THE EFFECT OF PORTFOLIOS ON HIGHER EDUCATION STUDENTS LEARNING

The implementation of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) has led educators to rethink their way of assessing college students and look for alternative choices. In particular, the use of portfolios as a form of authentic assessment is becoming more popular in higher education settings. Educators have been making a move from traditional type tests to alternate forms of assessments, because they consider student portfolios can be used very effectively. However, determining how a portfolio can be most effectively used to assess students learning can be an excruciating task. The use of such an instrument for assessment is not only meant to evaluate how well students are performing, but also as a way to enhance student learning and create support for student reflection. This study was motivated by some higher education instructors who were interested in implementing the use of portfolios at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos. A total of 159 undergraduate students across two undergraduate courses participated in this study. These students included prospective early childhood educators and elementary school teachers. A questionnaire-based survey was conducted to inquire into students’ views of portfolios as a learning tool, and data collected was examined. As the data reveal, portfolios help students to stay actively involved and motivated in their learning besides encouraging self-reflection. They also help students to take ownership of their own learning and be able to self-assess their abilities. Results also indicate that the use of portfolios promotes critical thinking, analytical and synthesis skills.