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ERIC Number: ED370132
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Mar
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Views from the Cellar: Students' Versions of Portfolio Assessment.
Nelson, Alexis
A study at a state university examined a portfolio method of evaluation in two freshmen composition classes; in both, the portfolio was used as a pass-fail method of ensuring department-wide standards. A professor attended two different composition classes and did the work for each; in addition, eight students were interviewed from those classes three different times during the semester. Results indicated that freshmen were initially very confused about the purpose of the portfolio method. When their teacher told them that the portfolios were more an evaluation of her teaching than their writing, they took her at her word. Students then constructed a meaning for portfolios that deflected their attention from their writing, and stood in opposition to the stated goal of the portfolio program. Students were also very frustrated with the lack of actual commentary on the final portfolio evaluations. While midterm evaluations provided space for the commentator's observations, the final evaluation form did not; much to their chagrin, most students received only a single comment, such as "Congratulations." Despite such formalistic difficulties, however, many of the students found the portfolio method worthwhile finally. It developed skills of self-criticism, attention to audience, a respect for persuasive writing, and a willingness to revise writing to make it consistently strong. (TB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A