Portfolio Use for Learning and Assessment Aims of the session are to: • Introduce a conceptual framework that underpins how portfolios can be used for formative purposes to help students develop meta-learning and thinking skills. • Highlight the merits of using portfolios for formative purposes.
Portfolio Use for Learning and Assessment • Introduce the principles and processes involved in the implementation of portfolios for learning and assessment purposes at school level. • Provide guidelines on criteria and standards when portfolios are used for assessment purposes. • Illustrate how validity and reliability are addressed in the assessment process.
Assessment The purposeful, systematic and ongoing collection of information as evidence for use in making judgments about student learning.
What is a portfolio? … a purposeful collection of student work that tells the story of the student’s efforts, progress or achievement in (a) given area(s). This collection must include student participation in selection of portfolio content; the guidelines for selection; the criteria for judging merit; and evidence of student self-reflection. Arter and Spandel, 1992: 36
What is a portfolio? • “are sources of evidence for judgements of … achievement in a range of contexts, from classroom monitoring of student performance to high stakes summative assessment. • … contain ‘pieces of evidence.’ The more relevant the evidence, the more useful it is for inferring a student’s level of achievement in a learning area.” Forster & Masters (1996:2)
Why use portfolios? • Produces an accurate and holistic portrait of the student. • Involves students in decisions about the choice of inclusions and quality of work completed. • Allows students to exhibit difference e.g. multiple intelligences, cultural diversity For examples see: http://www.ilc.edu.hk
Process portfolios • Tell a story about the growth of the learner. • Document the processes of learning and creating: - earlier drafts, - reflections on the process, - reflection on the barriers to learning throughout the course/programme.
Product portfolios • Require students to document and reflect on the quality and range of accomplishments. • Improve the quality of teaching by integrating assessment and teaching/learning. • Facilitate the accountability of teachers and schools.
Summative Portfolios • Focus on learning outcomes (skills and knowledge). • Contain evidence that shows the range and extent of students’ skills. • Demonstrate learning outcomes rather than the process of learning.
Formative Portfolios • Formative portfolios show the processes of learning used by the student. • Assessment is formative when the focus is on the learning process. (http://www.eddept.wa.edu.au/deo/goldfields/curriculum/assessment)
Research Evidence • Formative assessment raises standards and that current practices could be improved. (Black and Wiliam, 1998) Difficulties identified: • Teachers’ tests encourage rote and superficial learning. • Questions and methods used are not discussed with other teachers in the same school. • Questions and methods are not critically reviewed in relation to what they actually assess. • Some teachers emphasise quantity and presentation rather than the quality of learning.
Research Evidence • Marks and grades given without useful advice about how to improve. • Marks collected for recording purposes not for analysing students’ learning to identify their needs. • Students perceive use of comparison for competitive purposes rather than for personal improvement. • Negative impact of assessment feedback for students with low attainments is that they believe that they lack ‘ability’ and are de-motivated thinking that they are not able to learn. (Black, Harrison, Lee, Marshall & Wiliam, 2003)
Assessment for Learning • Is embedded in a view of teaching and learning of which it is an essential part • Involves sharing learning goals with students • Aims to help students know and recognise the standards for which they are aiming (See Assessment for Learning, QCA, CD-ROM)
Assessment for Learning • Involves students in self-assessment • Provides feedback that leads to students’ recognition of their next steps and how to take them • Is underpinned by confidence that every student can improve • Involves both teacher and students in reviewing and reflecting on assessment data (The Assessment Reform Group. http://www.assessment-reform-group.org.uk.2002)
Portfolio Assessment Processes • Student selects examples of work to demonstrate learning for a particular purpose (summative or formative). • The guidelines and the criteria help the student to select work. • Student understands the standards and the learning processes involved by discussion and substantive conversation with peers and their teachers. • Students document their achievements and analyse their learning experiences, attitudes and dispositions. • Critical self-evaluation is integral and involves judging the quality of one’s performance and the learning strategies involved.
