Green Squiggly Lines:
Self Assessment, Reflection, and a Wider Audience
also occupies an important place in electronic portfolio evaluations. For instance,
at Kalamazoo College, the electronic portfolio system asks students to write
a "Foundations Essay" that can be used "as a reference point
as you make plans for international study, decide on a major, choose among internship
opportunities, and chart your educational path." In addition, students
write "Senior Reflections," where they "look back on this essay"
[i.e., the foundations essay] in order "to analyze and synthesize what
[they] will have done" (The Kalamazoo College Portfolio). The
life-cycle reports, cover letters, foundations essays, and senior reflections
serve the same purpose they would in a print version of the portfolio-they offer
the student a chance to reflect on his or her development as a writer and they
provide the reader-grader with access to those reflections.
The Kalamazoo College Portfolio was designed to give students, faculty, and administrators a sense of a student's development over time. As graduation requirements, the K-portfolios perform particular institutional functions within Kalamazoo College. They monitor but also encourage student learning; they act as "gate-keepers" for graduation but unlike exit exams, K-portfolios show a series of authentic student performances.