Digital Portfolios

Purpose: Portfolios typically are created for one of the following three purposes: to show growth, to showcase current abilities, and to evaluate cumulative achievement.1 In ESM, we use portfolios for two reasons: 

1. Growth

a. to show growth or change over time

b. to help develop process skills such as self-evaluation and goal-setting

c. to identify strengths and weaknesses

d. to track the development of one more assignments/products/performances

2. Showcase

a. to showcase end-of-year/semester accomplishments

b. to prepare a sample of best work for parents and teachers to see

c. to showcase student perceptions of favorite, best or most important work

d. to communicate a student’s current aptitudes to future teachers

Students are expected to select academic artifacts (pictures, videos of assignments or actual digital assignments), insert them in their websites, and write a reflection about each on of them. When selecting an artifact, you are pressed to consider: What would I like to reread or share with my parents or a friend? What makes a particular piece of writing, an approach to a mathematics problem, or a write-up of a science or history project a good product? Do I have an artifact from before a knew the content and another one from after I knew the content?

We expect students to reflect on the activities they choose to share on their digital portfolios, not just describe the activities. Students are encouraged to consider the following questions when writing their reflections. What did I learn? What could have I done differently? Why? A reflection is personal. It is about the student, his/her growth, his/her goals, his/her ideas, doubts and accomplishments.

Check out the rubric below. It will be used to grade portfolios in our school. Since students spent most of the time working in their portfolio while in school, the grading falls under the classwork/participation category. Portfolios are graded once per semester.

For the pictures, click here.

For scanned docs, click here.

CriteriaGrading Scale
Selection of Artifacts10
Exemplary
There are 10 artifacts. Each artifact represents the student’s own work. All 10 artifacts are clearly and directly related to the purpose of the portfolio. A wide variety of artifacts is included for each class. There are at least 4 artifacts per class. All artifacts reflect different types of educational assignments or activities.
8
Proficient
There are 9 or 8 artifacts and 9 or 8 reflections. Each artifact represents the student’s own work. Most artifacts and work samples are clearly and directly related to the purpose of the portfolio.  A wide variety of artifacts is included. There are at least 3 artifacts per class. Most artifacts reflect different types of educational assignments or activities.
6
Limited
There are 4 to 7 artifacts and 4 to 7 reflections. Each artifact represents the student’s own work. Some artifacts and work samples are clearly and directly related to the purpose of the portfolio. A wide variety of artifacts is included.  There are at least 2 artifacts for Math. A few artifacts reflect different types of educational assignments or activities. 
2
Unsatisfactory
There are fewer than 4 artifacts/reflections per class.
Reflection10
Exemplary
All reflections are written in first person. All reflections clearly describe growth, achievement, accomplishments, and include goals for continued learning (long and short term).
8
All reflections are written in first person. Proficient
Most of the reflections describe growth and include goals for continued learning.
6
All reflections are written in first person. Limited
A few of the reflections describe growth and include goals for continued learning.
2
Unsatisfactory
The reflections do not describe growth or include goals for continued learning. The reflections are not written in first person
Use of Multimedia10
Exemplary
All of the photographs, concept maps, spreadsheets, graphics, audio and/or video files or any other digital artifact effectively enhance understanding of concepts, ideas and relationships, create interest, and are appropriate for the chosen purpose.
8
Proficient
Most of the graphic elements and multimedia or any other digital artifact contribute to understanding concepts, ideas and relationships, enhance the written material and create interest.
6
Limited
Some of the graphic elements and multimedia or any other digital artifact do not contribute to understanding concepts, ideas and relationships.
2
Unsatisfactory
The graphic elements or multimedia or any other digital artifact do not contribute to understanding concepts, ideas and relationships. The inappropriate use of multimedia detracts from the content.
Layout and Readability10
Exemplary
The portfolio is easy to read.
Color, background, font styles (italic, bold, underline) and type size for headings, sub-headings and text are used consistently and enhance the readability throughout the portfolio.
Horizontal and vertical white space alignment is used appropriately to organize content.
8
Proficient
The portfolio is generally easy to read.Color, background, font styles, and type size for headings, sub-headings and text are generally used consistently throughout the portfolio.Horizontal and vertical white space alignment is generally used appropriately to organize content.
6
Limited
The portfolio is often difficult to read due to inappropriate use of fonts and type size for headings, sub-headings and text or inconsistent use of font styles (italic, bold, underline). Some formatting tools are under or over-utilized and decrease the readers’ accessibility to the content.Color of background, fonts, and links decreases the readability of the text, is distracting and used inconsistently in some places throughout the portfolio.
Horizontal and vertical white space alignment is sometimes used inappropriately to organize content.
2
Unsatisfactory

The portfolio is difficult to read due to inappropriate use of fonts, type size for headings, sub-headings and text and font styles (italic, bold, underline).
Many formatting tools are under or over-utilized and decrease the readers’ accessibility to the content.Color of background, fonts, and links decreases the readability of the text, is distracting and used inconsistently throughout the portfolio.
Horizontal and vertical white space alignment is used inappropriately, and the content appears disorganized and cluttered.
Quality of Writing and Proofreading10
Exemplary
The writing is free of grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors.  The style of writing facilitates communication and no editing is required.
8
Proficient
The writing is largely free of grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors.  The style of writing generally facilitates communication and minor editing is required.
6
Limited
The writing includes include some grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors that distract the reader and requires some editing and revision.
2
Unsatisfactory
There are numerous grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors.  The style of writing does not facilitate effective communication and requires major editing and revision.