Electronic Portfolios
Mr. Spragins
Gilman School

Electronic Portfolio:

Objective: Incorporate Portfolio Assessment, Writing Process and Classroom Performance into Gilman English Courses Through the Creation of HTML Electronic Portfolios 

Contents of Student Portfolio:

-- table of contents
-- the student's goals for the semester: "A Portrait of Myself as a Writer"
-- representative collection of pivotal, improved and best pieces arranged to demonstrate the student's active pursuit of their writing goal for the semester
significant class notes 
significant reading log entries 
significant pre-writing materials
notes from collaborative planning sessions
significant portions of rough drafts
significant notes from peer review sessions
significant performance projects:
photos of tableaux from scene study
recording of student's speech
video of performed scene or monologue
design renderings
final draft
thesis highlighted to demonstrate process
links to significant sources
-- samples which show writing across the curriculum
-- comments by teachers, other students and parents
-- student self-assessment of his/her performance: "Final Reflections"


As the semester progresses, the students will also collect pictures, graphics, and audio/video clips to include in their HTML portfolios. These records could be archived on a Compact Disc-recordable (CD-R) disc as part of the student's permanent record. This record of work in the course might help provide a cumulative record of the student's growth over the years. This record provides other teachers each year with continuity and valuable knowledge about the particular student's strengths and needs in a very portable and space-efficient storage medium.

Theoretical Overview:

A student portfolio is a purposeful collection of student work that tells the story of the student's efforts and progress over a period of time. The portfolio includes the student's best work, but it also reflects the total learning process. Creating a portfolio gives a student the opportunity to set goals and then think about the ways he or she learns. The contents of a portfolio focus on a student's achievements rather than on his/her deficiencies. Unlike a work folder in which the teacher files an assortment of graded assignments, a portfolio contains samples selected by the student. The student and teacher work together to determine guidelines for selection of samples and the criteria for judging merit. The portfolio also features samples of student self-reflection on their work.

Students will create their portfolios within the webbed environment of an HTML page. Keeping an electronic portfolio will enable the student to organize their work in a manner that demonstrates their progress towards the achievement of writing goals for the semester. On an individual paper the student will trace the development of a finished piece of writing by showing the stages their thinking has gone through in the writing process. In successive papers students will create similar threads, but they will also be able to link key moments in the writing process, charting the 'A-Ha!' moment. For instance, a student might link together portions of rough drafts from different papers to demonstrate that moment in the writing process in which their main ideas come clear. Perhaps in the second paper, the main idea came clear during a peer revision session; then the student would link that document in a series of key moments. By thinking about the way that they think, students will learn how to improve the efficiency of their writing process.

Creating web pages will also enable the student working on research papers to include the full texts of important sources. Instead of footnoting a specific source, the student will link their paper to the relevant section of their source. This capability will not only teach the students about academic honesty but will also encourage them to remember the context of ideas drawn from a writer's full argument.

Electronic portfolios will also enable the student to collect aspects of their learning process which have been influenced by group performance projects. These multimedia documents might include renderings of original design projects, recordings of student performances of speeches or poems, or even video clips of student scenes.

Portfolios collected within Web environments will enable the student to publish their work for the general public on the Internet. The prospect of sharing their work with others will inspire students to their best efforts. Their pages might inspire feedback from visitors such as parents, teachers, other students or members of the Gilman community at large. These responses could be included on the pages themselves.

Finally, the electronic portfolio can be saved to a disc upon which portfolios from other courses could be inscribed. This disc could provide an ongoing collection of the students progress through several years of development. Not only could portions of it be used as an aid in the application process, but the disc will become a priceless record of the student's development in a particular time of life.