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Teresa Torres de Ea APECV President ( Portuguese Visual Art Teachers Association- ) InSEA Vice-President (International Society for Education through Art - InSEA Research Board coordinator :

"Portfolios can serve multiple purposes, "They can support learning, play an assessment role, or support employment. The purpose dictates the structure and contents of a portfolio."

"Portfolios can serve multiple purposes, "They can support learning, play an assessment role, or support employment. The purpose dictates the structure and contents of a portfolio."

"Portfolios can serve multiple purposes, "They can support learning, play an assessment role, or support employment. The purpose dictates the structure and contents of a portfolio."


Profe ssiona l Purp Educa oses tional Purpo ses

PORTFOLIOS for Professional Purposes :

Selection: to select the best professionals , to obtain awards; a job, a promotion. Evaluation: to monitor professional achievement Reflective: self-evaluation of own practices for continous professional development ( long life learning) Presentation: Presentation to display a project for an audience of (buyers, critics, chiefs; companies, etc.) to obtain a command (architecture; plastic arts, design area, etc.)

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"Developing personal portfolios incorporates many different technology tools, But it is also a process of self-reflection and personal growth. The process is very personal -- a story of self that involves a great deal of selfreflection and thought.




A portfolio is a purposeful collection of student work that exhibits the student's efforts, progress, and achievements in one or more areas. The collection must include student participation in selecting content, the criteria for selection, the criteria for judging merit, and evidence of student self-reflection.



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the working portfolio, which contains projects the student is currently working on or has recently completed. the display portfolio, which showcases samples of the student's best work. the assessment portfolio, which presents work demonstrating that the student has met specific learning goals and requirements.

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Som e gu i d el i ed u c nes ators f d ev e o i r n t e lopin r e s t e prog d g p o rt fo i n ra m s scho l i i o n t heir o ls o r cl a ssro oms :

Be realistic about your design and expectations. Make use of relevant models, show templates and examples

Instill a sense of ownership in the students creating the portfolios. Communicate implementation strategies and timelines clearly.

Be selective in design and strategy. Allow for continuous improvement and growth. Incorporate assessment stakeholders in all phases and components of your efforts; that is, make sure portfolio content meets the needs of those assessing the work.


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Connection: the creation of hypertext links and publication, providing the opportunity for feedback.


Demonstrations or displays in the portfolio include an explanation of the context of the material, where the demonstration was done, why it was done (its purpose), and what learning or capacities are demonstrated through its inclusion.

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The power of a digital portfolio is that it allows different access to different artifacts. The user can modify the contents of the digital portfolio to meet specific goals. As a student progresses from a working portfolio to a display or assessment portfolio, he or she can emphasize different portions of the content by creating pertinent hyperlinks.

"For example," Barrett notes, "a student can link a piece of work to a statement describing a particular curriculum standard and to an explanation of why the piece of work meets that standard. That reflection on the work turns the item into evidence that the standard has been met."

"Many people emphasize the electronic side of electronic portfolios," Barrett said. "I tend to emphasize the portfolio side. People often approach electronic portfolios as a multimedia or Web development project and lose sight of the portfolio component. Reflection, however, plays a critical role in the development of a portfolio. ( In: Barret ; An electronic portfolio is not a digital scrapbook ) JISC - Stories of e-Portfolio Implementation - University of Edinburgh


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For University/college Entrance For Formative assessment Certification (End course level to obtain a grade)

University/college Entrance

What to Include Your portfolio represents you to a college as a potential student and young artist. Preparing your portfolio should be an exciting and thoughtful process that you engage in both in art classes in school and on your own at home. Most students will have completed 10 finished pieces for every one that is actually included in the final portfolio. Selecting what to include should not be a nerve-racking experience. Most art programs will want to see works that fall into three distinct categories: observational art, personal art or a home exam. Some colleges will require a combination of two or three categories, and others will want to see only one category. Young artists are usually their own worst critics and should follow the advice of their admissions counselors at the colleges they are applying to regarding what to include in their portfolio. Students tend to edit pieces based on their own personal aesthetics and not on what the colleges are looking for in an artwork. Admission counselors are trained to know what their admissions committee is looking for in a prospective student and can help edit a portfolio to meet the committees needs.

Category One: Observational Art Observational art is drawing or painting in a traditional method using a still life, figure model, portrait or landscape as the subject and rendering the subject as accurately as possible. The image should not be taken from a photograph or the artists' imagination, but from real life. Size of the artwork should be approximately 18" x 24" or larger in scale and fill the entire surface of the paper or canvas. Most work in this category is done in pencil, charcoal, or other drawing mediums, but it can also include painting and collag Category Two: Personal Art Personal art is the work done outside of a classroom situation and reflects the artists' unique interests in use of materials, subject matter and concept. Work can be completed in any media including (but not limited to) drawing, painting, photography, mixed media, digital/computer art, film/video, ceramics, sculpture, animation and performance art.

