Portfolios and report cards

For most schools, we’ve recently passed the first quarter, and the first set of report cards have gone home (or, more likely, been posted on the school’s SIS site).

Many schools have tried to figure out how to combine portfolios with traditional report cards. A portfolio has a great a deal of information about a student’s progress – which is why we’ve always called it a “richer picture” of student achievement. Report cards, though, have two things going for them — they are familiar, and they are easy to look at.

RIcher PIcture can generate reports to accompany the traditional report card, and many schools have created customized reports that fit best for their environments. Some schools list all of the graduation requirements on a report, and then summarizes the student’s progress. (For example, a student might need to submit 6 entries into a writing portfolio; the report can indicate that the student has successfully completed 4 of them) Others use a type of standards-based report card, listing all of the school’s standards, and indicating the student’s progress (using a scale such as Beginning, Developing, Secure). As schools begin to do more with digital badges, a report summarizing the progress on each badge can accompany the report card.

The key here is that the portfolio report provides an easy-to-read summary of the student’s work thus far. If it’s online, the report can include links to the student’s actual entries and the teacher assessments; but at the top level, there should be a way of getting an overview of the student’s current status.

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