What is a Learning Portfolio?

A learning portfolio is a documentation or collection of one’s work, amounting to a selection that best illustrates the learning experience, the future objectives and completed work of an individual. It is a record of development; personal, educational and professional. Learning portfolio’s are invaluable; they are effectively a guide to one’s education and can assist in determining the make-up of an individual.

The development of learning portfolio can aid individuals and their learning in many ways:

 It can provide one with the ability to reflect on their work; thereby maintaining a resource for development and achieving short and long term goals. Reflecting on personal learning is integral to a successful learning process as it ensures that what individuals learn and perhaps what they need to learn is recognized and acted upon.

 Also, learning portfolio’s show growth over time, illustrating, as Stefani, Mason and Pegler (2007) state, the importance of lifelong learning. Learning is a process that should never stop, however many people, having gained a place in the workforce, neglect this need for continued and ‘updated’ learning. By completing a portfolio it ensures that individuals’ education and training remain current (as technology is constantly evolving).

In fact learning portfolios themselves have changed over time. Now e-portfolios are perhaps replacing hard copy portfolio’s as they are more relevant to today’s state of modernity. More accessible (as they can be made available online), E-portfolios are easier to transport and easier to update and transport.

Working on a portfolio enables individuals to “…visualize their learning process…illustrate it…and to think about their learning in a focused and structured way…” (Desiree,Beyaard, Verloop and Vermunt, 1982, p.7). It also aids in developing skills of selectiveness, as in constructing a portfolio focus is on the key elements of one’s journey of learning, therefore work that nest shows the learning process must be chosen.

Especially relevant to students of university level (and those in education courses), the learning portfolio is a concise and effective construction of one’s learning career. An efficient way of mapping personal growth and professional growth a portfolio is an helpful way of ensuring that students ‘learn from their mistakes’ and continue to expand.

References

Mason, R. Pegler, C &  Stefani, C (2007). The Educational Potential of E-Portfolios [Electronic Version] New York: Routledge.

Desiree, D. Beyaard, D. Verloop, N & Vermunt, J (1982) Functions of the Learning Portfolio in Students Teachers Learning Process.  Teacher’s Collection.

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~ by 2gracie on May 11, 2009.

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