- Shane Sutherland, PebblePad
- Teresa MacKinnon, Warwick University
- Paolo Oprandi, University of Sussex
As part of the panel our guests will discuss the impact of portfolios in the following contexts:
Capturing and making sense of learning over a lifetime – Shane Sutherland
We share the challenges encountered designing a capability rating system that allows teaching professionals to record their developing skills against common standards, across the entirety of their career – from university trainee to long-standing professional. The solution had to satisfy the requirements of the Welsh Government and its education advisors to avoid:
- A linear representation of the standards – suggestive of a hierarchy
- A tick box approach to the standards – suggestive of completion
- A numerical rating – suggestive of absolute position
The goal was the development of a rating method that prompted reflection, and encouraged lifelong progression towards ‘sustained highly effective practice’. According to the current status of the teacher the method also had to support formal approval, coaching and mentoring, in-school professional development, and to be applicable across multiple standards frameworks.
This session will describe and demonstrate the initial solution, explore iterative enhancements, and engage participants in offering their own views on the extent to which the solution meets the challenge, and seek suggestions for further enhancements.
Recognising your achievements – breaking the mould – Teresa MacKinnon
One of the most contentious debates in education during lockdown has centred around student assessment. Often located at the end of a course and reliant upon presence in an exam room to take the ubiquitous exams, attention went immediately to how this form of assessment could be implemented at a distance, supervised though intrusive technologies. The fallout from this emergency reaction to a situation created by the pandemic has outraged students and staff alike. As Sean Michel Morris observes “The dream of education isn’t built upon the framework of rubrics, testing, quantifying—that is its bureaucracy. The dream of education is built upon a practice of freedom, a discipline of hope, and an understanding that we all rise and fall together”
We would like to invite you to a discussion of some of the alternative scenarios which would have helped reduce the pressure for final summative assessments by providing recognition of the learning that has happened throughout the course. This could be through the use of open badges for micro-credentialing and/or learner owned e-portfolios which increase autonomy in curation of learning for teacher feedback. In this session we invite Serge Ravet, President of the Open Recognition Alliance, to help us imagine a safer, more ethical future for recognition and assessment.
Portfolios: the future of assessment? – Paolo Oprandi
Much has been claimed about the advantages in Portfolio assessments to student learning (Flavell, 1979; lasersfeld, 1989; Scully, O’Leary, & Brown. 2018).), however, it has also been noted that the move from traditional forms of assessment to portfolios has been slow and patchy (Bryant and Chittum, 2013). We often see portfolio assessment to be taken up in practice-based and vocational courses despite having equal merit in promoting reflection, ownership and authenticity to learning in all academic disciplines however theoretical.
Since lockdown, at the University of Sussex we have seen a shift in focus in many academics to incorporate portfolios into their teaching practice, particularly in the social sciences. We will be reporting on a number of cases where portfolio assessment has been implemented, and we will be exploring how it was done, where it has worked and where it has been less successful. During the session we will have breakout rooms which will give participants opportunities to discuss the use of portfolios in their teaching and in their practice and the strengths and challenges they have met and/or can envisage.
By the end of the session we hope to be able to conclude with the strengths, weaknesses and pitfalls of portfolio assessments, and provide a framework for success in implementing student portfolios that promote student engagement, ownership and authenticity of learning.