The portfolio will contain work that shows that learning has been achieved, progress has been made, and goals have been met. Ultimately it will be used to document achievement of outcomes. It is important to remember to date everything that goes into the portfolio! The evidence may fall into two categories: actual work by the learner and supporting evidence from external sources. Actual learner work may include first- and final-draft writing samples, a résumé, reading samples, or an audiotape of the learner reading aloud. A statement by the literacy practitioner about the effectiveness of the learner's participation in a particular discussion is an example of supporting evidence. "Records of Learning" on page 41 provides other examples of evidence which can be used in the portfolio.
It is necessary to establish what constitutes documentation and what is proof of learning. Obviously some things are much easier to document than others. It is far easier to show an ability to write than an ability to read.
K.A. Fitzpatrick reminds us that "an ability is larger than the observed performance of it" and "that any performance or demonstration of an ability is larger than the sum of the criteria applied to it. "21
In It Belongs to Me: A Guide to Portfolio Assessment in Adult Education Programs. Hanna Arlene Fingeret writes.
Portfolio assessment requires that we creatively figure out ways to reflect new literacy practices in folders and portfolios. This may be as simple as writing about them in dialog journals. Or it may include gathering evidence, such as copies of restaurant menus or copies of the title pages of books that have been read to children. Evidence of using math in daily life might include copies of receipts for purchases made according to a budget, or copies of ads that were compared to find a best buy. At first, students will need help remembering to put material in their folders, and remembering to bring materials from outside the classroom. Sometimes students can help each other find creative ways to document new literacy practices; students often get ideas about things to contribute to their own folders by examining other students' folders as part of a group activity.22
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