Students will present themselves at very different levels of understanding of the portfolio process. Some will believe that their undocumented experiences justify portfolio review and credit, and they will be ill-prepared, and perhaps unable, to provide the required documentation.
In order to minimize frustration for the student or faculty, it will be to the benefit of all involved to fully understand the criteria for portfolio assessment, including an understanding of the standards to which students will be held as they document their learning. Emphasis cannot be made too strongly that it is not the experience, itself, that justifies credit, but rather the learning that occurs from the experience.
How learning is documented and proven is the crux of portfolio assessment.
All students are required to complete and submit an “Initial Application for a Review of Prior Experiential Learning.” As part of this application, students are required to submit:
- a syllabus for the course for which credit is requested
- a brief description of the experience(s)
- a statement of the learning that occurred from that experience(s)
- a list of possible documentation
This application will serve as an official notice to faculty that the student intends to pursue portfolio assessment.
Signatures as required on the application will indicate that the student had provided sufficient descriptions of intended documentation to justify the development of a full portfolio.
Signatures do not guarantee that credit will be awarded, but rather that the student has presented sufficient documentation to develop a portfolio.