Assessment Models - Portfolio

Portfolio Questions

1) What is a Portfolio?
Portfolios are collections of student work representing a selection of performance. Portfolios in classrooms today are derived from the visual and performing arts tradition in which they serve to showcase artists' accomplishments and personally favored works.

2) What is a Portfolio’s objective?
Portfolios are useful as a support to the new instructional objectives that emphasize the student's role in constructing understanding and the teacher's role in promoting understanding.

3) What does a good Portfolio accomplish?
A portfolio accomplishes the documentation of student achievement by containing a student's best pieces and the student's evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the pieces.

4) What is a good Portfolio design?
The design of a good portfolio is to document student achievement of standards such as creativity. For example, it may also contain one or more works-in-progress that illustrate the creation of a product, such as an essay, a scene study, or a new ending of a play evolving through various stages of conception, drafting, and revision.

5) Does every student have to do a Portfolio?
Yes. A Portfolio should be used with every student, as every student expects to demonstrate their achievement.  Instead of a standardized answer, Portfolios give each student a unique way to demonstrate achievement of standards. The rigor and accountability for achieving learning is controlled by the quality of content that is assessed on the rubrics for each academic product.

6) What is a valid and reliable Portfolio?
Validity is established when the assessment instrument measures what it is supposed to measure, e.g., content, skills, knowledge. Reliability is when the assessment instrument measures the content, skills, and knowledge accurately across students, classes, schools, etc.

7) What type of results do you get with Portfolios?
Portfolios answer questions about documenting evidence of student learning progress over time. Portfolios can provide a structure for involving students in developing and understanding criteria for good efforts. For example, one of the best results are rubrics or scoring criteria that are developed by students, mediated by teachers, and reflect the creation of their own high standards for their work. Another good result is to help students understand that the process of developing good work is supported by a series of steps. For example, the multiple revisions of their plays show the step-by-step process for improvement and achievement of standards.

8) What is a good Portfolio report?
A short, concise document that both reveals and shows the most important results. For example, out of 12 students, “all achieved credible endings to their re-writes of the ending of King Lear. This can be seen in the work collected in their portfolios. Each portfolio shows student progress toward achieving the standards set for playwriting in our residencies, and every student achieved or exceeded the standards.”

Below is an outline of the elements needed to create a playwriting portfolio assessment:

Elements of a Playwriting Portfolio

  • Statement of Intent
    Initial and Revised
  • Pre-writing Materials
    Character Profiles for each character in play
    -->Initial and revised
    Setting Analysis
  • Drafts of the play (two to three drafts)
  • Reflective Responses (at least three)
    1. response to pre-writing phase
    2. response to feedback early draft
    3. response to final product
  • Journaling
    One journal entry for each week of residency

“Research shows that students at all levels see assessment as something that is done to them on their class work by someone else. Portfolios can provide structure for involving students in developing and understanding criteria for good efforts, in coming to see the criteria as their own, and in applying the criteria to their own and other students' work. Research also shows that students benefit from an awareness of the processes and strategies involved in writing, solving a problem, researching a topic, analyzing information, or describing their own observations. Portfolios can serve as a vehicle for enhancing student awareness of these strategies for thinking about and producing work--both inside and beyond the classroom.” (US Department of Education, 1993).

“Portfolios are valued as an assessment tool because, as representations of classroom-based performance, they can be fully integrated into the curriculum. And unlike separate tests, they supplement rather than take time away from instruction.” (US Department of Education, 1993).

Definitions of portfolios and their advantages were adapted from: US Department of Education. (1993). Student Portfolios: Classroom Uses. This Consumer Guide (No. 8) is produced by the Office of Research, Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI) of the U.S. Department of Education.

Playwriting Scoring Guide (MS Word)

Interdisciplinary Template: State Standards (MS Word)

Interdisciplinary Template: National Standards (MS Word)

Interdisciplinary Template: Generic (MS Word)

Portfolio examples were collected from the theatre below over the course of the last two years, and helped influence the creation of the models above. The actual models were created by the TEAM Working Group.
Walden Theatre

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