Interim Report

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Interim Report

Interim Report

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Online portfolios can offer an effective means for demonstrating graduate attributes where portfolio assessment is based on the combination of performance criteria and evidence. Performance criteria derived from generic graduate attributes can be included in portfolio assessment processes with other performance criteria derived from specific professional competencies and skills. Students can use evidence collected to satisfy unit-based assessment as evidence they possess particular graduate attributes. Where courses are intending to assess graduate attributes, portfolios provide an overview of each student's educational development that transcends the unit boundaries that occur within modular courses. This offers a significant improvement in educational efficiency because it removes the need for a separate graduate assessment mechanism, and minimizes students' documentation effort (Oliver 2001).

We found that our goals for having students develop and maintain online portfolios were well met during the course. The students created their portfolios and customized them with only a few minor problems (mostly related to not following instructions). We were able to view each student's portfolio, and from it determine how well that student was progressing. We used the format of the portfolio as one contribution to each student's final grade in the course. The feedback we received from the students was quite positive. We believe that the structure provided by the initial portfolio was a contributing factor to students' ability to organize their work successfully, and thereby complete the course despite considerable time constraints. While the students commented on the intensity of the course, we believe that without these structured portfolios the problems would have been much greater. At the end of the course, parents attended a presentation by the students, who showed parts of their portfolios, and were clearly proud of what they had achieved. Students left the course with a flash memory stick containing a copy of their portfolio web site (McCracken 1997).


The approach taken in this paper is to focus on the roles of online portfolio assessment systems in terms of value generation and distribution to all stakeholders. Stakeholders interact with the online portfolio assessment system via interfaces. These interfaces are directly related to the underlying processes that provide stakeholders with the value and benefits generated by the online system. This implies that several sorts of interface are required and that these are closely related to data input and formatted output processes associated with stakeholder specific value creation and distribution (Kemp 1999). This perspective suggests that dedicated interfaces are required for:

Software development environment (e.g. Delphi/ C++/Asp/Cold Fusion/PHP-MySQL) used to construct the assessment system.

Modification of online portfolio assessment system software (may use the software development environment interface(s)).

Course designer and lecturer(s) to input advisory or educational material.

Course administrator(s) for gathering information from the system, cleaning files, and so forth (not including programming).

Examiners to access portfolios, to input their comments and marks to a central record keeping system, and to provide advice on teaching, learning and course management. The latter redirected through quality system channels (perhaps following the Business Excellence model (Australian ...
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