Type of work: Article (academic)
Categories:e-Learning and Instructional Technology
The recent literature on using portfolios for high stakes assessment highlights what Green and Smyser (1995) identify as two contradictory portfolio purposes: formative and summative evaluation. This article discusses the characteristics of portfolios used for formative and summative assessment, suggesting that unless the conflicting paradigms and competing
purposes underlying portfolios are recognized, their value for learning may be subverted. Electronic portfolio technologies promise support for both
high-stakes assessment and deep student learning—dual purposes frequently in conflict. The authors argue for a balanced system that respects the value of the portfolio for self-assessment and life-long learning.