Evaluating Electronic Portfolios

©2003, Helen C. Barrett, Ph.D.

Here is a suggested process for building a rubric to evaluate your electronic portfolios.

Beginning to Assess Electronic Portfolios -
Step 1 - Determine levels of performance in the rubric -- how many columns?

One of the major tasks in using portfolios for assessment is to develop a rubric to evaluate your portfolio. There are two levels of assessment: (1) the contents or outcomes that the portfolio is prepared to demonstrate ("What"); (2) the process or how the portfolio is constructed ("How"). Let's begin by determining the Levels of Performance you would like to have in your rubric. Review the rubrics below. They all place the levels of performance across the top of the table. What levels do you want to include in your rubric? For younger portfolio developers, there would be fewer levels and perhaps visual indicators for students to select:

 
Levels of Performance
Criteria to evaluate Content descriptions  
   

Step 2: Components/elements that we want to assess individually

Next, determines the Criteria you would like to evaluate in your rubric. Review the rubrics that are listed below. They all place the criteria down the left side of the table. What criteria do you want to include in your rubric? Keep in mind that there are two levels of evaluation: content and process (see Step 1 above).

 
Levels of Performance
Criteria to evaluate Content descriptions  
   

Step 3: Content Descriptions

Finally, determine the Content descriptions you would like to evaluate in your rubric. You will now fill in the cells in your rubric. How much detail do you want to include? Want some help? Go to http://rubistar.4teachers.org/

 
Levels of Performance
Criteria to evaluate Content descriptions  
   

Various rubrics online

There are several rubrics here. Pick a couple that you think will help you evaluate your own e-portfolio:

Here are a few links on how to build performance assessment and rubrics:


Table 2.6 - Characteristics of Rubrics [Johnson, R. (2006) Developing Portfolios in Education. Sage Publications, p. 32]

Rubrics are tools for

  • communicating specific expectations and grading criteria based on examples;
  • measuring or quantifying a stated objective or standard (e.g., performance, behavior, skill, or quality);
  • assigning levels or using a range to score performance;
  • describing the degree or amount to which a standard has been met based on ascending levels.

Table 2.7 - Advantages of Effective Rubrics in Portfolio Assessment [Johnson, R. (2006) Developing Portfolios in Education. Sage Publications, p. 33]

Effective rubrics

  • build more objectivity and consistency in assessment and evaluations;
  • allow the instructor to clarify his or her grading criteria in specific terms with examples;
  • demonstrate to students how their work will be evaluated and explain what is expected of them;
  • provide students with clear targets in specific, measurable terms;
  • assist students in being more self-directed and reflective;
  • promote student awareness of the criteria to use in assessing peer performance;
  • give useful feedback to instructors regarding the effectiveness of the instruction;
  • outline benchmarks for measuring and documenting progress;
  • offer students a greater sense of ownership for their learning;
  • provide the opportunity to assess more student outcomes than traditional assessment does.

 


Updated June 12, 2008