Assessing Reflective Portfolios

Some of the learning objectives that could be in alignment with the Reflective Portfolios are that the students will be able to:

  • To communicate using concepts scientifically;
  • To communicate using concepts accurately;
  • To support their arguments with evidence;
  • To connect concepts and ideas to real-life applications, connect theory and practice;
  • To make references and citations properly;
  • To reorganize and synthesize ideas, concepts and data;
  • To critically reflect on the experience/learning;
  • To engage in effective self-assessment on the learning process;
  • To demonstrate critical and creative thinking skills.

These are some questions that may help instructors in assessing the reflective portfolios of students (Equipped for the Future, 2004):

  • Did they document what needed to be documented?
  • Were they able to observe what was learned? Did they chronicle their accomplishments?
  • Did they reflect on challenges and concerns? Did they raise questions, issues for further consideration?
  • Have they made connections between experience and theory and the abstract concepts explored in the readings and course content?
  • Have they engaged in self-assessment on their learning progress?
  • Have they reflected on how experience informs their thinking, meaning making and actions, decisions making processes?


Some questions that can be given as feedback (Walker, 2006) to students to allow them to engage in a metacognitive elaboration with the journal reflections are:

  • How did you come up with that idea?
  • What are the reasons behind these feelings?
  • Can you provide evidence of that information?
  • How did you form this judgement in regards to that decision?
  • What are the reasons behind your plan of action?
  • Can you think of any other approaches that you could adopt?
  • What is the occurrence rate of such thoughts and feelings, and what does that means for you?
  • How would you apply your acquired knowledge to address analogous situations in the future?
  • Explain the reasons for your agreement or disagreement with the ways that issues were handled by others
  • How would you engage in a more meaningful self-assessment in the future?

Rubrics for ePortfolio:

Carleton’s ePortfolio Faculty Learning community has developed Rubrics for evaluating ePortfolios. Feel free to use them and make modifications if necessary, based on the discipline of your courses and the expectations of your assignments.