KEY STEPS IN PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT
After the goals for instruction have been determined and criteria for success have been identified and are clearly understood by instructors and learners, then decisions about what should be included in the portfolio can be made with confidence and a real sense of purpose.
There are, however, SIX IMPORTANT STEPS that instructors can take to ensure that the items included in the portfolio represent a variety of types of indicators of learning and provide evidence of a wide range of cognitive processes, affective responses, and literacy activities.
Having this information will make it easier for learners to decide whether or not something should be included in their portfolio. If students have a clear way of knowing where they are in relation to their goal, they will also be in a better position to reflect on their past work and make decisions about what other things they may need to do and include in their portfolio to demonstrate progress towards their goal.
Students need to be aware that they don't always have to include finished pieces in their portfolios. They can include work in progress and work that shows first efforts. They can include work that shows evidence of the processes that they have gone through at different stages in a task.
They need to know that they can include best pieces, pivotal pieces, companion pieces, pieces that show their strengths as well as pieces that show their needs.
They need to know that they should include pieces that reveal their interests, and pieces that reflect how they think and feel about what they have read, or written, or learned.
They also need to know that they can include examples of their use of literacy skills outside of the classroom. Such evidence might include notes written to their child's teacher, a completed application form, or a new driver's license.
Depending on the individual student's needs and reasons for attending classes, it may also be important to include the kinds of evidence that training courses or colleges require. Evidence of this kind would include things like test scores, essays on assigned topics, and assigned projects.
This will give students something to refer to when they want to make selections.
APPENDIX G contains samples of the kinds of things that can be used to provide evidence of learning and growth.
The more models you have of the kind of evidence of development and progress that you want them to collect, the richer and more complete their portfolios will be. Have, for example, samples of student work that shows initial planning for writing, zero drafts, and editing. Have samples of tapes that let learners hear others thinking aloud during reading. Have reflective writings and drawings made in response to a reading assignment.
Instructors should model portfolio selection, reflection and use by choosing elements that reflect their own literacy development. Examples could include things they like to read and writing they have done. They could read to students drafts of their reflection on why something has been chosen. They could also model the projection of new goals based on areas that they recognize as needing new development.