Portfolios as classroom-embedded assessment systems for the NGSS

This weekend at the NSTA national meeting in Chicago I’ll be hosting a discussion about the use of portfolios as the keystone of new NGSS-centered district and state science assessments. Here are the slides I’ll use to start the discussion:

Exemplar portfolios can be found here

Please join the discussion if you can make it to the conference or leave a comment here to continue the discussion online.

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  1. battagliachem’s avatar

    I loved this idea when I first saw it last year. I have worked on how I want to do it, and I will be piloting it during this last quarter. I want to use this full-blown during the next school year. Are you 1:1, or do you students just use whatever device they have?

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    1. Chris Ludwig’s avatar

      I’m sorta 1:1. I have a limited number of iPads that I check out. The bulk of our work is done in class using my MacBook cart. Some students work on their own devices, but our district is currently not supporting BYOD very well. Some work happens at home, but I have to give lots of class time for those that don’t have access at home.

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    2. Emilie Cassar’s avatar

      This is fascinating. I am beginning to understand how this all works. I have moved my class completely to NGSS and I have scrapped all my old multiple choice tests, but I don’t really know now how to assess. Reading this, I can see how portfolios and blogs can work in assessment, and I want to try it. But how, realistically, do you grade it? I have 180 students, and grading that many portfolios sounds time consuiming. Slide 31 talks about reviewing all of the portfolios or only representative samples. How does that work?

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      1. Chris Ludwig’s avatar

        Emilie,
        At the beginning of the year especially, it is a lot of work to train students on what good blog writing is like. This means a lot of detailed commenting on what to improve. As the year goes on, I find my comments becoming much more general and infrequent as we tend to fix some of the major issues early. But yes, there is a lot of reading of blogs and commenting to do in this system. I’m hugely behind already after three weeks, in part because I’m sponsoring an Engineering club this year and that’s taking a lot of time and energy.

        I’m still convinced, though, that students need to have their work online so that they create a positive digital footprint. When we’re doing this system well, we crank out some amazing stuff that employers and colleges will look at. If that continues to hold true then its worth the extra effort.

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