Portfolios for learning are a recognised and successful method to support a student’s personal learning through an evidence gathering process. This can have significant positive influences on future employability for students.
How do portfolios assist students?
Portfolios are beneficial for students in a number of different ways.
- reflective practices for students to think and reflect on their own learning progress
- collection and collation of past experiences and outcomes
- demonstration of achievements, awards and performance (both inside and outside academic environments)
- facilitation of the career development process
- provision of evidence for meeting criteria and professional standards.
How are portfolios used?
When using portfolios, students are asked to reflect on their learning across curricular and co-curricular experiences. They collect their past written reflections, evidence of experience and assessment across their whole course.
This enables them to develop a personal portfolio about themselves and recognise their strengths, abilities and aspirations. The process of creating personal portfolios helps students articulate and present their professional and personal identities. This self-awareness is a critical part for career development and job readiness.
La Trobe University has existing frameworks to support career development which can be integrated with a digital portfolio system (such as PebblePad). Portfolio tasks can be either integrated into existing assessment tasks or designed into authentic learning activities to be collected across the life of the course.
For a detailed examination of the purpose and benefits of portfolios, the Field Guide to ePortfolio by the Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL) explores the various ideas and concepts for portfolios.