ERIC Number: ED436002
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-May
Improving Student Assessment through the Implementation of Portfolios in Language Arts.
Gagliano, Kathy; Swiatek, Laura
This report describes a program that was implemented to improve student assessment through the use of portfolios. The targeted population consisted of a first and third grade classroom in a suburb of a large Midwestern metropolitan area. The problems related to assessment were documented by state mandated test scores, teacher determined grades, teacher observations, student and parent surveys, and anecdotal records. Analysis of the probable cause data revealed that tests scores do not provide a clear picture of student growth and development. Evidence of this problem is low test scores, poor quality work, a discrepancy between performance on tests and student ability, and parental difficulty in understanding test scores. These factors, particularly the discrepancy between state-mandated test scores and teacher-determined grades in language arts, caused difficulty in clearly seeing and interpreting growth and development in student performance. A review of solution strategies suggested by credible sources combined with analysis of the problem setting resulted in a determination to use portfolio assessment in language arts as an intervention strategy. The intervention strategy included student-maintained portfolios, student and parent conferencing with teachers, and the use of a variety of authentic assessments. Post intervention data indicated that the use of portfolios provides students with a sense of ownership in their own learning and provides both parents and students with a more complete picture of student growth and development over time. Portfolios can be used to complement rather than substitute for testing and provide a more complete picture of student achievement and progress. They also provide teachers with a more complete picture of the successes of their teaching and areas where improvement is needed. (Contains 10 figures of data and 23 references. Appendixes contain data, survey instruments, and self-evaluation forms.) (Author/RS)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Master's Action Research Project, Saint Xavier University and IRI/Skylight.