depict a wide variety of
mathematics-portfolio items. Moreover, the criteria of choosing a task for
portfolio entry are based on the curricular outcome, definability of the task,
and the purpose of the portfolio. The possible entries cited in the table
portray a wide variety of portfolio-entries. However, the viability of use of
each entry depends upon the local context and other overt and covert factors.
For instance, a remote Nepalese school cannot afford videotapes to record
student work. However, such school can encourage the student to draw a sketch of
educational materials he/she used to solve mathematical problems.
entry types for mathematics-portfolio
with the perspective of assessment as a testing process, which is carried out
under the objective criteria, and regardless the context, suspect the usefulness
of portfolio in assessment practice. It is because of the backwash of the system
from which we come along developing a notion of assessment as a matter of
testing at the end of lesson, unit, term and/or academic year. In mathematics,
the traditional test often focuses on multiple-choice, short answer and written
algorithm followed by a correct answer. Usually, the test item seeks a
convergent and objective answer. In such a situation, the criteria of assessment
are obvious; check for the correct answer, score the test, measure the
performance of individual student, and compare with the others.
the context of portfolio assessment, the traditional criteria of correct-answer
approach of assessment can rarely contribute to judging the merit for the items
included in the portfolio. Specifically, in the most cases, the portfolio
assessment incorporates qualitative criteria that require a set of comprehensive
rubrics to assess the all-round development of student through the learning
process. According to Arter and Spandel (1992), such criteria give us a schema
for thinking about student performance. Specifically, the schema is guided by
the outcomes or learning objectives. In this connection, it is worthy to cite
the case study of Mindarie primary
Education Department of Western Australia, 2002c)
in which the criteria of portfolio assessment have been determined according to
the Learning Area Outcome. Furthermore, according to the case study, portfolio
assessment has been designed to assess the process of student learning across
the outcomes. Specifically, the case study focuses those both open and closed
tasks, which are found to be useful to authenticate the student performance. The
short description and qualitative evaluation of open tasks (for example survey,
writing, drawing and other tasks) and the test result have been included in such
portfolio. Another case of portfolio assessment is taken from Ballajura
Community College which has clearly identified the purposes of portfolio
assessment from Year 7 to 12
Department of Western Australia, 2002b)
case study also labels the purpose of portfolio assessment according to the
audience. For instance, four target audiences have been identified: students,
parents, further study institutions, career advisors, and employers. The case
study also includes both closed and open tasks focusing on reflective writing.
The rubrics have been prepared according to the Learning Area Outcomes
comprising the rating scales, self-assessment, and so forth.
According to Simon and Forgette-Giroux (2000), systematic selection of the content for the portfolio gives a clearer and more authentic picture of the student progress. For instance, they suggest that the systematic collection of cognitive, affective, behavioral, metacognitive and developmental tasks helps assess the learner and the overall picture of learning process. These contents can rather be separated but be overlapped, and are eclectic in nature. The vital task is to identify the optimal content integration in a single portfolio item. Similarly, it is important to develop a set of comprehensive rubrics for judging such integrated-content dimensions according to their perceived attributes.
Portfolio contents need a proper explanation of context (Gearhart & Herman, 1995) . It does not only for the outside raters but also for all stakeholders who can also contribute to the assessment procedure. Ratability of the contents is the consequence of clearly designed rubrics and the comprehensive explanation of the purpose (Gearhart & Herman, 1995) . Written descriptions and qualitative analytical comments would be the addendum while using the rating scales. The famous Vermont Project used a portfolio rating system for grades 4 and 8 in which seven pieces of work had been rated on a four-point scale against the criteria of understanding of the task, quality of approaches, decisions along the way, outcomes of activities, use of mathematical language, use of mathematical representation and clarity of representation (New Jersey Department of Education, 1996) .
at the cases and projects which are in effect since the last one and half
decades, we can see the developmental focus of criteria for judging portfolio
that demands an active involvement of learner, teacher and stakeholders in
developing the criteria. Except in lower grades, the student of lower secondary
level and onwards can understand the learning goals in terms of defined task.
The construction of criteria itself is a learning process that can create an
awareness of what and how the learners have to learn.
