Portfolios: A New- and Better- Way to Assess Writing and Other Learning

  • Richard L. Larson Lehman College of CUNY
Keywords: Assessment, Portfolios


A "portfolio," as used in this article, is a collection of writings by a single authorwritings of the same or different kinds gathered over a period of time, or from roughly the same time. This essay argues that for purposes of assessment portfolios are superior to multiplechoice tests and to time-limited essay tests. The essay also discusses the possible contents for a portfolio (which can include evaluative comments by the student on his/her own work); ways of gathering a portfolio; ways of reading portfolios; and precautions that faculty need to observe before using portfolios for assessment.