Category Three: Home Exam The home exam consists of specific work that has been required by a particular college or department. (Example: Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in the past has asked that all portfolios include a drawing of a "bicycle".) Note on photographic works: Photographic pieces should be works that are shot and printed by you the artist (do not use photographs printed at photo labs.) When it comes to photography, schools are just as interested in why you chose the subject matter as in how well it was printed. You should always attach a brief description (typed) on the back of each photograph explaining why you made that particular print or series of prints.

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Assessment in the arts

Assessment is process of obtaining information that is used to make educational decisions about students, to give feedback about their progress/strengths/weaknes ses, and to judge instructional effectiveness or curricular adequacy.

Rem emb er
Art and design works are characterized by diversity, judging the quality of such works is based on subjective judgements.

Portfolios as records of achievement and progress

present advantages in terms of validity because

they can be used as assessment instruments providing different sources of information through several tasks and media

Portfolios are used as evidence to be assessed in external assessment in the arts on national examinations in secondary education in The Netherlands (Schnau, 1996) England (Steers, 1996); International Baccalaureate (Chalmers, 1981); Arts Propel examinations ( 2013)

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Educator Roberta Altmann, Bank Street College/Museum of Natural History, NY

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Used at high school art courses, and teacher training courses

Portfolio Students construct their portfolios around one task/theme or starting point. The portfolio contains a selected collection of investigation work, preparatory and developmental studies (annotations, sketches, experiments, visual studies), the final product and a self-assessment report ( written, oral, visual). The separate items in the portfolio should be connected and depict the entire process. The portfolio should also reflect the development of the project in time; all the evidence should be dated and numbered as a part of the process. Portfolio should include comprehensive documentation ( models, sources). The portfolio, for example, can be, an expanding file, document case, box, album, web page, CD Rom; video, work journal or notebook, etc. The appearance of the portfolio can be a part of the artistic production and reflect the character of the project and the personality of the author. The appearance can contribute to the general visual expression, and help to form a positive evaluation.

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The assessment criteria to be negotiated with students are as follows:

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AC1: Record personal ideas, intentions, experiences, information and opinions in visual and other forms.

Visibility of the intentions: Show that you are able to express your ideas, motivations, opinions, purposes through words and images, explain your intentions at the beginning of the project and as long as it develops make annotations about your progresses, if you re-formulate ideas explain why, if something influences you explain it, explain the importance of the examples of visual culture that you have selected and used in your work. Show that you are able to plan your project and respect deadlines; if for some reason you cannot fully realise what you have proposed explain why it was not possible.

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AC2: Critical analysis of sources from visual culture showing understanding of purposes, meanings and contexts

Searching abilities; abilities to interpret and use examples of visual culture: Show that you can collect information about the work of others in the world of visual culture (art, design, media, etc); that you can interpret its meanings, purposes and functions. But, be careful, do not spend too much time in collecting information that is not relevant for your project; you are not required to copy and paste information, but rather to reflect critically on it, expressing personal opinions and informing your work through what you have learned in your search. Show that your sources were useful for developing your own ideas and experiments of techniques, materials, etc.

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AC3: Develop ideas through purposeful experimentation, exploration and evaluation.

Purposeful development of ideas and experiments: Several qualities will be evaluated under this criterion. The quantity and quality of sketches or initial ideas is important. Show that you are persistent, that you do not give up easily. The teachers will look for personal style and the capacity to communicate your ideas visually; they will look for your critical reflection about the ideas explored; the processes used and your capacities to explain your decisions. They will look for your skills in finding and solving problems; raising issues; presenting possibilities and evaluating them.

Show that you can find problems alone, and not only the problems stated by your teacher. Many times the problems are formulated through searching the work of others and exploring ideas. Show that you can be imaginative and propose new ways of representing a problem from several angles. Your technical skills will be very important, show that you can represent real and imaginary things with expertise. For example in drawing, painting, sculpture you must understand and fluently use the formal elements such as shape, light, space, composition, colour, rhythm, etc. In product design you must understand and apply notions about ergonomics, anthropometrics, design methodology, etc.

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AC4: Present a coherent and organised sample of works and final product revealing a personal and informed response that realises their intentions.

The portfolio as a whole and the final product: The teacher will look for your knowledge, understanding and skills in art and design and if your personal response was informed by what you have learned through the process and adequate for realising your intentions. The teacher will see how you used the formal elements of visual language; art and design concepts and conventions; your technical skills and your personal style.

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AC5: Evaluate and justify the qualities of the work.

Knowing the strengths and weakness of your work, explain and justify the meaning and purposes of your work: The teacher will look for your skills of evaluation, if you are able to reflect upon the process and product you have developed, if you can justify the purposes, meaning and function of your final outcome by using specific vocabulary. Show that you are aware of the difficulties you encountered; that you can point out what you achieved in terms of knowledge, understanding and skills in art and design.

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What assessment tools are you using for?