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4:2 Design Steps in Portfolio Assessment, part 2

1. Set Assessment Purpose: The first and most important step is setting the assessment purpose. What aspect of language learning will the portfolio be used to assess? Who will use the portfolio? Why are you making the assessment? Determining the purpose provides focus and direction.

2. Identify Instructional Objectives: Identify portfolio objectives or goals for students to work toward in the area specified by the assessment purpose. What exactly do you want students to achieve? Consider the Standards when developing these specific progress indicators.

3. Match Tasks to Objectives: Identify language learning tasks that match the objectives. What can students do to show evidence of their progress toward the objective? Plan language tasks that will allow students to systematically practice and reflect on their learning. The results of these tasks will become artifacts in the assessment portfolios.

4. Set Criteria: Establish criteria by which the individual artifacts and the portfolio will be assessed. How will you determine the degree of student progress toward the goals?

5. Determine Organization: Determine how the portfolio will be managed. Where will the portfolio be stored? How often will artifacts and attestations be submitted? Who will select the artifacts and attestations? Consider the purpose and audience when answering these questions. Remember that it takes more than one artifact or attestation to reliably show progress toward a goal. Language tasks, artifacts, and attestations should be selected in a systematic manner.

6. Monitor Progress: The final step is on-going. Continually monitor the portfolio for validity and reliability. Is the portfolio assessing the specified skill or area consistently? Are you receiving useful information about your students to inform instruction? Make adjustments as necessary.

7. Evaluate the Portfolio Process: After you have completed the portfolio semester or year, reflect on the entire process and evaluate your success with the portfolio. What worked well that you will include next time? What changes will you make for the next time?

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