Back
Potential.ly

Introduction to Learning Portfolios

Post by
AJ McCaw
Introduction to Learning Portfolios

Teachers often use portfolios to document student progress. A learning portfolio can be defined as "a collection of artifacts that represent the learning and interests of an individual". This article will help you set up a portfolio in your classroom or at home.

What is a Learning Portfolio?
A learning portfolio is a collection of artifacts that represent the learning and interests of an individual. The purpose is to provide evidence of what one has learned, especially how it relates to standards such as those found in the common core curriculum. These artifacts could include reflective writing, projects with artifacts such as drawings, paintings, photographs, sketches, essays or written reports about research activities completed on topics or subjects related to academic pursuit.

What They Are NOT
A learning portfolio is much more than a simple binder. It is designed to help one establish their learning, measure progress, and provide evidence of the evolving self.

Traits of a Good Portfolio
While everyone's needs are different, there are some general characteristics for good portfolios. A good portfolio will:
Encourage the learner to make connections between what they have learned in University and the real world outside University. The student should build upon what they have already learned by constructing something tangible that can be shared with others as an artifact.

Should I Use a Learning Portfolio?
The use of a learning portfolio is not always necessary. It should be used for those students who possess sufficient ability to complete the work specified, have done so, and want to have the work they have completed in University 'count' for something. For students who are academically successful, it may act as a way to demonstrate what they know in more depth. A portfolio might also be beneficial for those students who struggle academically.

Where Should I Put A Portfolio?
The form of the portfolio should be as individual as the student. As with all forms of documentation, a portfolio can be done on paper, on Potential.ly's Hybrid Learning System or in an electronic format such as a digital file. The decision is up to the student and depending on the type of work they are doing. The choice should be left to the student; however, in order to ensure that the most appropriate type is used, it is important to let them decide for themselves.

How Should I Use A Portfolio?
Students can use their portfolios for many purposes:

A portfolio should be used to:
a. document what they have learned
b. reflect on all of the learning experiences they have had in all areas of their education.
c. provide a learning window into someone's educational journey so that others may understand more about his or her growth, development and application of knowledge from all subject areas and levels during school time.
d. maintain a record for parents and teachers about how each individual student has progressed in all academic areas over time under the guidance of their teacher/instructor.
e. allow future employers to assess the strengths and weaknesses of newly-graduated students by viewing materials that may not be readily available to them outside of University, often without due process (e.g. transcripts)
f. serve as a record of a student's educational achievements and experiences that may be utilized by them in life-long learning.
g. allow the student to develop an understanding of themselves, their strengths, weaknesses, talents and aptitudes through reflection and reflection on themselves. This is not done by simply reflecting on one's learning; but also through using the artifacts (e.g. writings or art work) that have been produced during the course of their University career.
h. assist a student in establishing appropriate, and realistic, educational goals in their lives that they can set and achieve.
i. allow a student to take charge of his or her own learning by taking responsibility for the work they have done in University over time.
j. allow a student to make connections between what he or she has learned in University and the world outside of education.
k. improve how students organize information through reflection on their own learning, and organizing it into an appropriate format such as memo's or other written records (e.g., timelines, charts).

What are the advantages of digital portfolios?

At the heart of a digital portfolio is the ability to make meaningful connections between what someone knows and can do, and the world outside education. It is not necessary to provide a complete catalog of all academic learning a student may have done, but can instead be used as a way to demonstrate what they know in more depth. Potential.ly's folio can help students organize their own files and upload materials such as photos, podcasts or movies – the list is endless. The goal should not be to have everything that has been produced in education 'count' for something; but rather to demonstrate what one has learned in various other ways that may be difficult or impossible when trying to do so through traditional means.

Portfolios can be difficult to create and maintain; however, they can serve as a useful way for students to show what they know, as well as providing an opportunity for them to reflect on their own learning. A digital portfolio system provides the opportunity to organize a student's work in a variety of ways that may not have been possible through traditional means. It also serves as an effective way for students to provide evidence of how their learning has progressed in various subject areas over time under the guidance of their teacher/instructor.

What do you think?  Is there anything else you can think of that would help to make portfolios effective and successful? If you are interested in learning more about how Potential.ly's folio can help you improve your institutions portfolio experience,  schedule a meeting with us.  We would love to hear from you!

Tags: Digital Portfolio, Educator, ePortfolio, Potential.Ly, Student, Teachers, University, University student, University Student Portfolio, University Student Portfolios, Virtual Portfolio, potential.ly digital portfolio, educator portfolios, Education ePortfolio, Effective Digital Portfolios for Students and Educators

Image credit: “image: Freepik.com”. This cover has been designed using resources from Freepik.com

manage cookies