Portfolio Assessment Processes • Students need specific teaching and support to develop the cognitive processes of critical reflection and self-evaluation that help them to develop a portfolio of work. • By involving students in the assessment process and by making clear to students that self-evaluation is important for demonstrating what has been learnt, and also how this has been achieved, teachers give students an important message about what is valued in assessment. • These learning processes and associated pedagogic practices, when used to develop a portfolio of work, foster metacognitve development which promotes knowing how, when, where and why one learns
Group Task As a consequence of attending this course you have been asked to help teachers back at your school prepare for the use of portfolios for formative purposes. • What skills would these teachers need to develop? • How would you help them get started in the use of portfolios for learning?
Self-Assessments • Students need to engage with the criteria prior to self-assessment and for formative purposes. • Use of assessment language in own self-assessments. • Not a grading but a reflection on the process.
Criteria and Standards • Criteria are the “the various characteristics or dimensions on which the quality of student performance is judged” • Standards are the ”levels of excellence or quality applying along a developmental scale for each criterion”. (Maxwell, 1993:293) (See: Department of Education and Training, Schools of Isolated and Distance Education, Culture of the Dreaming, 2003)
Criteria and Standards • Examine the assessment criteria for the summative assessment.(Identify and analyse the criteria. Discuss with members of your group. Reach a consensus of understanding.) • Now that you are aware of the need for students to understand the criteria and standards to select work for their portfolios, how would you go about helping them?
Criteria and Standards • Consider criteria and standards for assessment. • Analysis of the criteria individually. • Discussion with others to integrate understanding. • Application of understanding. • Discussion, debate, clarification, affirmation and integration.
Implementing Portfolios for Assessment and Learning • Decide on the purpose of the portfolio • Determine the outcomes to be achieved and how the portfolio might be used to demonstrate them • Create the means by which teachers and students can collaborate in determining the contents of portfolios • Allow time for students to reflect and engage in self-assessment
Portfolio Building Process • Identify the areas of skills that the student is to develop • From these skill areas, develop specific learning outcomes for the student to achieve. • Identify performance indicators that establish that the student has achieved their learning outcomes and indicate the evidence that the student needs to collect. • Collect evidence that demonstrates the student has met the performance indicators. • Organise this evidence in a portfolio so assessors can easily understand how the evidence relates to each performance indicator. (http://wwweddept.wa.edu.au/deo/goldfields/curriculum/assessment)
Guidelines for Using Portfolios Include: • Suggestions for introduction and implementation of portfolio process • Framework for portfolio • Learning outcomes and suggestions of evidence suitable to address these outcomes
Guidelines for Using Portfolios • Advice regarding self-evaluation and reflective statements • Criteria to be used in the assessment of the portfolio • Grade descriptors • Exemplars that illustrate standards
Summative PurposesAdministrative considerations • time efficient • manageable • inexpensive • adequate level of reliability • consistency of approach (guidelines) • consistency of grading • consistency of standards
Summative PurposesAdministrative considerations To ensure consistency of standards need to provide teachers with: • Exemplars • Commentary to explain the grade assigned • Grade descriptors • Grading instructions
Ensuring Reliability • Documented, field tested scoring guides • Specified criteria • Annotated examples of all score points • Ample practice and feedback for raters • Multiple raters with agreement prior to scoring
Ensuring Reliability • Periodic reliability checks throughout • Retraining if necessary • Arrangements for the collection of suitable reliability data Forster & Masters (1996:43)
Problems and Pitfalls The threats to validity are: • Construct under-representation ie omission of important given criteria when assessing the portfolio of work • Construct irrelevant variance ie use of irrelevant or idiosyncratic criteria not intended or included in the assessment guidelines
References • Arter, J. A, & Spandel, V. (1992) ‘Using Portfolios of Student Work in Instruction and Assessment’, EducationalMeasurement: Issues and Practice, Spring, pp. 36-44. • Forster, M. & Masters, G. (1996) Portfolios, Victoria: Australian Council for Educational Research.
References • Klenowski, V. (2002) Developing Portfolios for Learning and Assessment: Processes and Principles, London: RoutledgeFalmer.