Alternative Assessment and Portfolios: Review, Reconsider, and Revitalize

Brian A Sandford, Chia-Chien Hsu


The concept of evaluating performance in relation to an established objective is certainly not a new idea. The use and application of alternative assessments is likewise not a revolutionary notion. However, the mechanics and potential applications of the portfolio as one area of alternative assessment do deserve reconsideration with the purpose of a renaissance of this valuable and self-motivating type of formative and summative evaluation. The application of the portfolio to student, teacher, employment, and program areas provides the unique ability to assess performance based on selected work that demonstrates ability as well as potential. The ideal portfolio is a "living" document that allows individual expression of work while still meeting a uniform criterion of expected performance. In the same way that the benefits of student-centered over teacher-centered learning is being discussed, centering the assessment burden upon the student, teacher, employee, or program by providing the tools for authentic demonstration of their performance through the portfolio deserves another look.

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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