Portfolio as assessment data

Jaddy Brigitte Nielsen Nino, M.Ed, Gimnasio del Norte, Bogotá, Colombia

Jaddy Brigitte Nielsen Nino, M.Ed, 3rd and 4th grades teacher at Gimnasio del Norte, Bogotá, Colombia

This article reflects on tools and strategies teachers in a Colombian school use to understand students’ learning process.

“This is a reflection based on tools and strategies that we as teachers use to understand students’ learning process. In particular, I want to talk about the student’s portfolio. We have very clear criteria to assess the quality of the portfolio for each unit of inquiry. The assessment criteria is known and understood by, and often agreed with, the students.

One of the tools is a checklist like the one below.

Brigitte Nielsen image11

Portfolio checklist

Each piece of work comes with a reflection from students and parents. Students articulate their reasons on why they chose to feature a particular work and how this ties to a transdisciplinary theme. Parents are given the opportunity to respond to questions which relate to their child’s learning, for example how they demonstrated the IB learner profile or what action they can observe at home that is a result of  learning which is going on at school. This creates a dialogue among the school community—teachers, students, and parents—and leads to a more in-depth reflection and goal setting.

In using student portfolios, it is important that students and parents have a good understanding of its purpose. Students should be supported especially if it is their first time to use a portfolio to show their development. It might help to show a sample portfolio to the students.


Student’s reflection according the work she selected for her portfolio.

Student’s reflection according the work she selected for her portfolio.

Parents’ reflection written in their mother tongue (Spanish)

Parents’ reflection written in their mother tongue (Spanish)


Students and teachers should ensure that the portfolio is regularly updated, and that the documentation collected is reflective, comprehensive and, above all, relevant to what the students are learning.”

student portfolio

This is Brigitte’s second year at Gimnasio del Norte School but also she works at Universidad La Gran Colombia and she is on her second year as a graduat student at UNINI, México. She has experience as a professor and researcher since 2007. Brigitte uses different tools to promote the students’ autonomous learning and she shares her ideas on twitter” @JaddyBrigitte / independent.academia.edu/BrigitteNielsen

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2 Responses to Portfolio as assessment data

  1. renuka gopichand 11 November 2014 at 7:04 pm #

    Hello. I need your help can u plz forward me the report card remarks of a pyp school for kindergarten section. I need them urgently.
    looking forward for your reply.

  2. Lisa Mullinax 14 December 2014 at 3:49 am #

    Our school is in a transitional process with our portfolios. We are going digital! I really like the idea of having the parents respond to specific questions. Currently our parents are only asked to write comments…. the responses are very general. It would be very beneficial to have the parents describe how the learning is being extended at home! I may have to borrow that idea!

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