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  • Writer's pictureTara O'Brien

Formative Assessment (via Eportfolio) in the Digital Space

The eportfolio can be developed on a variety of digital platforms and is used to demonstrate learning.

The eportfolio is an example of authentic performative assessment and can be used for formative and/or summative assessment purposes. Eportfolios are a motivating form of authentic and performative

assessment as students are provided with choice. Students can be given choice in how to organize their portfolio or choose which artifacts to share.

An eportfolio can include a variety of digital content and the teacher or classmates can provide meaningful feedback. When formative assessment is used to inform planning and instruction feedback is one of the most effective methods to improve student outcomes. The eportfolio provides students with the opportunity to self-assess, self-reflect, and participate in individual goal-setting or goal-setting with the support of the teacher. The eportfolio represents not only “assessment of learning,” but “assessment for learning."


Teacher Self-Assessment of Proficiency with Infusing Digitally-Enhanced Assessment

Part of becoming more effective with utilizing "digitally-enhanced assessment" is gauging our own effectiveness as teachers. Google Forms was used to develop a formative self-assessment meant to measure proficiency with “infusing digital technology for assessment.” The form includes four questions and uses a 5-point Likert scale. Feel free to take a look and self-reflect on your own practice.


Reflection on Self-Assessment

Experienced Primary Years Program (PYP) teachers are typically effective with learner-centered planning, instruction, and assessment. Learner-centered teaching and assessment are cornerstone to a social-constructivist pedagogical approach, which is also the backbone of the PYP. Authentic, performative assessment, whether formative or summative, is also key to social-constructivism. Authentic, performative assessment provides students with choice and agency. However, the challenge is in using authentic, performative assessment data to inform instruction. Digital performative assessment, like eportfolios, are extremely flexible. This flexibility is certainly motivating to students, but can make evaluation all the more challenging for teachers. Assessing an eportfolio is not a simple task. It is difficult to gauge what a student has learned, what they know, or what they can do. Even with the aid of student self reflections, checklists, and rubrics, it is difficult to use eportfolio assessment data effectively when planning.

The key to overcoming this challenge may be the use of ongoing teacher-to-student “conferencing.” Through one-on-one conferencing, teachers can discuss eportfolios with students, ask questions, and guage the level of student-understanding of a concept/skill.

The eportfolio cannot be used “in a vacuum” but must be a living document…used to facilitate learning, discussion, reflection, assessment, and feedback.

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