Dr. Johnson Use Portfolio Assessment
in His Class?
Here's what he said when asked:
For business writing,
I use a system of three portfolios: a career portfolio (a letter
of inquiry, a letter of application, and a resume), an instruction
portfolio (a memo and a set of instructions), and a recommendation
portfolio (a memo, a progress report, an annotated bibliography,
a letter of transmittal, and a formal recommendation report).
Once a portfolio has been submitted, I give it a grade on a 100
point grading scale.
I find this
system particularly well suited for teaching business writing.
The class is “the company,” with the instructor as figurehead and
the students as employees. However, I treat them as stockholders
and encourage them to help the business build and grow by letting
them pick their topics, deadlines, and take control of the class
whenever possible. I am constantly amazed at the excellence
they can achieve when allowed the room to do so. Rarely do
they encourage poor performance.
accordingly, take the emphasis away from the product (and therefore
the grade) and keep it focused on the process. Through empowerment
and control, students participate in a learning experience both
interesting and challenging for they are invested. They are
in control of their own work and demand that their peers perform
as they themselves do. If only one student strives to do this
in a class, he/she brings the others up to his/her level.
Usually, there are more than one.
here for a copy of Dr. Johnson's Portfolio Grading Sheet.