For some disciplines or classes, tests or papers do not adequately provide the means for assessing student achievement of learning outcomes. Some thought processes, both in creative endeavors (such as studio art) and in rigorous analytic work (such as a laboratory science), cannot easily be captured by a final product. Teachers often want to be able to assess the progression and development of students’ thought processes over time. Portfolios can be a useful tool for doing this.
Students generally upload their work, including reflections on their learning, into electronic portfolios. Portfolios can include a wide variety of student work including written papers, reflections, journals, art assignments, videos, etc. There are generally two types of portfolios: process and product portfolios. Process portfolios demonstrate the growth over time, such as several rough drafts of a paper leading to a completed paper or the series of assignments completed during a course. Product portfolios are designed to showcase the best work of students.
Faculty can assess portfolios with a rubric. Students can include assessments of their work in their portfolio, which can serve both as a learning tool and an additional form of assessment.
Electronic portfolios are available at UVA, either through Collab or in specific schools that have contracted for e-portfolio support. For the College of Arts and Sciences, contact the Learning Design and Technology office.