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Portfolio Information

Southwest Minnesota State University
Communities of Practice Investigating Learning and Teaching

Introduction to Portfolios

What is a portfolio?

A portfolio is an organized, goal-driven documentation of professional development and achieved competence, describing “stories” about who we are as learners and educators. The process of creating the portfolio requires 1) integration of knowledge, skills, and dispositions, 2) inquiry, reflection, collaboration, and use of technology, 3) self-assessment and self-responsibility, 4) planning for lifelong professional and career development.

While there are many terms used to describe different types of portfolios, there are two general types: a working portfolio and a presentation portfolio. A working portfolio is larger and more complete than a presentation portfolio. It is often a crate or file organized by the appropriate standards and relevant documents are stored. A presentation portfolio is complied for a specific purpose. It is selective and streamlined for quality and not quantity of documents. A companion electronic portfolio can be of either or both types as well.

Who are the audiences for professional portfolios?

There are three audiences for professional portfolios: the professionals themselves, their colleagues, and their supervisors/administrators. The primary audience is the person who prepares the portfolio. Educators document the history of their work, their knowledge base, their practices, their questions, and their growth. The portfolio serves as a vehicle for dialogue and discussion with colleagues. Colleagues can provide some of the most relevant feedback when they articulate what they think and know in ways that show respect for different ways of knowing and thinking. Administrators/supervisors can use the portfolios to foster communication among other professionals with similar assets, needs and interests.

Forms for the M.S. in Education Portfolio:

Purpose of the Portfolio

NBPT Standards with Examples

Portfolio Rubric

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