Portfolio Assessment Guidance

Continuous Improvement Program (7.4)
Expanded October 24, 2000 - Rich Christie

Annually, the course coordinator for each course should meet with that year's course instructor(s) to review collected student work. The review should address three questions:

  1. Does the work show that the course is addressing the outcomes assigned to it in its Master Course Description?

  2. On an absolute scale, rate the achievement of each assigned outcome by the students as unacceptable, acceptable, or exemplary, in comparison to the ability level expected of a recently graduated engineer with a BS degree. The suggested approach is to separate the work into high, average and low sets, then for each person at the meeting to rate each set separately, then to discuss any major differences in rating.

  3. For concepts or problems that students had difficulty working with or doing correctly, suggest teaching ideas or syllabus improvements that would facilitate fewer students having difficulty.

The course coordinator writes a summary report of the portfolio assessment, reporting on the results of answering the two questions.

The results are important for a variety of assessment activities.

Suggested Process

  1. Course coordinator schedules meeting
  2. Course coordinator obtains collected work from advising
  3. Course coordinator obtains latest MCD
  4. Course coordinator obtains several evaluation forms (last page of this document)
  5. At the meeting: Sort the collected work in to piles of high work, low work, and average work.
  6. Each assessor takes one pile.
  7. Look at the MCD and choose an outcome to assess. The MCD may give guidance about where in the student work the outcome can be found, e.g. the communications outcome may state that the students write project reports.
  8. Look through the student work to see where the students are demonstrating their ability for the outcome. If there is no evidence, write Not Found (or, NF) on the form.
  9. Form an opinion about how well the outcome is achieved by the work you are looking at, and mark the form appropriately.
  10. Repeat for each outcome addressed by the course.
  11. When done with all outcomes, take a different stack and repeat.
  12. When all assessors are done with all stacks, examine the assessments and resolve any differences greater than one level, i.e. E vs U.
  13. The course coordinator writes a short report on the assessment results (see the ABET page on the web for an example report).

Continue to the example Assessment Form.