Back in the day, I had students create portfolios during a creative writing unit. After writing ten or so pieces, each student selected three pieces to workshop with me and their peers. At the end, they had a beautiful portfolio...in their hands. Today, students have the opportunity to share their best work with their teacher, their peers and the world through an electronic porfolio. Better yet, students can easily share their work as a part of their college applications.
ReadWriteThink has a great lesson plan for grades 9-12 with all the resources a teacher would need to have their students create electronic portfolios.
How are you using electronic portfolios to assess student learning? What software/website do you use? Are the portfolios public?
We use turnitin.com which keeps a depository of all the student work. So far we haven't used it as a traditional portfolio but the students having access to all their papers over four years of high school is pretty amazing. Hopefully one of the English teachers from my school will chime in regarding portfolios. Been years since I taught English.
Electronic portfolios are becoming the norm nowadays. Not just for English class papers, but for all sorts of accomplishments.
Multimedia class students store their projects electronically, music students can archive their compositions, computer course students can document their program they've created....the list is pretty much endless. Saving work and archiving it into a portfolio will pay off big time in the long run.
Below is an informative site to ePortfolios. It gives a lot of advice to students who are creating portfolios and why a portfolio is more than just a college application supplement. Many students begin working right after college, and the ePortfolio is still a vital part of their entrance into the working world.
Also, here is a small but informative course that NCFL designed and developed that goes into electronic portfolios a bit. It takes about 15 minutes tops to go through the whole thing, with links to some resources individuals can use.