Portfolio Based Learning

Just finished some ePortfolio training with the fine folks at Desire2Learn. One of the interesting things that came out of the discussion around their product was the use for using ePortfolio as evidence of learning. An extrapolation of this idea might be to replace marks with skills – which would map closer to our learning outcomes and fit nicely with the institution’s skills-based focus for the workplace.

For instance, a mechanical engineer can share his drawings and the feedback from the content expert (teacher/trainer, or in a distributed environment, an external panel of experts) and this can be assessed as a measure of skill. Seeing as that’s what employers want (from a skills-based College), it seems like a natural fit for the College system in Ontario. It would set us apart from Universities now that OAC’s are gone. OAC was the old-old Grade 13, which was a post-graduate year in high school, for people who wished to enter University – you’d get 6 extra credits of High School and take advanced courses that would prepare you for the academic rigor.

I know McMaster University is approaching their medical program with Problem Based Learning which is a similar demonstration of skills that a Portfolio Based Learning program might have.

Anyone out there use a portfolio as a final assessment?