Digital Portfolios: A Vehicle for Authentic Assessment

Decorative: A suitcase on which is written "Portfolio," "Reflections," "Artifacts," etc as though they were travel stickers showing places visited


A. "7 Important Questions Before Implementing Digital Portfolios" (post) poses core questions to help instructors "truly embrace the power that a digital portfolio can bring into our [classes] ... [and] go beyond a collection that only represents one year of learning, but can show the progression over time."

  • Considering eportfolios in the context of authentic assessment, the post invites instructors to consider broader issues surrounding the use of eportolios.
  • "[R]ethinking the empowering possibilities that a digital portfolio can truly provide for learning in and out of school ... [t]his is more than just thinking about 'what software we should use,' but envisioning the potential of what this process can bring to our students and ourselves."

B. Questions to Consider 

1. "Is this a learning portfolio, showcase portfolio, or a combination of both?"

  • "Does this show the student’s progression over time (learning), or just the best stuff (showcase)?"  

2. "Who owns the learning?"

  • "Is this a portfolio that only shows 'school' work, or does the student have the opportunity to display what they are passionate about?"

3. "How will it be exported after the process?"

  • "[I]f there is no plan to ensure that students have the opportunity to put all of this learning into their own space, eventually, you are missing another opportunity that digital provides."

4. "How will you make the audience eventually go global?"

  • "[I]f the portfolio is only available upon request, we are taking a very 'paper' mentality to a 'digital' platform."
  • "[A] progression plan to share it with the world should be there."

5. "What brings people to the portfolio?"

  • "Is there any mechanism that brings people to the portfolio other than telling people to come?"
  • "Is the space more likely to be seen and more valuable to the learning if it goes out to an audience, other than people coming to the portfolio?"

6. "What impact will this have on the learner’s digital footprint?"

  • "Does the portfolio help ... when every student we work with now will be googled for jobs, university, or a myriad of other things."

7. "What about next year and other classes?"

  • "What professional learning is in place ... to support a connection of learning over time for the students?"
  • "What will the students work look like over time, and how will they be able to google or search for their learning?"
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