Assessing Student Portfolios for College Credit

Author(s): Council For Adult Experiential Learning , Chari Leader Kelley

Edition: 1

Copyright: 2017

Pages: 140


Details: Print Product |

Portfolio assessment is an important strategy that supports retention, persistence, and adult student success.

Assessing Student Portfolios for College Credit: Everything you Need to Know to Ensure Academic Integrity in Portfolio Assessment, unlike many books on higher education that are written with an emphasis on theoretical constructs without concrete examples, includes actual student portfolios and discusses how to effectively assess students’ portfolios. The author, Dr. Leader Kelley, also addresses the myths that have grown up around prior learning assessment, allaying the fears of faculty and administrators through concrete evidence of the value of using portfolio assessments to help adult students succeed.

Translating, deciphering, bridging, and/or equating what a learner knows and can do in order to receive college credit can be tricky, daunting, and even overwhelming. Without integrity, the process can undermine the value of the credentials it seeks to make accessible. At its best, the process can provide an academically responsible, motivating, and meaningful bridge to postsecondary education. If taken to scale, this process can unleash unrealized talent and light a pathway toward more meaningful personal and professional lives for millions of individuals, especially adults with some college and no degree.

This book provides a valuable resource for a wide range of individuals. Administrators and practitioners will benefit from the pragmatic and accessible information embedded in the multiple portfolio examples. Faculty members can view examples of portfolios that mirror their own syllabi, providing evidence of learning through a written narrative and supportive documentation. The portfolio examples demonstrate how students meet and exceed the learning outcomes for real college courses.

Scott Campbell
Vice President for Higher Education, CAEL 

Acknowledgements vii



 PLA Methods

Portfolio Assessment’s New-Found Popularity         

Using This Book

A Student’s Point of View

Chapter 1 Trials and Tribulations

A Brief History

1974 CAEL Project Institutions

Portfolio Assessment Overview

Dispelling the Myths

Assessment in Portfolio Assessment

David Kolb’s Cycle of Learning Model

Kolb Examples Extracted from Actual Student Narrative

Chapter 2 Let’s Take a Look

Anatomy of a Portfolio: Example #1—Jacqueline

Course Description

Jacqueline’s Learning Narrative Introduction

The Body of the Learning Narrative


The Assessment

Chapter 3 Learning Outcomes, Competencies, and Credit

Learning Outcomes and Competencies

Student Portfolio Example #2—Christine

Christine’s Documentation

The Assessor’s Evaluation

What Makes a Great Portfolio?

 Chapter 4 Portfolio Assessment in Real Life

Step One: Advising Portfolio Students

Step Two: The Portfolio Development Course or Workshop

Step Three: The Portfolio Development Process

Step Four: The Assessment

Portfolio Appeals

Step Five: Student Feedback

Program Oversight

Student Portfolio Example #3—Bill

Example of an Excellent Letter of Verification

Effective Feedback

Examples of Good Assessor Feedback

Chapter 5 Assuring Quality Assessment

Five Tenets of Adult-Oriented Assessment and Related Propositions

about Learning

Working with the Rubric

Checks and Balances

The Important Role of the Assessor

A Faculty Member’s Perspective on Portfolios and Assessment

Melissa Nemon, PhD

Student Portfolio Example #4—Andrea

Student Portfolio Example #5—Michael

Chapter 6 Applying Portfolio Assessment Principles

Student Portfolio Example #6—Lynn

Your Assessment

Chapter 7 Frequently Asked Questions

Chapter 8 Taking Portfolio Assessment into the Future

Portfolio Assessment as Part of a Larger Framework

A Vision for the Future


Appendix A PLA Historical Timeline

Appendix B CAEL’s 10 Standards for Assessing Learning

Appendix C Assessment Example

Appendix D Career and Technical Education Portfolio

Council For Adult Experiential Learning

Linking Learning and Work to Help Adults Succeed

CAEL is a national nonprofit that works at all levels within the higher education, public, and private sectors to make it easier for people to get the education and training they need. 

Chari Leader Kelley

Chari Leader Kelley's career is focused upon improving access to and opportunities for success in post-secondary education for historically under-served and adult students. From her dissertation research focusing on adult learner perceptions of academic quality pre- and post-matriculation to her work as a lead consultant at the Institute for Higher Education Policy in the transfer, articulation, and access sector; Dr. Leader Kelley is a passionate advocate for creating degree pathways.

She has served for over a decade in senior leadership positions at assessment-based Excelsior College and at Bellevue University (NE). She has consulted on issues of student mobility, transfer and articulation policy, prior learning assessment and enrollment management. Her work has been at the institutional, state, and national levels.

As a Vice President at the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), Dr. Leader Kelley led and advanced its national online prior learning assessment service,, to assure its success. Currently a Senior Fellow, Dr. Leader Kelley continues to support CAEL grant work in competencies and state adoption of strategies in support of adult learners and degree completion.

Related ISBN's: 9781524913434, 9781524917043, 9781524937720




ISBN 9781524913434

Details Print Product