Student portfolios are designed to capture student learning. They can be used in many different ways and the purpose of student portfolios should be clear before beginning one with the students. Here are a few ways portfolios can be used:
- Growth portfolios: Student’s progress will be shown throughout this kind of portfolio. These portfolios will not only showcase the best work but the lesser quality work to show growth and progress.
- Project portfolio: This will show aspects of a certain project – e.g. note-taking, research etc.
- Achievement portfolio: These will showcase student’s best work.
- Competence portfolio: These will have work that shows a student’s mastery of a certain learning objective or skill.
- Celebration portfolio: These will show accomplishments and work that the students are particularly proud of.
It is encouraged to involve the students in the process of work selection and have the write a self-reflection on the pieces of work presented in the portfolio. This allows the students to own their learning process.
This is not mentioned in the book but I also wanted to mention that digital portfolios are now becoming common place as technology use is prevalent in almost all schools. This gives a much different dimension to portfolios and something that most schools should consider as it is another effective tool to showcase student learning and achievement.