NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1058707
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 31
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1541-5015
I Thought This Was Going to Be a Waste of Time: How Portfolio Construction Can Support Student Learning from Project-Based Experiences
Turns, Jennifer; Cuddihy, Elisabeth; Guan, Zhiwei
Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-based Learning, v4 n2 p63-93 Fall 2010
In this work, we sought to understand ways that students experienced a small-scale portfolio assignment provided to them as an opportunity reflect on their experiences in a project-based class. This work was motivated by research in various instructional contexts showing that portfolio construction results in important learning outcomes. We wanted to see if such findings would extend to project-based learning situations in engineering. In addition, our research was motivated by the need to better understand specific portfolio assignments in terms of the effort required of students, the extent and ways in which students value such assignments, and how student overall experiences differ in terms of learning, effort, and value. To address these issues, we interviewed thirteen students who had completed a portfolio assignment as a culminating activity for a project-based manufacturing class. We selected these students because their individual responses to a screening survey suggested that they had had very different experiences with the portfolio assignment. We then conducted open-ended interviews with the students in order to better understand their experiences. In this paper, we show how the themes of "epistemically different," "manageably effortful," and "ultimately valuable" can be used to understand three ways of experiencing the assignment (as a significant experience, a muted experience, and a limited experience). This work provides practical information to educators interested in supporting reflection while also contributing the scholarship on how portfolios support learning from experience.
Purdue University Press. Stewart Center Room 370, 504 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907. Tel: 800-247-6553; Fax: 419-281-6883; e-mail: pupress@purdue,edu; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: DRL- 0238392|EEC-0835836