ERIC Number: ED400462
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Oct
Assessing Adult Learning Using Portfolios.
Fenwick, Tara J.
A portfolio is a folder assembled by the learner, containing samples of the learner's work collected over a period of time. The kinds of items reflect the nature of the course content. Each individual who decides to use a portfolio approach must develop unique expectations, guidelines for content, and assessment criteria suitable for the purpose of the course and the objective of student involvement in the portfolio activity. A suggested series of steps when beginning to use the portfolio is as follows: (1) decide what is to be collected, by whom, and when; (2) spend time introducing portfolios to learners; (3) hold periodic conferences with learners; (4) grade portfolios holistically; and (5) spend time responding to learners. Benefits of using portfolios include the following: portfolios show learner growth over time; they involve learners directly in their own learning and evaluation; they show the process of learning, not just the outcomes; they build learner confidence; they are holistic measures of learning; they are a learning experience in themselves; they are useful for learners seeking employment; they are useful indicators of gaps in the program; and they are an effective means of faculty development. Potential concerns are as follows: the uncertainty of their validity, learner choice of a work sample not being representative of the predetermined outcomes, additional time required of instructor for evaluation, ambiguous process of evaluation method, and student skepticism. (Appendixes contain a sample format for holistic grading of a portfolio and 10 references.) (YLB)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Atlantic Teaching Showcase Conference (Pointe de l'Eglise, Nova Scotia, Canada, October 1996).