The Benefits of Assessing Students Using Portfolios

The world is moving fast and children these days are becoming diverse. Assessing them using a classic exam usually doesn’t do justice to a majority of them. However, using a student portfolio is one of the best ways to measure their progress in school.

A student portfolio can be described as an accumulation of samples of the student’s work and coursework which is compiled over time to be assessed at the end of a given time. It is used to gauge the progress of the learner, displays if the student has met set requirements for the cause and determine the academic achievement of the learner. Technology is a useful tool in portfolios. However, they are all extremely visual in nature. There are three main types of portfolios. They include the following:

Assessment Portfolios

The assessment portfolio holds what the student has generally learned. Basically, it holds the curriculum that the student was meant to learn within a specific time. This is a reflection of the progress during the duration of the curriculum.

Subject Area Portfolios

These kinds of portfolios are focused on one area or subject. This may include social studies, foreign language, and even art. Within this portfolio, the student gets to document anything that they learned in the subject. This would include the practical part of the subject and also the theory.

Working Portfolios

This portfolio holds projects that are still being worked on. They may include finished projects which will be referred to in the future. This collection is done intentionally, and it’s guided by the teacher. Working portfolios might be moved to subject area portfolios or assessment folios. Moreover, the movement depends on the role they play when they are fully completed. The following are some of the benefits of using student portfolios as an assessment tool:

Saves Time

Digital learning has ensured that the teachers and students save time in class. Using different apps and technological aspects like portfolios, the students get to log in and participate in similar activities in real time. It saves the teacher the time to pass by every desk and to check on what an individual student is doing. Furthermore, the teacher gets to see instantly the progress that each student has made in their assessment portfolios without necessarily having to ask for the notebook.


Communication is instant both within the class and even outside. This means that whatever instructions the teacher gives, is instantly absorbed by the student in class and the student can respond accordingly. Shy students have the advantage of not necessarily having to raise their hand in class so that the teacher notices they have a problem. All the teacher has to do is to note that their answers or responses are not at par with the other children in the class. Moreover, the parents also get to log in from their end whenever they are free. Consequently, they get to note the progress of their children in the class. Additionally, they will also note the teacher’s remarks, and this will assist them in knowing how to develop their children from home.


Nowadays children are technologically savvy. Their games have been programmed to accept software and they enjoy them thoroughly. Therefore, giving them a platform where they can learn and express themselves is one of the best learning modes. The versatility of the assessment portfolio means that it will not present the difficult learning hurdle which was seen in the previous model of learning. Moreover, they will be excited to learn in an environment where they are free to discover at their own pace.