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EXPERIENCE WITH THE PORTFOLIO IN THE SOIL SCIENCE LEARNING PROCESS

J. Perez-Arias, J. Santano, C. Dieguez, J. Almorox, M. Benito, K. Hontoria, I. Mariscal, A. Masaguer, A. Moliner

Universidad Polit├ęcnica de Madrid, ETSI Agronomos (SPAIN)
The general objective of this project is to show the experience of some professors with the use of the portfolio in the teaching-learning process of Soil Science at the University setup.
Several years of experience with this tool by some professors has shown that students are more responsible in their learning process and that the students who voluntarily elaborated the portfolio, did better in exams than the ones who did not participate. Although the portfolio was not used directly as an evaluating tool it was helpful throughout the formative evaluation.
Some disadvantages were detected with this experience. It could be very time consuming for the teacher. Organizing the virtual space to keep students portfolio is very important. The number of students should be considered. If there are more than twenty students per class it is difficult to manage the portfolio. Answers to the difficulties were partially solved using the Moodle Virtual Platform (though no electronic portfolio tool was then available). Care should be taken if the portfolio is used as an evaluating tool, as some students copy from their mates. The portfolio is taken into account only for the students that have already passed. Once the student has a passing grade then the portfolio is used to improve his/her grades. The electronic portfolio may be the answer in the near future.