Recent research has revealed that portfolio has a significant impact to the learning process (Simon & Forgette-Giroux, 2000) . A commonly agreed feature of portfolio is to provide with an opportunity to the learners to think about their own thinking (Arter & Spandel, 1992) that helps create a nexus between instruction and assessment. In addition, the metacognitive characteristic of portfolio help the learner to reflect upon the task that makes the portfolio instructional (Arter & Spandel, 1992) . In addition, the focus of self-reflection is quite useful in developing the analytical trait, which helps the learner to identify the degree of understanding about his/her own understanding. As a portfolio development process has to pass through a number of stages – selection, documentation, comparison and integration (Simon & Forgette-Giroux, 2000) – the learners have to identify the limitation of their process that helps them to improve the learning. In conclusion, self-refection helps develop the self-awareness of the status of learning and understanding of their own task, which have a great impetus to instructional process.
Alternatively, portfolio also reflects the series of communication between teacher and learner, which can be an evidence for appraising the learning process, gives a map of the impact of what happens inside the classroom to what the learner is to acquire. Needless to say, it also promotes a live communication between parents, teacher and students by means of portfolio-conferences, exhibitions and portfolio exchange (Lester & Lambdin, 1994) . Furthermore, effective student-teacher communication helps promote the instructional power that can minimize the possibility of gap between teacher and learner. There are number of intrinsic situations in portfolio construction that do not only demand an effective communication between teacher and student but also between the stakeholders (parents, testing experts, councilors, and education officers). For instance, writing reflections and journals, documenting the project report, conducting outside-the-classroom activities, and many other situations demand an active and direct communication between teacher, students and other stakeholders (Lester & Lambdin, 1994) .
The process of assessment always embeds a hidden notion of valuing (Clarke & Wilson, 1994) . For instance, learners value what the teacher prefers to assess and teachers [must] value what the curriculum framework focuses to acquire. In the nexus of curriculum framework, teacher’s priority, and student learning, portfolio is a reflection of these three major aspects of instructional process. In addition, while we develop a set of criteria for portfolio construction, – it is generally determined through teacher and student conferencing – our intent is to translate the complex performances into process, product and the both forms of learning. Consequently, the classroom are affected, constrained and facilitated through the criteria of what we intend to assess through portfolios.
Recently, in the field of mathematics education, the issue of connection (Hiebert & Carpenter, 1992) has considerably drawn the attention of teachers, researchers and teacher educators. In reality, it is not only the conceptual connection but also the pedagogical and instructional ones. Portfolio helps assess and establish the connection among the learning process, content, techniques and assessment. Most importantly, teacher stories tell us how students learn to connect mathematics with their mundane details to more thoughtful activities by the use of portfolio (see, Lambdin & Walker, 1994; Lester & Lambdin, 1994) .
Portfolios are the source of motivation of learning. By the use of portfolio learners are encouraged to enhance their learning through the continuous process of selection, reflection and enhancement. Quick and continuous feedback makes them motivated to become more creative to perform outstanding task. Comparing with the traditional summative examination, portfolio is a means of contextualising the instruction and assessment, which have a positive impact to learners.
So far we discussed the instructional use from the student viewpoint. Alternatively, except some concern of overload, teachers have been benefited from the use of portfolios in their instructional strategies. Some of them are listed as follows (see, Schipper & Rossi, 1997) in which portfolios have
improved their instruction by compelling them to be more explicit;
made them more reflective about both their students and teaching process;
enhanced their ability to carry out assessment; and
focused on more learner-centred teaching.
tasks may not be faultless because of the fallible nature of human mind. In the
context of portfolio construction, there are some issues, which need to be
discussed and take into account in portfolio construction. Sometimes, it is
because of the generality of portfolio, there may be a lack of comprehensive
criteria in selecting the items and confirming the student performance through
qualitative evaluation. Let us discuss the following issues in brief.
It is a well-known issue that the purpose of portfolio must be clear to enhance
the process of instruction and student learning. The purpose reflects the
audience of, and addressed learning outcomes by, the portfolio. Furthermore,
these two aspects help determine the type of portfolio. The product portfolio
may not serve the purpose of curriculum appraisal while the process portfolio
may not be useful for college-entrance qualification
It is essentially important to determine the accountability of teacher, students
and stakeholders in construction process (Arter & Spandel, 1992). In the classroom contexts,
teacher and students share the process of portfolio construction. However,
regarding the classroom based portfolio, clear demarcation is essential for
student accountability. Similarly, in the statewide portfolio assessment
procedure, the teacher accountability is to be defined so that the sharing role
can be concretized.
important aspect of this issue is to determine the ownership of the portfolio.
