Portfolios: From a Pile of Papers to a Meaningful Collection for Student Assessment

Tamara L. Hillmer, Kerry P. Holmes


This article describes the types of portfolios teachers can use in their classroom along with
teacher-tested advice for ways to implement portfolio assessment. Portfolio assessment provides
teachers and students with a documented chronology of the learning that is taking place. By
periodically reviewing their portfolios, students become enlightened about their progress and
empowered when they can see for themselves the progression of their learning. This knowledge
enables students, with the guidance of their teacher, to set and work toward future learning goals.
We have included relevant research that supports portfolio assessment along with comments
from our students. These comments dramatically document the power portfolios have to
enlighten and motivate students to learn.

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