The Portfolio as a Teaching and Evaluation Tool.Report as inadecuate

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Portfolios have been employed for years as evidence of many abilities (e.g., one's best drawings, one's teaching ability). The portfolio allows the individual the opportunity to demonstrate not only his/her best work, but improvement in his/her work. The chair of the Psychology Department at Shenandoah College initiated a portfolio program as a means of: (1) demonstrating the department's use of a continual, internal assessment process; (2) providing department members with a measure of the appropriateness and effectiveness of course content and requirements; and (3) allowing students to identify their best efforts and leave behind a tangible record of their work for later years. The objectives of the portfolio program are presented to continuing and incoming students each fall. Students are also given checklists by which to compare their own portfolios with portfolio requirements. The first major component of the portfolio program is a 50-item, multiple-choice test taken at the beginning of the students' first semester at Shenandoah and again at the completion of the program. The second component consists of written work from every required psychology course, two pieces of non-psychology work, and an audiotape of the students' presentation of their senior thesis statement. This component illustrates the students' gradual accumulation of knowledge about psychology and its methods. Students tend to select their best work from a course, and many rewrite papers before they are placed in the portfolios. (AC)

Descriptors: Evaluation Methods, Higher Education, Portfolios (Background Materials), Program Content, Program Descriptions, Psychology, Student Evaluation, Student Records

Author: Reed, Mary Kay


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