In the classroom contexts, both teacher and students create portfolios. The
teacher created portfolios fully serve the assessment purpose while the
student-owned portfolios are useful in learning process.
The important role of portfolio in instruction is widely acceptable. we have
understood that the portfolio can contribute to the development of a strong link
between instruction and assessment. This issue does not work until the decision
of what and how we value. Specifically, the criteria are the basis for the use
of portfolio in instructional settings. Furthermore, such criteria may help the
learner to target the possible task and expected performance, which is to be
reflected by the portfolio (Arter & Spandel, 1992). The potential
instructional use of portfolio is determined by the criteria that the teacher
prefers to focus in his/her instructional process.
The portfolio entry is one of the indicators to determine whether the purpose of
portfolio construction is fulfilled or not. The entry should reflect the
learning process as well as the best piece of the students. However, it is
sometimes problematic in selecting the portfolio entry because of the
confronting views of the best piece. For instance, student may favor the
problem-solving task, which leads to a definite answer rather than open-ended
task while the teacher may be in reverse position. Mediation among the teacher,
student and other stakeholders is essential regarding the selection of the
portfolio entries. This process should also include the indicators for
standardizing such entries.
There are three basic models available in portfolio construction: statewide/districtwide
Diego County Office of Education, 2002)
teacher-centered portfolio and student-centered portfolio
latter two can be labeled as the classroom/organic portfolio. The model of
portfolio determined the assessment and instructional process. In statewide
portfolio, the criteria are standardized through pilot testing, expert review,
and teacher-superintendent conferences while the criteria of classroom portfolio
are determined through teacher-student conferences. It is very important to
identify the perceived limitation of each model to make effective use in
instruction and assessment.
Apparently, without clear and explicit criteria for the assessment of the
portfolio, it gives a worse result than does traditional assessment practice.
Undoubtedly, the criteria should give a glimpse of what will be valued; who will
assess; and how the assessment is carried out. In classroom portfolios, the
criteria of selecting individual entries should be such clear that it should
address the quality of individual entries, amount of information included,
variety of the things included, quality of depth of self-reflection, growth in
performance (Arter & Spandel, 1992) and changing mathematical disposition.
Similarly, Lambdin and Walker (1994) suggest some thinking questions that serve
as the criteria for portfolio assessment, which helps assess the self-reflection
and self-assessment of the student. Furthermore, the judgment of self-reflection
can be assessed on the basis of thoughtfulness, accuracy, realistic writing in
relation to performed task, synthesis of ideas, and self-revelation (Arter &
The understanding of an exit outcome as a single criterion for judging
the portfolio may lead a shaky assessment procedure because an outcome requires
a multiple criteria to assess its attainment.
In addition, an outcome is a representation of several performances to be
learned which requires a comprehensive procedure that gathers a wide array of
information to probe the attainment of the outcome.
Selection and assessment responsibilities.
In most cases, students make
selection of portfolio entries. As
we know the portfolio is an appropriate means of creating student-centered
learning and assessment environment, the portfolio should reflect this notion of
learning and assessment. Practically, depending upon the students level and
content nature, the shared selection procedure is suitable. Automatically, the
shared notion develops a continuous interaction, which reflects an increased
communication in the classroom. Regarding the assessment procedure, a collective
assessment approach involving students, parents, councilor, testing experts and
teachers, gives a better judgment rather than carried out by a single person.
The focus of authentic assessment is to draw more reliable and realistic inference regarding the learning process and student learning. Its emphasis is on using multiple methods of assessment, which tells more about the student learning than does the traditional system. Portfolio, as it grows through the classroom activities, is a story of learning process in a particular context, authenticates the learning process and student learning focusing on both process and product. It is very essential to determine the coherent criteria that can assess the realistic performance of the learner. Seamlessly, portfolio improves the educative relationship between the teacher, students and stakeholders; and makes a worthy learning environment that helps the learner to be capable of transforming the world at large.
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