Using Authentic Assessments to Better Facilitate Teaching and Learning: The Case for Student Portfolios

Matthew R Hodgman


The debate over how to construct appropriate and meaningful assessments for students of all ages continues to polarize scholars and educators. Various forms of student assessments have been employed in modern classrooms in accordance with varying theoretical perspectives on what “meaningful learning” consists of. Authentic assessments have often been considered productive tools for increasing student engagement, learning, and confidence. One particular form of authentic assessment, student portfolios, can be seen as useful authentic assessments tools when used in certain capacities. This article outlines research on the use of authentic assessments by instructors in the classroom and specifically discusses the use of student portfolios to enhance student learning, creativity, and confidence. The merits of student portfolios as a learning tool are discussed and demonstrated through a specific example of classroom practice. 

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