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The writing and reading of digital portfolios

, Teachers College, Columbia University, United States

Teachers College, Columbia University . Awarded


This project reports on the use of “digital portfolios”—web-based collections of student work that are tied to a set of standards. This paper describes how the digital portfolio was created and piloted in two Rhode Island high schools during the 1999–2000 school year.

The intended purpose of the digital portfolios is to help students demonstrate how their work connects to a school's standards. The information collected in the portfolios could also provide a starting point for conversations around a school's curriculum and assessment, and the quality of work that students produce.

The study was conducted as a “formative experiment”: an exploration of what it takes for schools to use this tool to meet the intended goal. The study concludes that if a school seriously wants to use Digital Portfolios to help students demonstrate their best work, it needs to address three issues: (1) Vision. What does the school expect its graduates know and be able to do? How can the Digital Portfolio template reflect that vision? (2) Technology. How can the school take advantage of the available hardware and software to communicate a student's accomplishments? (3) Assessment. How does the school decide if a student's work is “good enough” to meet a standard? How might students' Digital Portfolios help teachers analyze the tasks they assign?

The process of defining a vision, using technology, and analyzing assessments will vary for any particular school. The analysis here does not presume to provide a definitive answer to this process, but rather provide a set of recommendations that will help in the next iteration of portfolio development and evaluation.


Niguidula, D.A. The writing and reading of digital portfolios. Ph.D. thesis, Teachers College, Columbia University. Retrieved October 16, 2019 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

Citation reproduced with permission of ProQuest LLC.

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