The Developing Portfolio: Assisting College Students in Creating Quality Portfolios

By Odette Bruneau and Andrea Bie.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This presentation explains the process of portfolio development for education majors/minors that is used at Luther College. The portfolio development is a phased process that begins in the first year. McLaughlin, Vogt, Anderson, DuMez, Peter and Hunter (1998) have described benefits such as greater student satisfaction with such a phased portfolio model. Students are first introduced to the portfolio process during their freshman January Term practicum course. Early in their course sequence, professors in the Educational Psychology and Diverse and Exceptional Learner courses highlight artifacts that represent the competencies. During Instructional Strategies course the students are taught how to write a rationale to link the artifact to the competencies. The students pay a modest sum for three years of service with Chalk and Wire, the electronic portfolio submission process selected by the Luther College education department, and they are trained in the use of this system. In the junior year, the semester before student teaching, the students present a “working portfolio.” The working portfolio has artifacts that represent each of the 10 competencies and are at the introductory or developing level. The students are assigned to a portfolio advisor who will stay with them through the working and professional presentations. During the working portfolio session, the student will explain the artifacts presented and the portfolio advisor will suggest any changes and recommend artifacts to collect for the professional level. The expectation is that all artifacts presented at the introductory or developing level will be replaced with artifacts representing the advanced level and taken from the student teaching semester. This developmental process has been the result of four years of continuous review and improvement. Students who have completed the portfolio process comment upon its usefulness and benefit in the interview process. There is satisfaction among the education department faculty because students are now consciously linking their coursework (and later their professional experiences) with the department competencies.

Keywords: Portfolio, Electronic Portfolio, Teacher Education Programs, Teacher Preparation, Competencies

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp.83-88. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 520.132KB).

Dr. Odette Bruneau

Associate Professor, Education Department, Luther College, Decorah, USA

Odette Bruneau is Associate Professor at Luther college where she has taught since 1995. She is primarily responsible for the preparation of teachers who seek the Instructional Strategist II: Behavior Disorders/Learning Disabilities endorsement. Odette has been a general education teacher, special education teacher, evaluation specialist, special education program coordinator, ESL teacher in China, and college professor. Her specialty areas include assessment, classroom management, students placed at-risk and behavior/learning disabilities. She is the faculty advisor for the Luther chapter of the Council for Exceptional Children and has presented her work frequently both nationally and internationally. Her most recent publication, co-authored with Dr. Stephanie Kurtts, is “Preparing professional teaching portfolios: Exploring the process from two college of education” which was published in the International Journal of Learning in 2005/2006.

Dr. Andrea Bie

School Psychologist, Special Education, Rosemount/Apple Valley School District, Waterville, USA

Andrea is Visiting Professor at Luther College in Decorah,Iowa. Andrea received her doctorate at the University of Minnesota and has over 20 years experience as a school psychologist in the Rosemount/Apple Valley School District. At Luther, Andrea is responsible for coursework in educational psychology, diversity, assessment, and special education. She is a board member of the Minnesota School Psychologists Association and the National Association of School Psychologists. Andrea has been the faculty advisor for the Luther Student Council for Exceptional Children and has served on a number of Luther advisory committees.


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