A portfolio is a collection of projects and assignments that partially or fully comprise the assessment.

Normally, a distinction is made between a project portfolio and a presentation portfolio, whereby the project portfolio brings together everything the student has done throughout the process, and the presentation portfolio is an annotated selection from the projects, with the addition of a table of contents and a written reflection on the learning process in relation to what is documented in the portfolio.

Elements in a portfolio can be papers, video recordings of own practice, comments and feedback to the work of peers and so on.

Depending on the type of projects and whether the main emphasis in the assessment is on the projects or on the student’s reflection on the learning process, this type of exam provides the opportunity to test various aspects. Nevertheless, the portfolio offers best the opportunity to test abilities and compentences.

This assessment method is also suited for group examination.

Learning objective that can be addressed using this assessment method
Knowledge of theory, method and practice  
Understanding and reflecting on theory, method and practice (X)
Applying methods and tools (X)
Assessing problem definitions and selecting solution models (X)
Communicate and discuss academic issues (X)
Dealing with complex situations – in the context of studying or work X
Ability to independently initiate collaboration X
Taking responsibility for personal learning and development X

X indicates that this assessment method is suitable for testing the learning outcome. (X) indicates that this assessment method is of only limited use for this.

Evaluating the method of assessment

This also makes sharing/distribution straightforward.Offers the opportunity for the portfolio to incorporate electronic elements, e.g. audio, images, film. This also makes sharing/distribution straightforward.

Assessment Criteria
Validity The portfolio ensures high content validity, as it can bring together basically everything that is included in the study programme. Construct validity is also high if the student’s capabilities are to be assessed within a complex, complicated phenomenon sometimes beyond the scope of other types of testing.
Reliability It is important to establish clear marking criteria for the portfolio to ensure that the strengths of the portfolio in terms of relevance and validity are not diminished by imprecise assessment resulting in poor reliability.
Backwash effect from testing to teaching The portfolio type requires students to work continually throughout the course. Teaching must therefore be organised in such a way as to enable students to gather material for the portfolio during the teaching process.
Resources It takes a very long time to assess a portfolio, however extensive it is. Also, individual feedback to the student about the marking takes time, so it is necessary to consider the limitations realistically and weigh up whether peer review could be considered as part of the evaluation.
Digitisation Offers the opportunity for the portfolio to incorporate electronic elements, e.g. audio, images, film. This also makes sharing/distribution straightforward.
Acceptance Provides a very individual picture of an individual’s abilities; accordingly, in many cases, this type of exam provides more information to potential employers than an exam mark or diploma.