Portfolio Assessment as Pedagogy: Transforming Learners Across the College

Dr. Janice K. Ewing,
Randy Hanson
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Assessment is an integral component of good teaching and learning. Portfolios, in particular, provide students with the opportunity to reflect on their learning while allowing the institution to assess student success in achieving learning outcomes. The impetus for implementing portfolio assessment at our institution was a revamping of our liberal education program; it was developed through an innovative across the college process involving faculty, staff, and students. Emphasizing both reflection and assessment, the student learning portfolio parallels the processes used at our college for faculty, program and institutional self-assessment and evaluation. The decentralized nature of the portfolio, with reflective elements embedded in the curriculum and a shared responsibility among departments at various points in the portfolio process supports the need for diverse assessment across a variety of majors at an institution with both traditional Liberal Arts and Sciences and pre-professional programs. Designed to connect and deepen the learning experiences students have across four years of college, through liberal education courses, majors, and co-curricular experiences, the portfolio encourages and helps students to become more reflective agents of their own learning while providing their professors and the institution with a powerful tool for assessing the effectiveness of academic and co-curricular programs and teaching.

Keywords: Portfolio Assessment, Liberal Arts College
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Dr. Janice K. Ewing

Associate Professor and Department Chair, Social Sciences and Education, Colby-Sawyer College

Since 1995 I have been a faculty member in the Department of Social Sciences and Education at Colby-Sawyer College. As an Associate Professor, Chair of the Social Sciences and Education Department, and Coordinator of the Teacher Preparation Program I have had an active role in curriculum development as well as the across the college portfolio development. Besides classes in child development, including courses in early childhood education, and psychology I have been actively involved in teaching courses in the college's new Liberal Education program. Prior to arriving at Colby-Sawyer College I was a faculty member in the Education Department at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and an instructor at the University of South Carolina where I obtained my Ph.D. My research interests include children's understanding of mathematical knowledge, language development and of course portfolio assessment. I received my M.A. from Washington State University in Speech Pathology and a B.A. in Sociology from the University of British Columbia.

Randy Hanson

Associate Professor and Liberal Education Coordinator, Social Sciences and Education, Colby-Sawyer College

Ref: L05P0323