Long-term Task Formats and Examples
Product Performance Extended Constructed Response
Curriculum Unit Portfolio Assessment
Contents of a portfolio
Planning and designing a portfolio assessment
Format and parameters of a portfolio
Generalizability of results
Use of portfolio scoring tools
Portfolio assessment is the evaluation of a systematically collected body of work used to demonstrate growth and learning. While employed by a few states and school systems for accountability purposes, portfolio assessment is most familiar as a classroom assessment tool. A well-designed portfolio assessment can provide rich information about a student's background and learning contexts (where the student started), process (how learning has progressed), and ability to apply and extend learning.
The contents of a portfolio vary depending on its assessment purpose. There are two general purposes for creating a portfolio assessment:
- Formative portfolio assessment is used to illustrate learning in progress. It is often considered an “autobiography of the learner.”
- Summative assessment illustrates cumulative learning at a set point in an instructional program or sequence. It provides a longitudinal demonstration of the thinking behind, and application of, learned skills and understandings.
The following portfolio assessment tasks offer educators latitude in terms of the focus of the portfolio (e.g., an instructional unit, a project, or work done over a period of time during a course), and the way the task is presented to students.
Examples of portfolio assessments
Dance (PDF: 148k)
Music (PDF: 120k)
Theatre (PDF: 112k)
Visual Arts (PDF: 228k)
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